PERRY -- When Perry banker Lewis Meeks heard they needed a new bookkeeper at Church Home Rehabilitation and Healthcare back in 1987, he thought he knew the perfect person for the job.
Apparently he was right.
Janie Huff, who Meeks recommended, just retired from Church Home after 28 years on the job as bookkeeper and all around chief financial officer.
Years ago, I believed she would be a good fit for them, Meeks said. She had worked for us at the Bank of Perry for about six or seven years before going to the Church Home. I truly believe our Lord called Janie to work with their ministry and that she was one of Gods secret angels there.
Meeks was president of the Bank of Perry for some 40 years and also served a term as Perrys mayor. Though he lost Huff as an employee, he said he was able to able work with her in her role at the nursing home and was also a recipient of the care she and others provided when both his mother and mother-in-law were long-term residents there.
Officials say its taking three people to replace her.
Rev. Floyd Hagan oversaw Huffs work at the Church Home through his board position with Christs Sanctified Holy Church, the denomination that has operated the nursing home since the 1930s as well as a campground-retirement facility it runs adjacent to it.
She has handled all her fiduciary responsibilities with great skill and impeccable honesty, Hagan said. The nursing home has audits every year, and there has never been a single issue with her work. She is a very special lady. She did her work and also spent time with those in the home and with their families. She is very special indeed.
On Sunday, friends, family and co-workers gathered for a luncheon at the churchs campground to honor Huff.
The event was hosted by long-time Church Home administrator Mariola Cosby, who served with Huff and recently retired herself. Cosby said there werent words to describe what Huff had meant to staff and patients but said words like integrity, virtue and faithfulness fit her well. She said people like Huff made Church Home such a special place.
Though she already has left the job, Huff said she returns on Thursdays to meet with residents and help with shampoos.
As far as retirement, Huff said her time is being taken up with growing and judging day lilies in competitions along with her husband, Winfred. She also has four grandchildren.
She said her husband is retired from Robins Air Force Base and now serves as an associate pastor at Haynesville Baptist Church in Haynesville where they reside.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at email@example.com.