The “Celebrate Our Seniors” program kicked off its 11th year of community service on Saturday, August 9th. During the awards program, four Washington County senior citizens were honored for their long term commitment and service to their respective communities. This year’s honorees included Carolyne Jameson-Ray, Dorothy Ann Rothermel, Dorothy Marie Dailey, and Mack Alee Williams.
In addition to the awards presentations and a great BBQ meal, the packed audience of over 250 attendees were treated to live gospel music by the Original Spiritual Travelers, and healthcare information by Golden Years Homecare and by Gazebo Terrace Skilled Care and Rehabilitation. The program wrapped up with Bingo games in which gifts and prizes totaling $500.00 were presented, based on generous donations from individuals, churches, organizations, and businesses.
Grandchildren Naomi Ray and Aiden Ray accepted the award on behalf of their grandmother Carolyne Jameson-Ray (pictured in photo), who passed away on July 19, 2014. Other awardees included Dorothy Ann Rothermel (left), Dorothy Marie Dailey (center), and Mack Alee Williams (right).
Dorothy Marie Dailey
Ms. Dorothy Marie Dailey has had a passion for caring for people her entire life. It is no wonder that immediately following graduation from A.R. Pickard High School in Brenham, she pursued that passion by earning a license as a vocational nurse through studies at Prairie View A&M University and Blinn College. Although she initially practiced her profession in Fort Worth at Harris Hospital, she soon returned to the Washington County area where her faithfulness to the nursing profession and her patients earned her a reputation as a tireless advocate for better healthcare.
During her 40 years of practice, Ms. Dailey has served in a number of capacities in different settings. In addition to service as a hospital nurse in Fort Worth, she served in the same capacity at Grimes Memorial Hospital (now St. Joseph) in Navasota. Recognizing the increasing need for skilled care at nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, Ms. Dailey also served patients in those settings, principally with Sweetbriar Nursing Home in Brenham and Canterbury Village Nursing Home in Navasota. Additionally, she served as a skilled nurse and vocational rehabilitation specialist with the Navasota Drug & Rehabilitation Center.
Realizing that this same level of compassion and skill was needed by patients in private home settings, Ms. Dailey subsequently served as a visiting nurse for one of the first home healthcare facilities in Washington County. As such, it was not uncommon for her to travel hundreds of miles daily to practice her profession throughout Brazos, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harrison, Waller, and Washington counties.
While most of her patients have been senior citizens, in her role with the family planning clinic and campus hospital at Prairie View A&M University she also provided invaluable assistance and service to young adults as well. And she has provided skilled nursing care for incarcerated inmates in Navasota.
Throughout her years of service, Ms. Dailey served with compassion, skill, and love in caring for and rehabilitating her patients -- be they family, friends, or strangers. In a related endeavor she has been actively involved in the “Relay for Life” foundation and its quest to find a cure for breast cancer.
Outside of her chosen profession, Ms. Daily is a proud and active member of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, where she serves as pianist. She too has served as a pianist for St. Matthews and Mercy Seat Baptist churches. During her well-earned retirement, Ms. Daily enjoys word search puzzles, reading, watching ‘soap operas’, and mentoring her grandchild, Kamden Ryan Sampa, “the lover of her life.”
Carolyne Elizabeth Jameson-Ray
Ms. Carolyne Elizabeth Jameson-Ray has had a life-long yearning for education. The eldest of nine children of Thomye Delle Jameson-Burnett of Brenham, even at an early she was often called upon to be an educational role model for her siblings. And that she has been!
In Ms. Ray’s footsteps have come an Associate degree, six Bachelor degrees, three Master degrees, two doctorates, a registered nurse, school administrators, teachers, counselors, entrepreneurs, business managers, correctional officers, philanthropists, and small business owners. And that is only from her brothers and sisters.
As for herself, after graduating from A.R. Pickard High School in Brenham, Ms. Ray entered Prairie View A&M University to pursue a degree in home economics. Upon attaining that degree, she moved to Kansas City, Kansas, where she would remain for the next 35 years. While in Kansas, she continued her education by earning a Master of Education degree from Kansas State University, and certification as an Education Specialist and Guidance Counselor. Carolyne was an active member of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City.
From a professional perspective, Ms. Ray served as a classroom teacher in home economics at several schools, including 20 years at Schlagle High School. Like she had been (and continued to be) a role model for her siblings, she was also a role model for fellow teachers and students alike. This was exemplified through her two time selection as “teacher of the year” for the Kansas City, Kansas Unified School District #500, and designation as department chair of her school’s home economics program.
In addition to mentoring, supervising and advising students in the schools’ home economics clubs, Ms. Ray was actively involved in leading and chaperoning school students in band and dance team programs, while also serving the community as a cub scouts leader. Given her profession as a home economics teacher, not only did she teach her students the proper techniques of planning, preparing, presenting, and preserving meals, but she also provided catering and event planning services for both private and public events.
Upon retiring from 30 years of public education in Kansas City, Ms. Ray returned home to Brenham to be closer to her sons and family. At that time she reunited with her childhood church, Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church. Although still recovering from long term illnesses, she did not let that stop her from mentoring younger generations of Jameson’s. Nor did she let that stop her from volunteering with several organizations and auxiliaries, including Celebrate Our Seniors, Concerned Citizens for Progress, and the Mt. Rose MBC Christmas Gala. Being a former high school teacher, her specialty was crowd control and thus she lovingly served as receptionist and “gate keeper.”
When she was not undergoing rehabilitation, Ms. Ray proudly enjoyed the company of her three grandchildren – Aiden Curtis Ray, Naomi Savannah Ray, and Julissa Elizabeth Ray. Ms. Ray passed away on July 19, 2014.
Dorothy Ann Rothermel
Mrs. Dorothy Ann Rothermel’s life exemplifies that of a consummate volunteer, one who serves voluntarily and not out of necessity. Born in Brenham as the only child of Henry and Lena Hodde, Mrs. Rothermel graduated from Brenham High School and married James D. Rothermel soon thereafter. While James pursued a bachelor and master’s degree, Mrs. Rothermel proudly proclaims that she had already attained her MRS degree. While some may attribute that to her being married, it more accurately describes her with a Master in Resourcefulness and Supervision.
While James pursued his profession in San Marcos, Ganado, Pasadena, Schulenburg, and Brenham, Mrs. Rothermel put her resourcefulness and supervisory skills to use in each of these locations. She excelled in serving God and her church; in raising a loving family; in supervising family transitions from one city to another; and in providing countless hours of volunteer service. She has been doing that for 67 years and is still going strong.
While her sons attended school and her husband focused on his career, Mrs. Rothermel volunteered her services as room mother at her sons’ school, as a cubs scout leader, as a Sunday school and Vacation Bible School leader, and as a chef cook and food server for church. Today, she serves with Ladies Aid at church (St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church), provides food for funerals, serves as a guest registrar, and visits residents in nursing homes.
Although a consummate volunteer, Mrs. Rothermel has had a successful career in the commercial sector. A few of her occupational accomplishments include working as an Avon sales representative, as a sales clerk at Sears, as a scheduling clerk at Joske’s, and as an accounting clerk at Shell Oil. Throughout this period, she completed office career courses at San Jacinto College.
Knowing that her passion was volunteerism, Mrs. Rothermel’s focus has always been in community service. She was and continues to be active in the American Legion and VFW organizations. She is a life member of the American Legion Auxiliary, has served as local president of auxiliaries in Schulenburg, Ganado and Brenham; she has also served as a district president and state vice president. Knowing that volunteers were needed to lead other auxiliary areas, she served as chairman of Texas Poppy Stamp, Texas Junior Membership, and Texas Civil Defense. Mrs. Rothermel has also been an integral force in the formation of the Veterans Memorial Plaza in Brenham.
As a graduate of the first Citizens Police Academy in Brenham, Mrs. Rothermel has been actively involved with the Citizens Police program. She is a member of the Washington County Extension Education Club and the Washington County Fair, where she has won numerous awards for baking and sewing, as well as being a fair judge. She is a member of the Lunch and Learn Club; been a delegate to the Texas White House Conference on Aging; participated in the Congressional Senior Citizen Intern program in Washington, D.C.; and served as a board member of the Washington County Healthy Living Association.
These are just a few of Mrs. Rothermel’s accomplishments. As described by friend Carolyn Krause, ‘Mrs. Rothermel believes that to serve God and others is a main purpose in life; her smile is her calling card; she makes friends easily and has never met a stranger; she loves her family; and she knows God created everyone equal.’
Mack Alee Williams
Mr. Mack Alee Williams’ professional career began as a trailblazer and he has been moving forward ever since.
A 1967 graduate of A.R. Pickard High School in Brenham, Mr. Williams has always been interested in caring for the needs of others. Immediately after graduation and while waiting for the fall semester of classes to begin at Prairie View A&M University, he worked as a nursing orderly at St. Jude Hospital in Brenham. There he recognized his calling.
After completing his first year at Prairie View A&M University, he returned to St. Jude Hospital and pursued his chosen vocation from a more intensive “on-the-job” training perspective, supplemented with requisite coursework. This included certification as an inhalation therapy technician through the Allied Health Regional Medical Program, which was offered by the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Recognizing that he had the desire, skills, and capabilities to offer even more to the nursing profession, Mr. Williams enrolled in the licensed vocational nursing program at Blinn College.
Upon graduation from Blinn College and passage of required state-level examinations, Mr. Williams made history by becoming the first male nurse and the first African American male nurse in Washington County. Being interested in geriatric nursing, he later joined the nursing staff at Sweetbriar Nursing Home in Brenham as a supervisor.
Wanting to experience life and practice his profession beyond the Texas borders, Mr. Williams spend several years in California and then Nevada, where he provided skilled nursing care in neurosurgery at Washoe Medical Center in Reno, Nevada. Knowing that there is ‘no place like home’, Mr. Williams returned to Brenham in 1975 and here he remains.
Upon his return to Brenham, Mr. Williams served as charge nurse and supervisor at Sweetbriar Nursing Home. For the last 25 years, however, he has served as a nurse at the Brenham State Supported Living Center, a state-operated living center for disabled people operated by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.
A deeply religious person and compassionate nurse, Mr. Williams never ceases to lend a helping hand to those in need. In 2006 he was honored by the Washington County Commissioners Court and County Judge Dorothy Morgan for saving the life of a little girl who had been choking in the H.E.B. store in Brenham. Deflecting the spot-light off himself, Mr. Williams “thanked God for helping me with that little precious child.”
As for community activities, amongst other things, Mr. Williams has been actively involved in the Washington County Historical Juneteenth Association, where he has volunteered his services with the Juneteenth Twirlers. He is also an active member of Post Oak Missionary Baptist Church, where he has worked with its choirs, particularly the junior choir. And Mr. Williams is an accomplished pianist and singer, who is often called upon to perform at various charitable events.