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Bev Abel Zimmerman



In 1993, before there were residents at Kendal, Bev was able to be a real part of “building” the Care Center, from assembling beds to assembling records. She started as resident assistant in nursing, and is now a health services secretary, working as the administrative assistant for both Stacy Terrell, the chief health services officer, and the head of nursing. She still keeps all her certifications up to date for the various roles she has had so she can help out anywhere.


When residents starting arriving, Bev and her staff colleagues walked about to check that everyone had what the needed as they moved in. There were no lights or walkways, let alone maps. Facility Services helped by accompanying them on their rounds


Bev’s was pregnant with her son Nick when she started at Kendal. She recalls assisting two residents in wheelchairs at the same time when one of them declared, “Oscar is going to fall out if you keep this up.” He did turn out to be a boy, but “Nick” seemed a better name than “Oscar.” He was one of the first kids in the Kendal Early Learning Center, and Jill Connone was his teacher. Her youngest, Samantha, is about to graduate from KELC this summer. For a while Nick worked part-time in the kitchen.


Bev is able to work on a “flex time” basis when needed and when possible, but that can work in reverse. One evening she had just gotten home when she got a call saying that the state inspectors had arrived and that Bev needed to get back in to help them. Now they keep track of their records on the computer, so less paper has to be managed.


Bev loves her job. She has worked in nursing homes since she was 15, and now is 43. It’s rewarding when you’re doing what you love.


All of Bev’s kids have gone through KELC. Her older daughter Alyssa loved field trips on the bus and swimming. She wanted to come back when she started kindergarten, and still likes to visit the teachers. The children made a real connection with resident Esther Hunt, and she with them. It got to point that they would run to Esther for special hugs. For Betty Dewitt, Bev’s daughters are “her girls,” and Betty always asks where they are.


As a mom and staff member, Bev appreciates these relationships and what they do for residents, children, and staff. None of Bev’s children are afraid of wheelchairs and walkers or being with older and infirm individuals. One resident even took Nick for a ride on her scooter and let him drive it. From the residents’ side, the relationships continue on and on: although Bill Hutchison died years ago, the Christmas tree in the Care Center is still considered “Bill’s tree.”


When her kids are here, it is almost a show for the residents. They are “home” here. And she and her husband Bob were also married at Kendal.

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