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March 2008

Quarterly Newsletter





special points of interest mar08






KKMI Broadcasts from Fort Madison Health Center

KKMIScott Michaels along with Roger Hester from 93.5 broadcast from Fort Madison Health Center. What an exciting day - residents waited anxiously to get an opportunity to express how much they enjoyed living at the Health Center. Louie Dade, George Thompson, Esther Druppel, and Leafo Baker were among the residents interviewed. Beverages and cookies were served to all, as Scott Michaels led in singing Christmas carols and Billie Rusher played the piano.

billie rusher

 Bob Becker and Judy Markey were among the staff interviewed and answered questions regarding the facility.

 Diana Lucas gave great praise for the care her mother was receiving at the nursing home. Her mother, Ruth Snyder, was a resident at the time but has passed on since the broadcast. Ruth will be missed.

 Among the names drawn for the trip to Maui were Diana Lucas, Mike Abbey, and Gary Todd. Unfortunately none were picked at the final drawing.

 Thanks to all who gave a glowing report of the Fort Madison Health Center over the radio airwaves, and thanks to Scott Michaels and 93.5 for a fun filled two hours.







Bazaar and Country Store

tenile & leafoThe Activities Department sponsored a bazaar and country store. The residents were allowed to display and sell their handiwork. Leafo Baker was proud to display her hand made hot pads, hand towels, quilt blocks and crocheted covered hangers. Pauline Nowokunski made hand made dolls, isor hats and many crafty items. Leafo helped Tenile tend the store and had a great time visiting with the shoppers. The bazaar was a huge success, raising $80. 

This will definitely be on our list to do again!







n Matthews celebrated her birthday on December 31st. Her name was unintentionally omitted from the last newsletter; we regret the error. Happy belated birthday, Vivian!


Lloyd Kelly  3/1

Pauline Nowokunski  3/5

Doreen Mincer  3/7

Charles Cecil  3/14

Catherine Mehl  3/18

Delya Cecil  3/22


James Sommers  4/3

Nerma Noll  4/4

Mavis Madole  4/16

Jeanne Kruse  4/16

Felix Sanchez  4/17

Letha St. Clair   4/21

Lucille Holvey   4/26

Mary Ross   4/28

Verna Yaley   4/30

Iona Whiting   4/30



Libby Reeder   5/11

Carol Weber   5/12

Marjorie Bagley   5/15

Sue Magee   5/24

Donna Link   5/27








Happy 100th Birthday To Louie Dade

Louie Dade celebrated his 100th birthday at Fort Madison Health Center on February 10th. Family, friends, slouie dade 100bdtaff and residents showered Louie with cards, sixty-four at last count, handshakes and congratulations.

 The birthday cake had photos of Louie as an infant, at middle age, and present. A golf theme, Louie’s favorite sport, bordered the pictures. Refreshments were served to all. Louie said it would take him days to read all his cards, seventy-six guests signed the guest book, with many more attending who didn’t sign.

  When asked what his favorite part of the party was, Louie said it was all wonderful. Louie feels he is lucky to have reached his 100th birthday and has had a wonderful life.






Activity Happenings

In March we have St. Patrick’s Day and will have a party for the residents. We also have Easter in March this year.

 Our annual Easter Egg Hunt will be on the 22nd of March at 2 p.m. There will also be a bake sale. Come enjoy the egg hunt with the residents and everyone in the community. Rain date will be the 29th of March.

 In May we will have our annual Mother’s Day Banquet on the 15th of May at 6 p.m. We invite all of you daughters and sons to come and have a nice dinner with your mother and enjoy the evening. It is always one that Mom won’t forget.

 Don’t forget the time change to daylight savings time on March 9th!






New Boots For The Year

We would like to dedicate the poem “It would be neat if with the New Year” by Jimmy Santiago Baca, to James Sbootsommers, who just retired his old black boots. 

 James’ father gave him his boots in October, 1971, thirty-six years ago, and he really didn’t want to give them up.

 Recently receiving his VA benefits made it possible for James to purchase a new pair. When he saw the boots Kathy Casey found, just like his old pair, he smiled and said, “Yup, I’ll wear ‘em”.  James was working at Anchor Metal when his dad gave him his last pair. He said he wouldn’t wear them to work, wanting to save them for cold weather. Not many of us can say we’ve had the same pair of footwear for thirty-six years!

James thought a lot about hanging onto the old boots because of the memories.

 What a great way to start out the New Year, with a new shiny pair of boots. James says, laughingly, “Bet I won’t live thirty-six years to wear these boots out!”.


It would be neat if with the New Year

by Jimmy Santiago Baca


 It would be neat if with the New Year

 I could leave my loneliness behind with the old year.

 My leathery loneliness an old pair of work boots

 my dog vigorously head-shakes back and forth in its jaws,

 chews on for hours every day in my front yard–

 rain, sun, snow, or wind

 in bare feet, pondering my poem,

 I’d look out my window and see that dirty pair of boots in the yard.


 But my happiness depends so much on wearing those boots.


 At the end of my day

 while I’m in a chair listening to a Mexican corrido

 I stare at my boots appreciating:

 all the wrong roads we’ve taken, all the long roads we’ve taken,

 and as the Mexican singer wails his pain,

 I smile at my boots, understanding every note in his voice,

 and strangers, when they see my boots rocking back and forth on my feet

 keeping beat to the song, see how

 my boots are scuffed, tooth-marked, worn-soled.


 I keep wearing them because they fit so good

 and I need them, especially when I love so hard,

 where I go up those boulder strewn trails,

 where flowers crack rocks in their defiant love for the light.








 With Sincere Sympathy

An acknowledgment of sympathy to the families of those who passed away in December, January and
February. Our love and prayers are with you; your loved ones will be greatly missed.

Ester Druppel
Janella Swanson
Ann Moore
Ruth Snyder
Claire Briggs
Elizabeth Christie
Eleanor Lucas
Agnes Manka
Harold Mehl
Norma Lutz
William Rothlauf

 “Above you is the Lord’s covering, beneath you is his strength and security, and around you are his arms of love”.






Arnie And Darlene Becerra FMHC Volunteers

Darlene and Arnie, our husband and wife volunteer team, are at the facility several times each week to visit with the residents and to bring a smile to the faces of everyone they come in contact with. Their volunteerism goes back to 1971, when Arnie visited residents here through his church. They can be seen any Wednesday helping with Bingo (Darlene is a self-proclaimed Bingo fanatic, once winning $500 during a lucky game), as well as during Happy Hour, special events, the Easter Egg Hunt, the Memory Walk, Christmas Potluck, and other evbecerrasents too numerous to mention.
 Darlene and Arnie also keep track of the residents’ birthdays, bringing them a birthday card on their special day and spending a few minutes with the honored guest. They say they like to do these things out of their simple enjoyment of visiting with the people. It makes them happy to see the residents’ reactions when they stop for a bit to chat.

 Arnie and Darlene also volunteer for their church’s activities as well as at the Veterans’ Home in Quincy, Illinois. In their spare time, they are whipping up treats of baked goods to share with people, and Darlene enjoys riding her bike when the weather permits.

 These two truly do give from the heart, and we appreciate them!






Christmas Potluck

Christmas dinner07Our Christmas pot luck was a huge success with over 200 guests attending. A lot of delicious home made food was carried in, the kitchen prepared prime rib, sour cream & chive potatoes, vegetables and dinner rolls with honey butter. The dining areas were decor-christmas dinner familysanta07ated with red and green tablecloths, larger than life candies, buckets of hard candies for guests to snack on, Christmas place mats and cups. Lights sparkled from the ceiling, and stockings were hung from the fireplace mantle, with everyone dressed in their holiday best.

 Everyone was pleased to have a special guest, Santa, appear to distribute gifts. No one left hungry, and everyone left happy and full of the Christmas spirit.






Spirit Of Giving


Fort Madison Health Center got in the spirit of giving to finish off the year of 2007. 

Gift baskets were made for the spouses of the residents who are at home. The baskets included pancake mix, biscuits and gravy mix, home made honey, fruit cake, a coffee cup, breakfast cakes, jellies and more.

We sponsored a food drive for the food pantry and collected over four totes of groceries. Joy Main was so happy for the donation, she stated that times are tough and the donations will come in handy for the new year. A couple of staff stated that there was a time when they had needed to depend on the food pantry, and they were so excited to help give back to this cause.

Goodie bags with candles were distributed to the doctors’ offices, wound clinic and the dialysis center, FMCH discharge planners, as well as the Newberry Center, along with all staff at FMHC, much to their surprise. We were rewarded with a lot of smiles on many faces; that is why we do this.







Happy Hour

Larry Cameron has become an all-time favorite at FMHC. He comes in once a month to play his guitar and sing for the residents during Happy Hour. Singing the old country favorites, Larry has won the hearts of all who attend.larry cameron

 Larry says he enjoys coming to FMHC because he can tell the residents are having a good time; having worked here in the past he finds some personal satisfaction in entertaining the seniors and visitors alike.

 FMHC recently presented Larry and his side kick, Tom, with a basket of goodies to say “thank you” for their faithfulness to always put on a good show. Larry has been coming for Happy Hour for five years. We hope he will continue to entertain us for many more years. We truly appreciate all he has done for us.

 If you would like to contact Larry for a performance at your business, facility, or function, you can reach him at 319-524-6422.







A Recipe From Leafo Baker’s
Sixty Plus Years Of Cooking

Beer Cheese Soup

 4 cups chicken broth

 1 medium onion, finely chopped

 2 stalks celery, diced

 ½ cup flour

 pepper to taste  

 dash of dried parsley

 1 jar of Cheez Whiz

 12 oz. beer

 ½ cup butter


Melt butter in saucepan, stir in onion and celery and cook until soft. Add flour and cook, stirring, three to four minutes. Slowly whisk in broth, then beer. Reduce heat, boil. Slowly whisk in cheese and parsley. Serve topped with popcorn.






Cluttered Closets

It’s almost spring, time to clean the closets! We would appreciate family members finding time to clean their loved one’s closet while visiting in the facility. Clothing that is worn out, too small, too big, or the resident no longer wishes to wear, can be taken home.  Please also take all aerosol spray cans home. 

Thanks a bunch for your help!