Thank you to new resident Carol Brown for writing this story. Connie and Ekie have passed their 40 year milestone; Mary will reach hers later this year.
As we celebrate our 60th year of providing homes and care, it’s appropriate to recognize the dedicated employees who have helped to make it feel like home and provided care when it was needed. We asked questions of three wonderful employees: Connie Wilson, Ethyl (Ekie) Black and Mary Mathis – they have worked here for 40 years. We ask them to remember their first day, a significant activity or day or another memory – this is what they shared:
• What do you remember about your first day?
Connie: “meeting the residents, I was mesmerized by the way they treated me – everyone was so nice. I liked the family style meal service and was glad that I accepted this job, it paid 10 cents more than the other job I was offered.”
Ekie: “It was busy, we were short-handed and the receptionist and hostess helped to train me, I wasn’t sure what to do.”
Mary:“I was very nervous; I kept checking back with the residents to make sure I was doing what they needed. They really seemed to like the conversation.”
• What was your funniest event or activity?
Connie: “I remember leaving the Christmas turkeys to cook overnight and the security guard turned the ovens off, thinking we left them on by mistake. The residents saved the day by allowing us to bake in their ovens.”
Mary: “Halloween – residents were our good spirits – some dressed as babies and men dressed as women!”
• Share a favorite day or memory.
Connie :“I was in the hospital and Dr. Bancroft, a minister from FPH, came to visit me and kneeled beside my bed and prayed for me.”
Ekie: “I have two memories – Cutting cantaloupe on my third day, I cut my finger and Asst. Dir. Russell Owens drove me to the emergency room where I got six stitches. Another – every morning a genuine smile and hearing a ‘good morning’ greeting that included my name.”
Mary: “A Porter McGrath resident wanted to go swimming and have a beer – I saw that he had both; he died later that day.”
• Other memories?
Connie: “I was called to work on my day off. I collided with a train and was taken to the emergency room – when I arrived Mr. Owens FPH Asst. Dir. was already there. I was given the opportunity to present cookies to Gov. Lawton Chiles when he visited the Homes.”
Ekie: “I performed the Heimlich maneuver and cleared the passageway of a coworker who was choking.”
Mary: “In 1999 I was honored and recognized as the FL Nurse Assistant of the year.”
They also shared: “Working for FPH has been an honor and privilege; the Owens and MacArthurs were true representatives of Christ. I feel joy when I am considered family. I consider FPH my second home.”