How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
We've lived in Hernando County for 23 years. Prior to moving to Silverthorn, we lived on Pinehurst Drive in Spring Hill for 16 years. Before that, we spent six years on South Pasadena Island in St. Petersburg, having moved from Mount Airy, Md.
We also lived in Yokohama, Japan, for 2 1/2 years while my husband was serving in the Army.
Who are the members of your family?
My husband, Robert, and I have six children (three boys and three girls), 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, scattered all across the country, including Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.
Robert and I were married in 1948 in the Bronx, N.Y. This year, we celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary by exchanging our vows at St. Theresa Catholic Church on April 12.
Tell us about your career.
After graduating from Waverly (N.Y.) Senior High School in 1944, I began training to be a nurse at St. John's Long Island City Hospital in Queens. After I was capped, I transferred to Middletown State Hospital and completed my affiliation at Fordham Hospital in the Bronx. I graduated in 1949 and took the state boards in New York City.
I worked as a nurse in Petersburg Hospital in Virginia, as well as Washington Hospital Center and Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C. I retired in 1985.
What kinds of activities are you involved in now?
I've been a member, and chairwoman, of St. Theresa's Council of Catholic Women since 1996. Through CCW, I began making "beauty bags" or "admission bags" for the women at the Dawn Center. I assembled 560 bags. I also personally donated clothes and supplies for the center.
In March 2002, CCW began making bags for the New Beginnings Youth Shelter in Brooksville in place of the Dawn Center.
Tell me more about that.
If you totaled the bags I've made for both locations, it comes to 1,270 so far. Each bag for the children at the shelter contains 22 to 24 needed toiletry items, such as soap, washcloths, shampoo, shower caps, deodorant, hair combs and tissues. The ladies in our church bring in what supplies they have acquired, and the CCW gives me the money to buy the supplies we still need.
This past May, we held a food drive and collected 168 food items. We also donated clothes, shoes and other items the ladies brought in for the children. All of these things I put into the bags I make, and the bags are delivered to the shelter.
At Christmas, we gave the children at the center new socks and underwear, candy and presents.
Do you have any special hobbies?
I have a Lowrey organ and take lessons from Bobby Speaker each week at the Fletcher Music studio on Cortez Boulevard.
My husband and I both love playing cards with our fellow Silverthorn neighbors. But aside from that, I consider making the bags for the children one of my hobbies.
Through CCW, I also send out get-well and sympathy cards to families in our church. I have sent almost 600 to date.
And I formed the Golden Age Achievement Club in our council. Through the club, we send birthday and congratulation cards to ladies who are over 90 years old.
What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
I enjoy getting together with friends, eating out or in, enjoying dinner theater and concerts.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
I think that more folks would ride THE Bus if they printed out a map route and schedule in the paper, to let folks know where the buses go.
And these are just a few of my pet peeves that I wish everyone, not just in Hernando County, would follow: Speak low when using your cell phone in public, use your vehicle's directional signals, and recycle as much as you can — it really helps the environment.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I have no secrets. My friends know me well.
Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 848-1438.