This week, our colleague, Pat Ocheltree, will come to work at ELM for the last time. She is retiring and moving out of state to be near her family. I have been thinking a lot about Pat and our time together. I met her on my second day of work at ELM. I was the new Director of the Consumer Fraud Prevention Project. On that day, I hired Pat as the Assistant Director. For the next seven years we worked side by side.
A teacher by education, I saw Pat move through her day by creating many special and some incredible moments. Quick to smile, always listening, and caring she worked with more than 300 volunteers. If they became sick or homebound, she would go to their homes or the hospital to check on them. When they passed we went to their funerals and shared their families’ grief.
In recent years, she worked in ELM’s MiCAFE program helping seniors across the state get benefits such as food assistance to make their lives better and healthier. Both community partners and clients marveled at her support and compassion.
A well deserved retirement awaits her. She will be remembered for her team spirit, professionalism, and compassion. But most of all, she will be remembered for her kind and gentle manner. At the end of the day, Pat will be remembered for those lives she touched.
Your ELM family will miss you. Travel well, my friend.