By Karin Kyte, director of business development
How many people can say they have worked for a company for almost three decades?
Life Care Center of Pueblo, Colorado, is fortunate to share Mary Frances Dadd’s story.
As a young woman, Dadd walked over to the newly constructed Life Care Center of Pueblo and asked for an application in the dietary department. The supervisor of that department told her they really did not have a need for any more applicants. But just before Dadd was to walk out the door, a janitor, Joe Krasovic, stated, “If you hire this one, you’re going to get yourself a good worker.”
The supervisor said, “Can you start tonight?”
Dadd began as a cook’s helper, and she stayed there until a couple of months passed and she was asked by the laundry and housekeeping supervisor if she would consider working full time in that department.
In 1990, the facility was rapidly growing with residents, and Dadd was promoted to the laundry supervisor.
Dadd remembers some accomplishments in the last 28 years. She won “the idea of the month” from Life Care Centers of America’s corporate office for an idea in which she incorporated a color coding labeling process to differentiate the items of clothing on each of the different hallways. She also won the Whatever It Takes award on three different occasions.
Dadd’s love for the residents has been abundant throughout the years.
“You get attached to people, and you learn about their lives...the wars they fought in, how big their families are, the places they have traveled and the way they lived,” Dadd said.
Dadd also has fond memories of the co-workers she has worked with for so many years. One of her fondest memories is when she dressed up as a clown and worked in the carnival set up outside the facility.
“It’s always been enjoyable working with Mary,” said Virginia Johnson from the recreation department, who has been working with Dadd for the last 25 years.
Another associate of 21 years, Bonnie Willits, director of dietary services, said that she has enjoyed sharing family stories through the years with Dadd as she has seen Dadd’s children and grandchildren grow up.
After Jan. 31, 2017, Dadd will have to learn how to sleep in. She usually arrives at the facility at 3 a.m. and works until noon each day, and she enjoyed that.
“The hard part will be getting used to staying in bed,” she said.
Dadd hopes to spend more time with family now and do some traveling with her brother. She’s planning a trip back to Deep River, Iowa, to visit with long-lost relatives. She also wants to do some deep cleaning and renovating in her home and spend time doing other things she enjoys, like reading.
Although Dadd’s husband of 32 years has always been supportive of her work, he will like having her home more now, as he hopes to retire soon too.
“I will miss the residents and many of the co-workers,” Dadd said.