Local Caregiver Retires After Decades of Service

By Eric Olson

February 12, 2014 Updated Feb 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, In (21Alive)--You can tell by the sign over the front door this is a special day at Fort Wayne’s Saint Anne Home and Retirement Community. Mary Haverstick is administrator at St. Anne but after 27 years on the job she is retiring, and this is her last day.

“You have to have the heart,” she says, “It’s not just a job and if you’re just coming in for a job to get a paycheck, that’s not what we end up with.”

There have been a lot of hugs and tears leading up to this day as Haverstick says goodbye to many friends.

“It’s been a very family oriented facility and we care for each other,” she says, “we pray for each other we help each other when we have problems.”

Mary Haverstick grew up in New Haven, graduated New Haven High School and St. Francis University. She says St. Anne’s is a positive and loving place and contrary to what outsiders might think, caring for people who are approaching the end of their lives is rewarding in a way no other job can be.

“It’s very heartwarming,” she says, “sad that we’re losing them but it’s heartwarming to know they’re going to a better place and that we’ve been able to help them.”

St. Anne is huge with a staff of more than 300, so her administrative skills have served Mary Haverstick well. But most of her time has been spent with residents, seeing to their comfort and needs…with many work days stretching into 12 hours or more. She says retirement could be a shock so she and her husband are getting a puppy. She says that will help fill the time. And she’ll resume work on her flower garden once Spring arrives. But St. Anne, she says, will never be far from her thoughts.

“There’ll always be a big spot in my heart for St. Anne Home. Always. I feel like it’s been my baby that I’ve grown up with now it’s time to set that baby free and let it go on its way.”

Eric Olson reporting out in 21 Country.

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