Our People

Assisted Living and Memory Care

Meet Grace

Grace is our Employee of The Month for September! Grace keeps careful watch over the lobby area and who is coming in and who is going out of our building. She is kind, pleasant and always willing to assist. She has even come in on her day off to help.

Grace is from Greenville and is the oldest of three girls. She now has lots of nieces and nephews. Her first job was babysitting and then working at Morrison’s Cafeteria at McAllister Square. Church is important to her. She is a member of Calvary Apostolic Church where she helps wherever and whenever asked.

When asked what she likes about her job, she replied that she loves the staff but that she loves the residents even more. She appreciates the kindness of management and all the staff. However, it is the residents who have endeared themselves to her. She enjoys listening to them because she feels like they have a lot of wisdom.

Grace, the staff and residents of Oakview Park love you and appreciate your kindness to us. Congratulations, Ms. Grace for being our Employee of the Month!

Meet Joan

Joan and Lily are our residents of the month for September! Just about everybody loves Joan’s little dog, Lily, so we wanted to include her in this honor.

Joan’s life story begins in Albany, New York. She was one of three girls. When she was eight, the family moved to Delmont, which is near Bethlehem, New York. Joan’s mother had cancer when Joan was eleven, and Joan had to learn how to cook and do laundry at an early age. Joan went to the State University of New York and majored in Home Economics.

Joan met Walter, her future husband, on a blind date. They went out again the next day and again the next week. In a few months they were married. Although Joan’s husband wanted to go the University on the GI Bill, Joan’s Dad advised against it because Walter now had a family to support. Walter got on with the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union and became an apprentice and then a journeyman. Walter excelled at his job but more importantly, Walter was kind and loving husband and father. Anything Joan wanted he said they could have provided they could afford it. They raised two daughters and a son. Joan loves her children, but she doesn’t give them advice unless they ask for it.

Walter suprised Joan with Lily by taking her to a horse farm in Williamston and letting her choose the puppy she wanted.  When they got to the farm, Walter said, “Pick out the one you want, we are going to take it home.” Joan picked Lily. She was just a little bit different than the other puppies; her hair was slightly darker around the ears. She was so tiny she could fit in the palm of Joan’s hand. Walter said, “She is strictly your dog. I don’t have long to live. When I am gone this little dog will keep you company.” Walter died shortly after they got Lily. Lily has been Joan’s beloved and faithful companion ever since that time.

Joan, thank you for sharing Lily with us. Thank you for your wit, humor and friendship. Thank you for your input at Food Council and Resident Council meetings. Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

Meet John 

John is our Employee of the Month. While all the staff and administration work hard to take care of residents, no one works harder than John. When asked to do something by a fellow staffer or a resident, he quickly and cheerfully responds to get the job done.

John was born in Tennessee and was raised in Taylors, South Carolina. He is one of three boys and was called John Boy growing up. John was a certified arborist for years before he went into the HVAC business. Right before he came to Oakview Park last December, he was in the construction and remodeling business.

John is an ordained minister and stepfather to three children. He performed the ceremony at one of his stepdaughter’s wedding and her Dad walked her down the aisle. John preaches barefoot; he hates to wear shoes. John now has three granddaughters, who fondly call him J-Pop.

One thing John likes to say is, “It’s all about love.” We love you and thank you for all you do! We appreciate your giving and loving spirit and that is why you, John, are our Employee of the Month.

Meet Pearl

Pearl is our September Resident of the Month! Pearl is willing to lend a listening ear and encouraging word to her fellow residents. She is honest, forthright and tells it like it is. She is also quite helpful whether it be in cleanup after a snack or helping someone put on her sweater. Furthermore, she has a wonderful sense of humor.

Pearl’s story begins in Fairview, Massachusetts. She comes from a family of nine children-two boys and seven girls. Pearl is the sixth girl. Her Dad worked as a carpenter and as a fireman. Her Mom owned a drug store. After school each day Pearl worked in the drug store until 9:30 in the evening. They sold stamps, cigarettes, candy and of course ice cream soda’s and milkshakes, and the pay was twenty-five cents an hour. Pearl chose to work at the drug store instead of the local mill like her sister so that her mother could go home in the evening.

One afternoon, Pearl borrowed her brother’s bike and went out with her girlfriends. As they were chatting with each other at the bottom of a local mountain some guys rode by in a car. When they came back down, they stopped to talk to the girls. They put Pearl’s bike in the back of the car and gave her a ride home. Pearl got ready quickly for her first date to the movies with her future husband, Gordon. After courting a few months, she and Gordon snuck off to Needham, Massachusetts with a friend and were married by a justice of the peace. When Pearl announced their marriage, Pearl’s mother was so upset that she tore up the marriage license. Within the year their first child Linda was born.

When Pearl met Gordon, he had just gotten out of the Navy. However, he joined up with Airforce and the family moved several times. They started in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, but they lived in Indian Orchard Massachusetts, Shreveport Louisiana, Savannah, Georgia, and several other places. During those years, Marion, Norman and Betty were born. Pearl often felt like a single mom because Gordon was gone on military assignments. In 1953 the family moved to South Carolina. Three years later Gordon retired from the military, and he had various jobs until he ended up working at Clemson.

In order to earn extra income, Pearl took a job at Dunkin Donuts. She was up at 5:30 and at work by 6:00 to open the store and make the donuts. Every week she would bring home day old donuts and put them in the freezer so the kids and neighbor’s kids could have donuts whenever they wanted. Nevertheless, the kids would say on Saturday morning,” We want donuts!” and off to Dunkin Donuts they would go.

Pearl’s hobbies include making dolls and knitting. She has made over thirty dolls for her children and grandchildren. She has painted each porcelain face and made each outfit. She also knits caps for the premature babies at the hospital.

We appreciate Pearl for her helpfulness to others, her participation in activities and her friendliness to all.

Meet Thornton

For August our resident of the month is Thornton. Some may say this recognition is long overdue, because Thornton is so helpful pushing those in wheelchairs back to their room after meals. He also walks Mrs. Paulus’s dog, Lily, two or three times a day.

Pushing wheelchairs is nothing new to Mr. Gross. He volunteered at Shriners Children’s Hospital for many years where he pushed many children in wheelchairs. Helping at Shriner’s Hospital was quite rewarding. He remembers one little girl who came to sign in at the front desk without any legs, and after a few months, she walked out of there. He saw many miracles like that in the years he served at the Children’s Hospital.

Mr. Gross also served in the Civil Air Patrol as a pilot. On one search and rescue mission, he discovered a plane in a tree with a man hanging upside down. Unfortunately, they were unable to save the man.

Mr. Gross’s life story begins in Battleground, Indiana where he grew up. He was the oldest of three children. As a child, he grew up hunting and fishing along the creek that went right through his back yard. While he was still in high school, he joined the National Guard where he served as a medic for eight years. One day, while he was driving a doctor, he was told he was going to Vietnam. However, shortly after that, the trip to Vietnam was canceled.

In the summer of 1950, he was introduced to Cecilia by a mutual friend. In November they were married. In those days in Indiana, a man had to receive a parent’s permission if he wanted to marry before age twenty-one. So, Thornton’s dad signed for him. Two years later their daughter Pam was born. Six years later Pat was born, and finally fourteen years later Randy was born.

During those early years, Thornton worked in electrical plating-gold, silver and copper. He worked for Duncan Electric in Lafayette, Indiana, then The Cora Co. in Wisconsin. His last job was working for Tiffany’s in the shipping and receiving department in Palm Springs, Florida. Cecilia also worked all those years in accounting wherever they lived. In 1999, the Gross’s decided to check out SC. Florida was just a little too hot for them. They have been living in the upstate ever since.

Mr. Thornton Gross, we thank you for your service in the United States National Guard, your years on the Civil Air Patrol, the love and care you showed to the children at Shriner’s Hospital, and the help you provide to us at Oakview Park Senior Living. We know you have been a good Dad and a loving and dedicated husband. Kudos to you!!

Meet Samantha 

Congratulations to Samantha, she is our August Associate of the Month!

Samantha was raised in Illinois and moved to South Carolina when she got older. She has a handicapped sister that she took care of when she was younger, and the experience gave her a passion to care for others. She likes working at Oakview Park and is often called the “Breakfast Lady” by the residents. She enjoys listening to their stories and imagining what it would be like if she had grandparents.

Samantha says, “I enjoy what I do. If I had to do it over again, I would pick the same job I am doing now.”

Meet Carrie 

Carrie is our associate of the month. When the directors were asked to describe Carrie words like caring, hard working, dependable, and intelligent were used. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Carrie is one of the hardest working and genuinely kind people you will ever meet. We are truly grateful and privilege to have her as a part of our Oakview Park family.