Published August 24, 2017
ATHENS—Frankie Jones, of Oglethorpe County, and long-time St. Mary Hospital employee turned volunteer, was recently named St. Mary’s Foundation 2017 Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year.
Jones began working at the Athens hospital in 1950. During her initial years at St. Mary’s, Jones lived on the hospital property in a house that the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus operated as a residence for nurses. In her 46 years of employment, Jones served as a nursing assistant, radiology technologist and transcriptionist in laboratory, radiology and medical records.
“I just love St. Mary’s,” she said. “I thought, ‘I want to find a job I like and stick to it’, and that’s what I did. And then when I retired, I wanted to volunteer. I guess I just couldn’t stay away.”
After her retirement in 1996, Jones joined St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary. Today, 67 years after first becoming part of the St. Mary Hospital, Jones helps hospital visitors find their way to patient rooms, patient registration and other locations.
“Frankie is a jewel,” said the foundation’s director, Crysty Odom, who presented the award at the auxiliary’s spring luncheon earlier this year. “Her smile is just outstanding. She makes everyone feel welcome.”
Jones has the longest length of service with the hospital. Her 67 years surpasses Sister Sara, one of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who re-opened the hospital in 1938 and who has served continuously for more than 51 years.
The family ties between Jones and St. Mary’s run even deeper. Her daughter and son have been with the hospital and St. Mary Health Care Systems for 41 and 22 years, respectively. A third generation is now working there, with her granddaughter, nurse Sarah Stewart, working in St. Mary’s Family Birth Center.