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Senior nurses recognized for careers of service

Staff writer

Eight senior citizens who spent their lives as nurses were recognized for their service during the Senior Citizens of Marion County annual banquet Thursday.

Eleanor Herbel of Hillsboro was one of them.

“They made me feel very good about being a nurse,” she said. “It was a good experience.”

She brought her daughter-in-law, Chris Herbel, and friend, Shirley Hamm, to the meeting.

Herbel grew up at Lehigh and lived with her husband, Willis and family, at Tampa. She spent much of her career at Salem Home in Hillsboro beginning in 1981.

She was tasked with a new procedure begun in 1988 that required development of a care plan and basic data on each resident.

Since retiring in 2012, she enjoys spending time with her large family and taking part in activities at Hillsboro Senior Center.

“We are fortunate to have a place like that,” she said.

Mary Ann Conyers of Marion said she was rather surprised to receive special recognition.

“I’ve been retired for 3½ years, and I thought my service had been forgotten, but I must have made an impression on some, and they nominated me,” she said.

She became a registered nurse in 1987. She bemoaned the fact that an increase in government rules and regulations, technology, and paper work limited her time with patients.

While working as a surgeon’s nurse for nine years, she got involved in Marion County Home Health. She would follow surgical patients to their homes for follow-up care.

She later worked in the office as case manager and often went out on supervisory visits.

“I never lost the hands-on,” she said.

She and her husband still enjoy going to polka fests in a large area of the central states. Half of her 11 grandchildren have learned to dance and are carrying on the tradition.

“I still have to dance,” she said.

Conyers said she loves her work as manager of St. Luke Auxiliary Shoppe, changing window displays regularly and keeping appearances fresh throughout the store.

She cherishes the many thank you notes she has received throughout the years from her patients and their families.

Other nurses who were recognized at the banquet were Rhonda Brenzikofer, Sue Clough, Virginia Hammond, Lavonne Hannaford, and Margaret Tice, all of Marion; Jeanne Rziha, Tampa; and Carol Smith, Peabody.

Last modified Oct. 25, 2017

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