Victim Of 2019 Pacific Junction Flooding Still Sharing Her Christmas Spirit


Marilyn Kite and some of the decorations in her Christmas display.

Some of the blow-up Christmas decorations outside Marilyn Kite's home.

The devastating Missouri River Flood of 2019 may have destroyed Marilyn Kite’s home and washed away all of her possessions, but it didn’t take away her Christmas spirit.

Her love of the Christmas season is evident in the dozens of decorations on display in front of her apartment at the Woodglen senior living complex in Glenwood.

“I’m a flood victim. I’ve been over here two years. I lived down in Pacific Junction and I used to have all the decorations down there and then I lost them all.

“I lived at 503 Depot and I lost everything. I had water in my house for 45 days – 7 feet, 5 inches of water and I only had 8-foot ceilings. I lost everything so I had to start to from scratch with the decorations.”

Marilyn is a Strahan native and still has a farm about a mile east of the old Strahan Schoolhouse.

“I’ve got decorations out there, too,” she said. “Here, it’s all the blow-ups. Out there, it’s all the stationary ones.”

Her display in Glenwood includes a variety of blow-up decorations, including snowmen, bears, birds, toy soldiers, reindeer and angels. Marilyn admits she is partial to animal-themed decorations.

Replacing the decorations lost in the flood has been an on-going process, Marilyn said.

“I had to start from scratch. I started buying Christmas stuff - I bought stuff in July, August, whenever. Then, I just put them away and wait until Christmas. I go to garage sales. I shop online, wherever I can find them.”

Marilyn admits Christmas has always been her favorite holiday of the year.

“When I was a little kid - my birthday is on the 20th of December - and I always got robbed. I got a small birthday present and then I got a big Christmas present.”

Marilyn’s Christmas display has caught the attention of her neighbors at Woodglen and motorists who come through the intersection of Fourth Street and Sivers Road. Her display is visible from the intersection.

“I’ve heard a lot of comments,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of people stop and saying how nice it looks, ‘Glad you do it,’ and all that.”
She added that she’ll continue to decorate and share her love of the Christmas season for as long as she can.

“It’s just been something I’ve enjoyed and when I moved into this apartment, I thought well I’ll decorate to help some other people out in this community that would enjoy a little bit of Christmas,” she said. “I just have always loved Christmas. It’s special to me.”

The Opinion-Tribune

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