The P.E.O. Record July-August 2022 (public)

COVER | story

schools and public health for 12 years. She continued painting and taking university art classes, as well as workshops with notable artists. She became a professional artist after necrosis in her knee forced her retirement from nursing. Starting in 1987, when her two daughters were young, she painted on weekends, working in portraits, life drawing and plein air. During the last 30 years, she has won national and international awards, painted murals in Kansas City and been accepted into prestigious art shows. Marcia faces the reality of her life expectancy, which she says is 2-5 years. This isn’t her first encounter with medical health issues, which began when her doctor suspected she had an autoimmune disease at the age of 12. She had to take a year off from work as a nurse due to pre-eclampsia, abnormally high blood pressure during pregnancy, and thrombocytopenia, low platelet count. She was diagnosed with lupus in 1983 and, in 1987, avascular osteonecrosis, which causes the death of bone tissue. She had right and left hip replacements, as well as a total ankle replacement. In 2019, she had a spinal fusion and subsequently wore a back brace.

Marcia is trying to rest and take care of herself for her and her family’s sake. She says, “When you have time to rest and close your eyes, you have more time to converse with God. Here I am getting closer to meeting God, and I am pondering what this time will be like. I am not fearful for myself. I worry about my husband and daughters.” Art has been a joy for Marcia’s life. She said, “It’s a joy to be inspired by God’s creation and to watch the colors on a blank canvas come to life and escape from health issues. I love to be outside, especially in the Flint Hills of Kansas where one feels small in comparison to the open sky and miles of prairie.” Marcia has stitched together her own beauty in an impressive legacy of art, an inspiring legacy of life. EDITOR’S NOTE: Shortly before this magazine went to print, we learned that Marcia passed away. Peggy Graham, the author of this article, says, “I would like people to know Marcia, her talent and her brave spirit.”

Sunflowers for Ukraine

Lately Marcia has been painting small watercolor sunflowers. She says, “As a fifth-generation Kansan, sunflowers have a special place in my heart. The sunflower is also the flower of Ukraine and since the war there started, I have been gifting my sunflower watercolors to people who visit

me. On the back I include a prayer for peace. We all try to do our part in taking care of each other and I am blessed to have my water colors handy every day and to have help painting as I lose my motor skills due to ALS.”


Marcia Streepy became a P.E.O. in January 2018; she was initiated into Chapter FL, Olathe, Kansas. She said, “When I joined P.E.O., I loved getting to know my sisters. They are such lovely women and I am honored to be a part of this group.” Marcia was involved with some chapter committees but had to step back when her ALS symptoms got bad. In true P.E.O. fashion, her sisters responded with kindness and understanding and rallied around her. Marcia says, “This group of women in Chapter FL has been marvelous. They are so caring; they send cards and bring meals. They are amazing. I’m so fortunate to have gotten to know them.”


July–August 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


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