Island Senior: The Mullis Center Says Farewell to Wendy Stevens
Island Senior is a regular column on San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae…
Last Thursday’s Senior Lunch at the Mullis Center was especially festive if also bittersweet. It was Wendy Stevens, our County Senior Services Manager’s Farewell Retirement Lunch. Things got off to a rousing start as Garth Shebek led a chorus of Let Me Call You Sweetheart followed by For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow.
Sandy Urgrin thanked Wendy for her service on behalf of the Mullis Center board saying, “Everything rolled downhill to Sr. Services landing in Wendy’s lap.” Even when they caught someone stealing plants it came down to Wendy to sort things out. Debbie Haagensen, our Senior Services Specialist, presented Wendy with flowers and a gift. Eugene Cuomo had Wendy laughing with his gift of framed photos of fun times.
Wendy said she liked the Hawaiian word Aloha because its means more than good-bye and that we will see you again. She mentioned Shakespeare’s tender “Parting is such sweet sorrow” but in end she said it was Spock’s words “Live long and prosper” that she would like to leave us with adding “Thank you, I love you.”
Wendy first came to the island in 1994 when for two years she worked at what was then the Islands Convalescent Center. She worked for DSHS for two years then our Sr. Center opened in 2001. I sat down with Wendy after lunch and asked her what the job meant to her. She answered that “the feeling at the end of the day that you’ve made a difference” made her profession a rewarding one. Indeed she did make a difference and she will be missed.
As for the future she said she feels good about leaving knowing that on all of our islands Sr. Services are “in good hands.” For herself she plans to travel to Europe with her husband. He is from Wales and they have two grandchildren in Paris. They also have three grandchildren in Bellingham and plan to spend the summer on Lake Whatcom.