Banner Staff Writer
Signature HealthCARE of Cleveland was one of 77 facilties which, for the first time, simultaneously honored inductees to the Hall of Fame.
On Nov. 1, five were added to the Hall of Fame Wall at Cleveland’s Signature HC — four residents, one community leader and one employee.
The honored inductees were ushered to their special seats and the some 60 family and friends enjoyed the food and fellowship before the event began.
Tiffany Sawyer welcomed the ones who had gathered for the ceremony and a local Girl Scout Troup presented the flags.
Stephen and Lee Preston led the program with the song, “I Turn to You Jesus.”
Karen Lamon, who had been working with Signature since 1996, explained the Hall of Fame Cafe concept, which began in 2003. She said in her 17 years, she had met so many wonderful people who were giving, loving and caring and who sacrificed so much. She said the purpose was to celebrate and acknowledge the love people have demonstrated. “It’s a difficult process,” she confided.
The idea of the Hall of Fame Cafe was born in 2003, when a team met to discuss ways in which the importance of lifetime achievements — particularly those living in nursing and rehabilitation centers — could be recognized. They felt this would be a mission and a vision that would “change the long-term care landscape forever.”
Unless acknowledged, this rich history of the lives of the resident population would be locked in their minds — lost to future generations. So “Hometown Heroes,” which includes residents, community leaders and employees, is an important part of the community and Signature HealthCARE.
Each inductee was introduced with a video presentation. Dewie Prichard was introduced by Amy Ratcliff; JohnAnna Belcher introduced Harold Thompson (not present for the ceremony); George Allen was introduced by Jessica Lamb; Chaplain Carl Caffrey introduced Dale Hughes; and Sawyer introduced Linda Byers.
Manny Gomez sang “We Are Family” before closing remarks by Sawyer.
The 2013 inductees were:
— Dewie Prichard, who was born in Polk County in 1921. A graduate of Polk County High School, he married Juanita Prichard. He has three children — two daughters, Becky and Brenda; and one son, Frank. He is now the proud grandfather of three grandchildren.
After high school, Prichard joined the Army as an engineer. While in the armed services, he had international opportunities and spent time in England, France and Scotland. In civilian life, he was a dedicated worker and retired from Magic Chef after 25 years.
Prichard has also been an active community servant. He worked with Gideons’ Ministry, distributing Bibles for more than 20 years. Alongside his work with Gideons’, he visited and ministered in prisons and jails for more than 15 years. He is a very proud member of Washington Avenue Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon.
In his spare time, Mr. Prichard has always enjoyed woodworking and gardening.
— Harold Thompson, who was born in Gotebo, Okla., on Sept. 1, 1926. He married Peggy Jean in August of 1946. They have five children, 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild.
Thompson graduated from Mesa High School in Mesa, Ariz., and attended Bible Training School, Port Huron Junior College and West Coast Bible College. He graduated from East Coast Bible College in Charlotte, N.C., with a bachelor of science in ministry, and received an honorary doctorate from East Coast Bible College.
Thompson served in the Navy during World War II from 1944-1946. He was stationed at a hospital in San Diego for a full year and on the USS Kershaw (APA 176) for another year. He was later discharged in Norfolk in 1946. He has been a committed minister in the Church of God for 69 years.
During that time Thompson served as Church of God state overseer for Idaho, Utah, Illinois, North Carolina, Northern California, Southern Ohio and North Georgia. He has served as pastor of eight churches and was a youth pastor in Arizona. He preached at the Church of God General Assembly when it was in St. Louis, and was a World Missions representative for two years. As a World Missions representative, he traveled to 38 states and 10 countries.
In his spare time, he enjoys golf and woodworking and is most proud of his children. His eldest son, Harold Jr., is a minister/state overseer in Arizona. Carla teaches at Lee University. Kathy is a secretary for the president of the American Bible College. Michael works with stocks and bonds and James Ronald owns his own business.
— George Allen, who was born on April 10, 1922, in Portland, Maine. He has a daughter, Janet Allen, who is an accomplished musician, music teacher, composer and studio owner.
Allen enlisted in the regular Army at 18 in Lowell, Mass. on Oct. 21, 1940. He arrived in Pearl Harbor on Aug. 13, 1941 stationed at Schofield barracks for training and was put on alert for several weeks and came off alert two weeks before the Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. After the attack was over they were moved up into the hills and dug in with 240 mm guns. They stayed up there until they got ready to be shipped to Sydney, Australia, where they underwent a strenuous training program.
Allen was in four invasions: the first invasion was of New Guinea; second invasion was Tanahmerah Bay, Dutch New Guinea; third was Leyte in the Philippine Islands; and the last was the invasion in Luzon. He was then shipped to Mindoro Island where he was relieved to go back to the states. He had been in a war zone three years, eight months and 12 days. He received an Honorable Discharge on June 6, 1945.
He is Bradley County’s only remaining survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack. A highly decorated serviceman, he has received the World War II Victory Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon with four Service Stars and the Philippine Presidential Unit Award. He has been recognized as the Raymond H. Miller Veteran of the Year by Bradley County during their annual Veteran’s Day observance, and is a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2598, Disabled American Veterans, and American Legion Post 81.
Allen is a dedicated community servant. He has entertained speaking engagements in schools to promote patriotism, citizenship and the value of freedom. He also visits nursing homes and speaks with residents about his will to overcome. On Veterans Day, he visits VA Hospitals, veterans’ homes, and disabled veterans.
— Dale R. Hughes (Community Leader), who was born on March 20, 1942. Married to Brenda M., he has three children: Dale Richard Jr., Keri Marcel and Eddie Joe.
Hughes graduated from the University of Tennessee with a master of supervision/education with 45 additional hours.
As founder and president of Sonlight LLC, Hughes has been an extremely successful businessman in Cleveland. Prior to entering the hotel/motel business, Hughes was former executive director of Tennessee Secondary School Principals; principal of Bradley Central High School; athletic director and head basketball coach at Lee University. In their community, he has been president of Junior Achievement; president, Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce; president, Cleveland Family YMCA; chairman, Bachman Home Advisory Council; United Way Advisory Council; United Way team leader; and chairman, Cleveland Utilities Executive Board.
Recently, Hughes was voted in as a City Council Member in the Fifth District. In a corresponding article Hughes explained, “It has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve” (my community) ... If I can be of service, I would like to offer myself and pledge to expend my energies in working on behalf of the city of Cleveland.”
He is very actively involved in his local church serving on the Church council and chairing the finance committee. Not only has Hughes offered exceptional community service in all the areas noted above, he has been a great friend to SHC of Cleveland Tennessee over the years. “He has been a generous, caring and compassionate neighbor to our facility.”
— Linda Byers (Stakeholder Nominee), who was born in Athens on June 7, 1964. She married Randy Byers in 1984, has a daughter, Melissa, and two granddaughters, Aaliyah and Amiya. She is a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister and grandmother. She is very dedicated to her family, and her daughter thanks God “each and every day for her.”
Byers has a pure servant’s heart. She loves her patients and provides warm, loving care each and every day!
She began working at Life Care as a candy striper when she was just 13 years old. She later became a CNA, and in November 2013 she will celebrate her 30th year as a CNA.
She puts God first, believes in prayer, and always finds a way to help other people, especially people in need. Her family dedication is evident. For example, when her mother had knee surgery she stayed with her day and night at the hospital. When her father became ill, she came home from work daily to take care of him. Byers stayed with him until his last breath.
Byers is loved and deeply respected by her colleagues. She is a great teammate! She is always in a good mood. She is very energetic and is a great people person. Byers enjoys family vacations, especially taking the grandkids to Dollywood. She is most proud of her grandchildren, whom “she couldn’t live without.”