CHICKASHA, Okla. – The longest living woman with Down syndrome in the world, according to management at her nursing home, passed away last week.
“She was special, and that's just about all you could say about Dollie. Whenever she laughed, everybody laughed with her, because she just brought that laughter out,” said Marilyn Crossen, Dollie Grissam’s sister.
75-year-old Grissam died holding the record of the longest living woman with Down syndrome in the world, with the average person only living to about 60.
Her family members credit her many years of life to the Chickasha Nursing Center, where she lived for 47 years.
“Momma had a feeling that something was going to happen and she wasn't going to be able to take care of her. So, she put her in here in July of 1969,” Crossen said.
Director of Operations, Shari Brunt, said the OSU Geriatric Department was preparing to study Grissam for her rare age.
Brunt said, in many ways, Grissam breathed life through the halls of the nursing center.
“Dollie was a fun loving person. She loved attention. She loved her babies. Her room was filled with babe dolls, and she would rock them and talk to them and hold them,” Brunt said.
Her memory will live on as the room where she stayed will soon be dedicated to her.
Those who knew her best said she will be missed and never forgotten.
"She was a great person and, if she told you something, you better listen, because she would make good on her words,” Grissam’s brother said.
“She was an angel if ever there was an angel,” Crossen said.