Delma Morgan, 84, of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away on May 12th, 2023 at St. Luke’s Hospital on the Plaza. Delma was born September 25th, 1938 to mother Lam Chu Shee and father Chu Tong Way in St. Louis, Missouri, and lost her mother at birth due to complications from childbirth. Her father had a small Chinese restaurant with attached living quarters, and Delma and her siblings were placed in the care of a foster home with visitation. Delma and her sister Ruby lived in a home for girls and attended high school together. She recalled visits with her father on the weekend and spending time with him in his restaurant kitchen, as well as outings with her older brothers and sisters. She was especially close to her brothers Bobby, Frank, and Carl, and sisters Irene and Ruby.
After graduating from high school ahead of schedule in 1955, Delma moved to New York City and stayed with her sister and brother-in-law Irene and PC Soong, and worked to save money for college. She then returned to Missouri to attend The University of Missouri in Columbia where she met her future husband, Donald Morgan. She moved to Kansas City and secured a job in 1960 at TWA in Fight Statistics, where Delma promptly committed every IATA code to memory. Setting aside concerns from both sides of their families about their different backgrounds, Donald and Delma eventually eloped in March of 1962. Donald was stationed in France with the U.S. Army, and Delma joined him for a delayed honeymoon traveling in France. Back in Kansas City, Delma made a career working in the Passenger Sales Accounting department for TWA and was respected for her tenacity and attention to detail in oversight and auditing of contracts and travel agency compliance. She was one of the top winners of the TWA Ideas Beyond the Horizon Contest and TWA also rewarded her with the highest honor bestowed on employees, the company-wide Award of Excellence. She retired from TWA, after forty years of service, in 2000.
For more than the first decade of their marriage Donald and Del were blessed with loving relationships with nieces and nephews, and a lot of fun adventures with extended family. Delma and Donald were eventually blessed with daughter Amy. It was through Amy, and a search for someone to watch her post-maternity leave, that Del became acquainted with Marilyn Cusimano. Marilyn would agree to watch Amy, but would quickly become Del’s best friend. The two families would develop a multigenerational, lifelong bond. Del was thrilled to have a son-in-law, Neal Rogers, whom she truly loved and respected, and grandchildren Nathan, Olivia, and Owen to spoil. She lived together with Amy, Neal, and her grandchildren for the last seventeen years, and enjoyed having daily Na-Na time with them.
Delma was an avid reader and enjoyed traveling the world with her family. She loved the opera, musical theatre, and ballet. She sang with the TWA employee choir for years. She was a long-time member of Park Hill Baptist Church in Kansas City and enjoyed singing in the church choir, serving on various committees, and supporting community outreach efforts with her personal service. Delma will always be remembered for her love of family, friends and the community members she encountered on a day-to-day basis. She had friends at every shop and stop on her weekly errand route, and loved to deliver tins of cookies during the holiday season. In her spare time she knit, and was the go-to person at events to tie the perfect bow or sash. She may perhaps be most famous for her homemade, hand-stuffed wontons that she made for wonton soup and fried wontons. While not exclusive to the holiday, these are a family Christmas Eve tradition that will be carried on.
Delma is preceded in death by her husband Donald; parents; brothers Frank, Bobby, and Carl Lam and sister Ruby Sullivan; brothers-in law PC Soong, Larry Sullivan, William Morgan, Eddie Koch, Kenneth Morgan, James Morgan and James Roper; sisters-in-law Helen Koch, Nellie Morgan and Helen Lam; and sister of the heart Marilyn Cusimano. She is survived by her sister Irene Soong; sisters-in-law Barbara Lam, Mildred Climer (Ervil), Sally Morgan, Donna Roper, Kathryn Morgan (David Jones); Robert Cusimano; daughter Amy Morgan-Rogers and husband Neal Rogers of Kansas City; grandchildren Nathan, Olivia, and Owen; as well as multiple generations of beloved nieces and nephews.