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Columbia Missourian

Nurse Sydney Denninghoff was known for her kindness, generosity

By Sasu Siegelbaum
October 1, 2012 | 8:21 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Sydney (Buster) Denninghoff, a registered nurse, is remembered as a very giving and helpful person.

"One time I went to visit Syd in the Boone County Hospital and everybody who I talked to had something nice to say about her," her mother, Rowena Buster, said. "When I told them that I was Sydney's mother they were very nice to me. I got a lot of complements on the girl."

Ms. Denninghoff died on Friday, Sept. 29, 2012. She was 60.

Ms. Denninghoff was born in Kirksville on May 25, 1952, to Jackie and Rowena (Lynch) Buster of Graysville. She graduated from Unionville High School in 1970 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Northeast Missouri State University in 1974.

In Columbia, Ms. Denninghoff was affectionately known as "Surgery Syd" after having worked at University Hospital, the Institute For Outpatient Surgery and Boone Hospital Center.

Ms. Denninghoff's career in nursing gave her the opportunity to travel and work all over the country, including Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Mississippi. In 2000, she provided volunteer medical services in Mexico.She retired the same year.

Rowena Buster remembers Ms. Denninghoff as giving and helpful.

"She had two sisters and a brother who were all very close, but there was 20 years of difference between Sydney and my last child," she said. "A lot of times people thought Sydney was the mother."

Buster remembers when her youngest child's tonsils were removed, and one of the hospital nurses mistook Ms. Denninghoff for the mother.

"The nurse said (to me), 'Grandma you better let the mother in,' but Sydney wasn't the mother," Buster said.

On March 22, 2000, Ms. Denninghoff married James S. Denninghoff. They lived together just outside of Columbia with their dogs Sage and Remy. The Denninghoffs also gardened and kept chickens.

Mrs. Denninghoff was highly regarded in the workplace and especially remembered for her kindness, which often came in the form of unexpected care packages. Her family and friends were always grateful for her wisdom, generosity and positive attitude.

Mrs. Denninghoff is survived by her parents, Jackie and Rowena Buster of Graysville; a husband, James Denninghoff, of Columbia and his children Sarah, Joanna, Molly and Will; a father-in- law, James Denninghoff, and his wife, Lucille; a sister, Georgia, and husband, Stan Varner, of Fayette; a brother , Harlan Bradley Buster, and wife, Dana, of Kirksville; and a sister, Autumn Buster, of Buffalo Grove, Ill.

She is also survived by aunts Carlene Hatfield, Ann Wilcox and Elaine Kramer;an uncle, Bob Buster and his wife, Crystal; nieces Cody Varner and Daylee Buster; and a nephew, Bacardy Buster.

A service will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Playle & Jones Family Funeral Home in Unionville.