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Ray County Rocks!

Project designed to spread joy honors late Richmond woman

Former Ray County resident Lori Tottleben started Ray County Rocks! to honor her aunt, the late Lorna Oliphant. Lori said she and her family members in Colorado now spend more time together, painting rocks and hiding them for other people to find. She hopes Ray Countians will take up the hobby. (Submitted photo)

By Sara Seidel, Staff Writer

Sometimes, after a loved one dies, something as seemingly insignificant as a tiny, painted rock can evoke more comforting memories than a granite gravestone.

When lifelong Ray County resident Lorna Oliphant died late last month, her niece found such a rock – and a little spot of joy.

“It was almost a sign from her that things were going to be OK,” said Lori Tottleben.

Lori, who was born and raised in Excelsior Springs and Wood Heights, found that soothing rock in Colorado, where she now lives. Reflecting on that rock, Lori decided it was meant to remind her of her Aunt Lorna, a lifelong resident of Ray County, who died June 27 after a long illness.

“After she passed away, I was in Colorado Springs and had to get back to a routine,” Lori said, adding that in an effort to return to normalcy, she went to a mall to shop for a birthday present. “I happened to look down and saw a rock. It was painted, so I picked it up and put it in my purse.”

The complete story is in the Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Richmond News.

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