The Heroines

Ann A. Fugate

is honored with a Medium Bench from Bernice P. Aldrich, Jane B. Fugate and Gilbert A. Sanchez, Brauch and Judy Fugate, Justus H. Fugate, Josephine and Justus Fugate, Sr., Kenneth J., Nancy L., and Alexander J. Fugate, Carolyn and Jim Grier, John and Ann Hibbard, Planned Parenthood of Kansas, Inc., Dave and Jennifer Sieverling, Joseph Sieverling, and Owen and Susan Sutter.

 Ann A. Fugate Ann Aldrich Fugate is being honored for who she is - for the lovely spirit that shines through to everyone whose life she touches.

Her accomplishments have been many since graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1959. In her early thirties, as chair of a Junior League committee, she discovered that neither Wichita nor Kansas had a Planned Parenthood chapter. In spite of its controversial nature at the time, Ann accepted the challenge of ensuring that Planned Parenthood was founded in Wichita. She did this out of her deep dedication to the idea that every child should be a wanted child. At the 25th anniversary celebration in June, 1998, Ann was honored as the Founder of Planned Parenthood of Kansas.

She created a wide circle of devoted friends and close-knit family who has drawn on her support to achieve their own major accomplishments in the world. Both her husband Justus and their son Kenneth are graduates of Wichita State University, and have always supported Ann's interests in and dedication to serving her community. Along with Ken's wife Nancy and son Alex, all are sources of much joy to Ann.

In February 1998, Ann was selected for the Daniel Caliendo, Jr. "Life Worth Living Award," which goes to someone who has served as an outstanding example to the disabled community. The nomination letters are inspiring to read. As one young friend wrote: "If you have the opportunity to cross paths with Ann, you will never forget her. You will feel her compassion, marvel at her determination, be amazed by her outstanding attitude, and struck by her wonderful smile. Ann truly embodies the art of living!"

Thus, a remarkable thing about Ann's spirit and her accomplishments is that they have been done by a young woman who was told at the age of 21 that she had Muscular Dystrophy. That it was progressive, and that she could not expect to have a very long life, and yet Ann never quite believed any of this; that is, she knew she had the disease, that it imposed limitations, but, as she said in 1998 when she was awarded the Life Worth Living Award, "I never thought of myself as handicapped."

Ann's impact on the lives of her friends and family has been a major one. We have come to count on walking into her home and finding her cheerful, ready to listen, and making comments that make us laugh and forget our troubles. We've counted on her beautiful smile and warm demeanor for so many years now that we too have forgotten the incredible physical challenges she has faced every day we have known her.

She has needed several surgeries. They were not pleasant. After one, as they got ready to leave the hospital, an unpleasant event occurred. Her husband Justus said, "Well, I guess we can choose either to laugh about it , or cry. I say we might as well laugh about it." And whenever humanly possible, they have continued with that choice.

In the fall of 1998 Ann again had to have surgery. A day after returning home she was rushed to the emergency room in septic shock. For weeks in intensive care, she was not expected to live. Twelve weeks later she was home, with her tremendous will intact; to be Ann, to still be a contributor to the lives of all of those she loves.

It is her will and her glorious shining spirit which has pulled her through these many hard times. And we all continue to love her and pray for her. Needing to see her shining smile and hear her laughter and bask in her pleasure in being with us.

For inspiring such devotion in us, to try to be the best we could be, and, in a small measure, live up to her example, we now honor her in this Plaza of Heroines.

Submitted by Jane Fugate

February 24, 1999.

PS: April 17, 2003

At the age of sixty-six, Ann passed away after a nearly fifty-year battle with MD. She was surrounded by her family and many friends who still love and miss her.

The following contributed to her memorial fund at Wichita State University Foundation:

Elizabeth & Don King, Richard D. Smith, Glenn & DeeAnn Byer, Darlene Jukes, Betty Christian, Polly Dye, Gary & Gloria Jaeckel, Wanda & Wayne Rector, Michael & Audrey Bornholdt, Deborah & Jimmy Buller, Dee Hartman, Mark Ayesh, Bob & Linda Bennett, Phyllis & Jay Decker, Robert & Carolyn Langenwalter, Rosalyn Reisman, M. June Regan, Evan & Sue Lassen, Delinda Royse, Janet Smith, Dave Greever, Alan & Beth Davis, Ted & Marcia Ayres, El Paso Water Company, Elizabeth Holmer, Mel & Joan Kahn, Philip T. Kyle, Luann & Randy Hershorn, Steve Clark, Fred Berry, Gary & Carole Jones, Dan & Gayla Carney, Dot & Jim Osburn, Phil & Julie Barkett, Lynne & Kaila Sieverling, Dr. & Mrs. Charles F. Squire, Bruce & Nancy Gordon, JoAnn & Gary Pottorff, Jim & Lorraine Mann Foundation, Stan & Theresa Smeltzer, Leslie Wilson, John & Marilyn Dugan, Rafael & Lisa Baronio, Kenneth & Donna Schmedeman, Rosemary H. Klassen, Steve & Tambra Johnson, Velma L. Wallace, Mike & Susan Lamb, Bill & Dorothy Cohen, John & Kay Stine Morse, David M. Rapp, John Arnold, Kay & Mel Snyder, Ann Smith, Dick & Marlys Johnson, Pat & Susan Swaney, R.A. & Terry Edwards, Dot & Dick Sandlin, Dr. George & Brenda Farha, Gerald & Janis Aaron, The Trust Company of Kansas, Barbara & Bill Thompson, Norma Greever, Harriet & Phil Griffith, Jean & Willard Garvey Fund, Dr. & Mrs. Don Beggs, Kansas Venture Capital, Inc., Kathryn Griffith, Mrs. Ross M. Taylor, Dr. Gene & Dr. Margaret Ann Hughes, Jim & Mary Lee Quinn, John & Sherilyn Hurst, WSU - Fairmount College of LAS, Charline Beebe, Jan & Bert Deering, Kathryn Hiebert, Peter & Karen Foy, Dick & Toni Renfro, and Pamela Taylor.

Numerous others contributed to Ann A. Fugate memorial funds with Planned Parenthood of Kansas, College Hill United Methodist Church and the Tri Delta Foundation.

Submitted by Justus Fugate

September 1, 2003