(Aug 10, 2019)
2019 Honorees (front row, left to right): Lottie V. Hall, Robert Mae Johnson, Esther M. Hall, Ivenus Garcia.
Program sponsors (back row, left to right): Leon Maxie, Veronica Maxie, Tre’ Maxie.
Nurses are on the frontlines in the healthcare profession. Nurses were also on the frontline in the 16th annual Thomye Delle “Celebrate Our Seniors” program on Saturday, August 10th, at the Washington County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Brenham. The nurses recognized for their unheralded contributions to Brenham and Washington County included Ivenus Garcia and sisters Esther M. Hall, Lottie V. Hall and Robert Mae Johnson.
Each of these individuals has worked tirelessly in their profession for their communities, and have unselfishly made long-lasting contributions to Washington County, the state, and the nation. More importantly, they inspire and motivate others to not only extend a caring hand to those in need, but they also foster the creation of a better environment for generations to come.
More than 300 members of the community attended the honors program and luncheon. During the 2-hour program, each member’s contributions was presented to the audience by a family member or trusted friend. Following the formal part of the program, many attendees remained for the annual Hattie Lee Franklin-Maxie Bingo contest.
The “Celebrate Our Seniors” program is made possible through generous donations from local businesses, and the active support of the entire community, especially local Boy Scouts and church youth. For additional details and to see how individuals, organizations, and businesses can support next year’s program (which is always on the second Saturday in August), visit www.celebrateourseniors.com.
Mrs. Ivenus Garcia
Ivenus Garcia entered the nursing profession following a long career in cosmetology. After graduating from Burton High School in 1957, she entered and completed the Erma Hughes Business School and then Wadell Beauty School. She used those skills to own and operate her own business from 1958 to 1971. Although she loved her initial field of endeavor, Ivenus Garcia always had a yearning to give even more back to the community that had given so much to her.
Being intrigued with the medical profession and knowing that she possessed the capacity to provide skilled care to many of the patrons she saw in need, Ivenus Garcia reduced her business workload and enrolled fulltime in Blinn College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program. She graduated in 1971 and began a 28 year career in the nursing profession.
Along the way, she provided top-notch skilled nursing care to thousands of local patients in almost every imaginable setting. No task was too big, and no detail was too trivial for her to accomplish. Recognizing that even more care was needed, Ivenus Garcia was constantly looking for opportunities to provide greater service to her community. Relying on her early forays as a business owner to guide her, she became a co-owner and administrator of a successful healthcare company, Texas Guaranteed Home Health Care of Brenham.
She was and is just as prolific in walks of life beyond the nursing profession. A member of Zion Hill Baptist Church and a board member of the Bridge Ministry of Burton, Ivenus Garcia is a woman of God who is known for her leadership, faithfulness and dedication to family, friends, community, and church. She continues to live a life of service, compassion and love.
Ivenus Garcia married the love of her life, Lorenza Garcia, in 1958, and until his death they were married for 49 years. They have three children, David, Tiffany, and the late Deidra. She is a proud grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and beloved friend to many.
Ms. Esther Mae Hall
Esther Mae Hall has the distinction of being a 1968 graduate of Blinn College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program with the namesake of the “Celebrate Our Seniors” program, Thomye Delle Jameson-Ferguson-Burnett.
Esther Hall, the eldest of nine children, is the daughter of the late Willard and Earline Hall Sr. She graduated valedictorian from Goodwill Public High School in 1967. Being the oldest child, she often assumed responsibility for caring for her younger siblings. Additionally, her academic prowess in high school paved the way for future successes Combining these two attributes led to a very successful 46 year career in the healthcare profession.
Some of the medical institutions Esther Hall has served include Bohne Hospital, St. Jude Hospital, Sweetbriar Nursing Home, Kruse Village Nursing Home, and the Brenham State Supported Living Center. During her tenure with these medical facilities, she administered vaccinations and medications; provided healthcare and treatments
to patients; assisted physicians, radiologists, and other professional nurses; created and managed patient medical records; and performed countless other duties.
Being led by God, Esther Hall has not just served those with healthcare needs. She has served God and Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church for going on 65 years. This service began under the then pastoral leadership of Rev. H.H. Fletcher. At Goodwill MBC, she is active in numerous ministries, including serving in the choir and being its secretary, leading the Sunday School worship ministry as its secretary, being chairperson of the church program committee, performing as assistant church treasurer, and coordinator for all church announcements.
Amongst her many hobbies and pastimes are reading, cooking, watching soap operas, flower gardening, and spending time with family. Part of her favorite Bible Scripture includes “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34).
Ms. Lottie V. Hall
Lottie V. Hall. In 1949 God introduced Lottie Hall to her parents, the late Willard and Earline Hall, Sr. She is the second of nine children. Lottie Hall grew up in the Goodwill community of Washington County. At an early age, she came to understand the necessity of having a strong work ethic and an uncompromising moral code, of personal sacrificing one’s goals for the benefit of all, and of sharing the burdens of farm labor with her parents and siblings.
After graduating from Goodwill High School in 1967, she pursued higher education through Blinn College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) program. Graduating in the fall of 1969, she completed state LVN certification in the spring of 1970. Thereafter, she began a long career in the nursing profession, including service with Bohne Hospital (four years), St. Jude Hospital (two years), and the Brenham State Supported Learning Center (37 years). She carried into her profession those same traits she learned and exhibited as a child – honesty, integrity, commitment, and sacrifice.
In 2013 Lottie Hall retired from BSSLC. As was her goal when she started caring for patients in 1970, she contributed immeasurably to the care of our most vulnerable citizens – those with special needs and who cannot adequately care for themselves.
Contributing to the healthcare profession was not her only accomplishment, however. Her contributions also extend to her church and community. Lottie Hall continues to give her time, talent, and treasure, as well. Like her sisters, she has been a faithful member of Goodwill Baptist Church for over 60 years and has served in numerous roles, including Sunday School teacher and leadership in the choir.
Next to God, Lottie Hall is most proud of her family. An honored child, a nurturing sister, a devoted aunt and grandaunt, she is highly adored and respected by all. She is thankful to God for the joy and love they provide.
Proverbs 31, in part, summarizes her life: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. Her children rise up, and call her blessed. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”
Mrs. Robert Mae Johnson
Robert Mae Johnson, who was born in 1950, is the third of nine children of the late Willard and Earline Hall, Sr. Like her sisters, she grew up in the Goodwill community and its public schools. Unlike her sisters, she graduated from Brenham High School in 1968 after schools were desegregated her senior year.
Although it would appear that she was following in the footsteps of her two older sisters by going into nursing, she entered Blinn College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program on her own rights. The invaluable education and training she received became the foundation of her 43 years in the nursing profession. This included six years at St. Jude Hospital, ten years at Sweetbriar Nursing Home, and 37 years at the Brenham State Supported Living Center.
Throughout it all, Robert Mae Johnson was a well-respected nurse. She was detailed in everything she did; she was dependable in her actions; and she whole-heartedly-accepted responsibility and accountability for her work products. As such, Robert Mae Johnson was often called upon to train other nurses and direct care staff.
She truly enjoyed caring for people and treasured the relationships she established with her patients. She retired from the nursing profession in 2013.
Robert Mae Johnson carried those same characteristics into her spiritual and personal life. She confessed hope in Jesus Christ in 1960 at Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church and was baptized by Rev. Victor V. Walker. During her membership with Goodwill MBC, she served in integral roles in the Junior Mission and in the church choir, as well as serving as the church clerk for 25 years, while also serving on the finance and culinary committees. Robert Mae Johnson is presently a member of New Life Church of God, under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Albert Wright.
In 1979 Robert Mae Hall married the love of her life, Karl Johnson, and they recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They have one daughter, Jennifer (and husband Jamie), and two loving grandchildren, Evan and Avery. Besides interacting with her family and volunteering with her church and in the community, Robert Mae Johnson’s pastimes are cleaning, watching game shows, and caring for her lawn and flowers.
A child of God, she is guided by Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”