Hal & Marion Kissel
“We are proud to support the Foundation. We’ve always had a strong feeling that CRMC provides everything our residents need, right here. People go out of state and we don’t understand that. We have received great care at the hospital. They’ve taken care of us, our parents, our grandchildren, and two of our great grandchildren who were born at CRMC. It has really affected our lives,” says Marion, who is a lifetime member of the hospital’s auxiliary.
When embarking on new adventures, we all need a little coaxing from family or friends. Such was the case for Hal and Marion Kissel. By invitation of their good friends Jean and Dan Leach, longtime supporters of the Foundation, Marion and Hal first experienced Denim ‘N Diamonds. “We had so much fun and were so impressed by the Foundation that we bought a table and invited other friends and family for a dozen years after that, all thanks to the Leach’s initial invitation,” says Marion. Besides supporting the event and introducing it to others, the Kissels also donate a two-week stay at their timeshare in Hawaii to be auctioned off each year.
“We are proud to support the Foundation. We’ve always had a strong feeling that CRMC provides everything our residents need, right here. People go out of state and we don’t understand that. We have received great care at the hospital. They’ve taken care of us, our parents, our grandchildren, and two of our great grandchildren who were born at CRMC. It has really affected our lives,” says Marion, who is a lifetime member of the hospital’s auxiliary. Marion had first-hand experience at the hospital 13 years back when she was diagnosed with breast cancer: “I think the world of Dr. Jeff Carlton and his radiation team.” Marion, 81, is a strong woman with a great attitude on life: “If I can beat cancer, anyone can. I am glad every morning that I can get up and enjoy my day.”
Enjoying their lives is something the Kissels have done well. The two met when Hal, 82, was a cadet in the Air Force. They married one year later and lived in exotic places like the Philippines while he served as a pilot, navigator, and missile crew commander. Hal, an engineer, received the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal for his achievements. They were stationed in Cheyenne in the early 1960s where they raised their three children, Steven, Kathy and Linda. When Hal retired from the Air Force he earned a teaching certificate from the University of Wyoming and taught middle and high school math in La Grange and Cheyenneâ??at both McCormick and Central. During the summer months, he managed a resort of eight housekeeping cabins in the Snowy Range. They enjoyed their own cabin near the old Brooklyn Lake Lodge for many years.
“We love Wyoming,” says Marion who worked as a secretary for the church and the department of education. She even worked at the state legislature’s office as the assistant clerical supervisor for the House of Representatives. She still keeps herself busy crocheting afghans for members of the First Methodist Church, attending church events and getting out when she can to support civic organizations that she was involved in years ago. The two also delight in their six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. They see them whenever they can, despite the kids being spread out: “Most everyone was home over Thanksgiving and it was wonderful,” says Marion.
While working was fine, they thoroughly enjoy their retirement of 15 years. “Hal planned a secret trip for our 50th wedding anniversary – a three continent cruise. We had so much fun that we cruised around the world the next year,” says Marion. They saw the pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal and other wonders of the world. Their lives are a bit more subdued today. While they both have hobbies and play bridge, traveling is not a part of their lives much anymore. But that’s okay. Marion says they’ve had a great life: “I told Hal, maybe we didn’t see everything, but honey, we sure saw a lot.”