Here are a few extensive quotes from family, friends and fellow servants of Eloisa Murphy, Hometown Hero.
“She works rings around everybody she goes full tilt all the time. Eloisa spoils everyone down in the (Senior Center) lunch room. Everyone is to get their own coffee, as it’s self-serve. But Eloisa spoils them by waiting on them, she knows all their personal cups. She happily caters to everyone. She sets up the dining room and delivers the meals and then picks up afterwords, those folks can get up and put their own plates and cups in the cart oh but oh, no, she has them absolutely spoiled! They all love her.
Last week we had pie shaped dessert, one person complained saying his piece was smaller. I brought my ruler so they could measure. You cut a pie across and across they got to be somewhere in the same size. Eloisa handles these fellows so well, she can put them in their place and they love it. They like her teasing and attention. When the cooks are shorthanded she’s right there to help them cut or help in any way they need. The whole place goes to pot on a rare day she cannot show up.”
– Carol Flynn, Senior meals site manager
“She’s energetic, enthusiastic, and a joy to be around. She’s dedicated to her volunteer job here: she rides the bus here every day or catches a ride because she doesn’t’ drive or have a car. She is committed to making it here every single day. Eloisa has a heart of gold and looks after everyone. If someone is missing their meal or needs a coffee refill, she is right there immediately. She could probably take on the best waitresses as I see her deliver three lunch plates on one arm and another two on the other. She has an instinctual energy that seems to scope out someone in need and she is there in a flash. She works five days a week each day. Amazing.”
– Debbie Met, Nutrition Services Senior Services
“She is sure a joy to know, friendly, polite, to all. She does so much at the Senior Center and dining room and kitchen, and she makes each and every one feel welcome. I always look forward to volunteering with her. She is a true dedicated volunteer and hometown hero.”
–Lucy Hansen, Senior Center and Thrift shop volunteer
“Eloisa has been volunteering for the Nutrition Program at the South Whidbey Center five days a week for the past 10 years. Some people will do anything for a free lunch! When I asked her why she volunteered for the Nutrition Program, this 78-years-young lady told me, ‘I like to wait on people, and I’ll try anything once!’”
– Geri Pilcher, Resource Development Specialist, Senior Services
“Generosity is first in her life. She gives until it hurts. She has a great love of God, and she is the ‘hands and feet’ of Jesus. She has endured many hardships yet has kept her zest for living. She hops up to get coffee before people know about it. If a person can’t eat something she’ll help out. One day she was unable to come in to the Senior Center. In order to replace her that day they had to get three other people to do the same volunteer job Eloisa does.”
– Tom Peterson, patron of the senior lunch
“She is daily on duty in the Senior Center dining room making sure everyone is welcome, has lunch to eat, and their coffee cups full. Come any holiday or special occasion she adds table decorations and window dressings. It wouldn’t be the same without her smile and good nature, each and every day.”
– Sheila Foster, community volunteer
“My neighbor is my clock … Eloisa leaves every morning off to the Senior Center at Bayview where she is on her feet all day and no job is too much for her to tackle. On a good day she returns about 2 p.m. She also is very close to her children; she has the closeness that every family wishes for. As a neighbor I relish watching the going and comings of her family knowing she had to be an attentive mother to have such love that they show each other. Her other family are the plants in her garden. She gives me a wave and smile as she is off doing something always for others. That wave and smile I cherish.”
– Marge Rosenthal, neighbor
“I have been a friend of Eloisa Murphy for over 15 years. She is the most kind and compassionate person you will ever meet. She is a wonderful mom, grandma, friend and volunteer. She is always there to lend a helping hand. If it be at the Senior Center serving lunch daily or Good Cheer activities, she’s there when needed. She is a faithful friend.”
– Terri Desrosiers, friend
“I’ve known Miss Murphy for about 13 years and she is without a doubt the most energetic person I’ve ever met. She is up and on the bus to the Senior Center every morning. She arrives with a smile and throws herself into the prep of meals, setup of the tables, serving coffee or anything else they may need. She has a large family she adores on the island and has time for each of them as well as the many families who’ve adopted Miss Murphy as their grandma.
– Kathie Olsen, friend
“Ever since I met Eloisa about 16 years ago, I have had a great admiration for her. She has been my role model because she is the person I would most like to be when I am old. She has unfathomable energy and always seems to be in a good mood. She attends Mass every Sunday. In the summer she often walks the mile from her home to ours to see us. And if there is work to be done, she always pitches right in. When we spent the summer painting the outside of the house, she was right there with us, paint brush in hand. She has a wonderful sense of humor and can take teasing as well as anyone. With Eloise, you can be yourself and not worry about offending her or have to treat her like a ‘senior citizen’. She takes care of herself and she takes care of others. And that is why when I think about what I want to be like when I am 78, I hope that I am like Eloise.”
– Bobbie Weitzel, friend