Honored Staff – 22 and 21 years of service

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

IMG_1916-LHHIMG_1922-LHH IMG_1920-LHHThis October we continue our 60th anniversary celebration by asking for memories and comments from long time employees at Florida Presbyterian Homes. This month we have memories and comments shared by Mary Willis, who works as a CNA and also in housekeeping; Mary has been an FPH employee 22 years. With many staff members named Mary she is sometimes called Queen Mary! Long time employee Gigi Beaty works in laundry and housekeeping and has been here 21 years, and finally, super electrician Mike Harding is a 21 year FPH employee. Mike is a member of the maintenance crew.

These are the memories of their first day:

Mary – “I remember Oct. 25, 1992 when I started as a housekeeper and I got lost in this big place!” A smile comes to Mary’s face as she remembers residents Martha Hughes and Eleanor Faught. “They were sisters and made me feel at home as we talked about some old times for the three of us.”

Gigi- “My first day I remember how nice and welcoming Jan McCann (Human Resources) was to me. I couldn’t ask for a better way to begin. I started in housekeeping and soon met Mrs. Castor and Mrs. Rigsby, they both liked and appreciated me.”

Mike – “When I first came to FPH I thought ‘How will I learn my way around?’ For weeks, I would get turned around going in one building and out another! However, the first resident I came in contact with said “Welcome to the Homes. Glad you are here. You are now a member of another family, you have two families, don’t ever forget that!”

These are their memories of the funniest FPH event or activity:

Mary – “It was a fun Halloween memory when a resident – Mrs. Kelder – helped Kelly in Maintenance to dress up in her clothes. It was so much fun and he won first prize!”

Gigi – “I remember one Halloween Kelly in maintenance dressed up like Mrs. Martha Kelder. It was a great way to let the residents know that we love and care for them by giving them something to laugh about!”

Mike – “One of the funniest events was at Halloween. The staff would dress up for the residents at noon time, which they still do. These two characters in maintenance dressed up as an elderly couple and those in the dining room that day were laughing so hard they were in tears.”

Responses to – what was your favorite day?

Mary – “I have two favorite days – what a great day it was the day my daughter got married here in the chapel. The chapel was overflowing with residents and family. The other day was in 2013 when I got my CNA and Home Health Aide licenses.”

Gigi – “God answered my prayer by providing a facility like this for me to work in, and Christmas was and is one of my favorite days for we all feel like we are at home and safe.”

Mike – “Every day is and always has been a favorite day. Just being able to come here and caring for this wonderful group of people, is a joy. Any day I can socialize with the residents is a memorable one.”

Additional thoughts and comments:

Mary – “FPH is like a family with open arms. In January, 2012 I was at work, I took a break to call my sister to check on our mother who was very ill. I was told that she had just died. I was very upset and resident Mr. Earl Roberts brought me to the dining room and stayed with me until my ride came to get me.”

Gigi – “FPH is a nice place to work. I truly thank everyone for welcoming me. I started in housekeeping and then moved to laundry services, that has been a good move, for I really like what I’m doing. I’m here to serve the residents.”

Mike – “Over the course of 21 years, I have seen many changes in the Homes and the residents, but one thing that has never changed, is the love, compassion, and fellowship. I am truly grateful to be a part of the history of Florida Presbyterian Homes.”

– Carol Brown

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16 Lake Hunter Drive - Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-688-5521 or Marketing: 863-577-6001