Emma Maxine Hydorn Cummings Gillett, 77, died Nov. 19, 2020, at the Fredonia Hospital, in Fredonia, Kansas after fighting a long battle with cancer and healing from recent surgeries.
She was born Oct. 18, 1943, at the Anderson County Hospital, in Garnett, Kansas, to J. Edgar and Roberta T. (Marple) Hydorn.
She had an older brother, Lewis.
The family lived on a farm outside Kincaid, Kansas until her father died in a tractor accident when she was three. Upon her father’s death, the family moved into Kincaid.
Two years later her mother married Paul C. Smith, of Lone Elm, Kansas.
Friends and family said she quickly became the apple of her step-father’s eye.
Another brother, Arthur, was added to the family.
The family then moved to a farm north of Toronto, Kansas. After a while they moved into Toronto where Maxine attended the Toronto School.
On April 1, 1959 she married Robert O. “Bob” Cummings at a small church, in El Dorado, Kansas.
The couple had three children, Robert O. “Bob” Jr., Kathryn L. “Kathy”, and James A. “Jim”.
The couple later divorced in 1980, but remained friends.
On May 7, 1984 she married Robert J. “Bobby” Gillett.
They lived in Gridley and New Strand, Kansas, before moving to Arizona and eventually settling in Salida.
Mr. Gillett preceded her in death, May 8, 2008.
Mrs. Gillett held many jobs, including writing the Toronto News for the Toronto Republican, a job she enjoyed as the third female in her family to work for a newspaper.
She was a certified medical aid and worked at several nursing homes in Yates Center, Kansas and Salida.
Her most rewarding job was with Developmental Training Services, in Salida, where she worked with mentally challenged people. At that job she sustained an injury to her back that prevented her from working.
Before arthritis got the best of her fingers, she enjoyed playing guitar at church and nursing homes accompanying her children as they sang and embroidery.
She lived in Salida for 20 years and enjoyed sitting by river, watching fish swim by.
She loved the beauty and serenity of the mountains and enjoyed taking visitors sightseeing.
In 2003, she and her husband moved back to Kansas and lived in Neodesha until they lost everything in the flood of 2007, at that time they moved to Toronto.
Following the death of her husband and health issues she moved in with her daughter and son-in-law.
She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; step-brother Arthur; and sister-in-law Teddy Sue Hydorn.
Survivors include sons Bob (Nita) Cummings, of Chanute, Kansas and Jim (Bridget) Cummings of Wichita, Kansas; daughter Kathy Cummings (Wade Percifield) of Fredonia; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; brother Lewis Hydorn of Dunneweg, Missouri; nephew Ted (Kelly) Hydorn, also of Missouri; sister-in-law Ruby Smith of Lockport, Illinois; two nephews, Brian and Roger; many life-long friends; and her first husband, Bob Cummings of Wichita.
Due to COVID-19 there will not be a service at this time.
The family is planning a memorial service in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Friend’s For Life, in Yates Center, or the Toronto First United Methodist Church, and can be sent in care of Jones Campbell Funeral Home, PO Box 188, Yates Center, KS 66783.
Arrangements were with Jones Campbell Funeral Home of Yates Center, Kansas.