By Jami Click, assistant business office manager
Our facility, Life Care Center of Gray, Tennessee, lost a dear family member on Sept. 18, 2019: Dora Honeycutt, human resources director, who was employed here for almost 15 years.
She passed away peacefully with her family and friends by her side.
Dora felt so badly that she had to retire and stop working. She truly loved her job and cared about the people she worked with. Work meant everything to her. She would always collect food around Thanksgiving and make up a couple of boxes for associates with small children or who were having a hard time. And as sick as she was, she worried about letting us all down, even though we were only concerned about her well-being.
When I first started working here, I loved Dora’s old-fashioned newsletters that she wrote from her own life experiences back in the “good old days,” of how much life had changed from being simple and easygoing to the fast-paced lives we now know. Her thoughts on days gone by were touching and from the heart. I’ll miss her newsletters. I wish she had been able to do one last one for us. I guess this one’s for you, Dora.
I would like to share a few thoughts from other associates about what Dora meant to them.
Joetta Stewart, director of social services: “I have known Dora since 1988, and while working at Life Care Center of Gray, she was always very employee-proactive. She was always willing to help a co-worker, a family in need or just listen when that was needed. Dora had a loving spirit and was active with fundraisers. It was an honor to have known Dora all these years and a sweet privilege to call her a friend.”
Tavia Garcia, activities: “Have you ever met a person who never made you feel like a stranger? Have you ever met a person who you could talk to about anything, and who would listen with true concern? Have you ever met a person who loved to cook so much that if you told them your favorite meal or dessert, they would make it for you? Well, her name was Dora Honeycutt. We were her family, and she was ours. Mama Dora is what we called her, and we were her ‘children.’”
Chasity Human, business office manager: “I worked with Dora for 10 years. She was wise beyond her years, and I have learned so much from her. Even when she was out of work due to her illness, I could always call on her to see what I needed to do. One of the last conversations we had, I asked her who in the world was going to feed us. She just laughed and said she was sure going to miss cooking for us.”
Jane Brobeck, licensed practical nurse: “I’ve known Dora for 14 years and never heard an angry word from her.”
Lynn Roberts-Bastedo, physical therapist assistant: “A smiling face… well-versed storyteller… supplier of goodies for the staff… one word – Dora. She made her own way and chose peace over pain.”
Christi Wise, from Life Care’s Legal and Risk Services department: “I knew Dora for over 10 years, and she was the kindest of souls. She always wanted everyone to feel special when they visited the facility.”
Jennifer Solomon, Eastern Division vice president: “I knew Dora for 15 years. She was always warm and caring and welcomed new associates with open arms. She always cooked for anyone she knew was coming to the facility, to make them feel welcome.”
Ashley Lee, executive director: “Dora was my HR director for eight years. She was always kind and welcoming and made the best brownies. She was an advocate for our associates and always listened with compassion.”
I was reading through some of Dora’s newsletters and came across part of one that I’d like to share:
“I am asking that each of you please take time to make wonderful memories. Tell the people that mean so much to you how much they are loved. Make time for your parents and family. All of us have to work, but don’t forget that work is not everything. I think God planned it this way. Years pass, and people pass with them. But we have the ability to retain all those memories of better days. Ain’t God great? Even though we may be ill in body, and our might not too bright, we can be assured that God has given us the ability to have all those good remembrances to last us until we die. Memories of the heart never fade. Be sure and make some today.”
As Dora used to say, “This too shall pass.”