Thursday, April 2, 2009

The end girl

Our beloved coworker, Donnamarie Jones, was laid to rest Tuesday after a courageous battle with cancer. Donna worked for LPD for over 30 years, the past 15 as a supervisor at our Service Desk. She was an example to all with her patient and professional interactions with the people involved in all manner of human dramas that land at the police Service Desk. Donna had a keen sense of humor, a broad smile, and an optimistic outlook to the very end. She will be sorely missed.

Back in the late 1960’s, Donna worked with Joyce Wagner, my mother-in-law, at Russell Stover Candies—located in Lincoln’s Haymarket area in the buildings currently occupied by The Oven and several other restaurants. They worked on the packing line, where boxes came by on a conveyer belt and were filled with chocolate butter creams and caramels, maple nut chews and Roman nougats. It was intense work, requiring the workers to identify each chocolate by the unique swirl on the top, and pack them into the proper spots in the box quickly and continuously. The line kept moving and the conveyer was unrelenting.

Donnamarie was the end girl. The end girl was the fastest, smoothest, and most skilled packer. She was there at the end of the line to catch the misses and the mistakes, to make sure that no one failed or got in trouble, and that all the customers got a perfect box of chocolates.

Come to think of it, that is pretty much the same thing she did for 32 years at the Lincoln Police Department.


11 comments:

JIM J said...

My Uncle John has cancer too. He has refused any further treatments every sence removing a softball size melenoma off his arm three years ago. Right away the nursing home wanted him and he refused. He has surpassed what the doctors have said. They said about twelve months to live. I think treating cancer makes it spred like wild. I guess this proves God chooses us and we dont choose God.

JIM J said...

PS, My mother worked at stovers too, about the same time you said mother in law was working there. You did not mention the roaches and bugs.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, while I only had occasion to call the service desk a couple of times over the years, I always received polite and courteous service at the other end of the line.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute to a wonderful co-worker.

Anonymous said...

What a nice tribute.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including Donna's photo, I miss her bubbling personality and that laugh of hers. Great job, as usual, by the staff of the Service Desk covering the hours. Thanks to Cheri & Kathleen for their care of Donna and all those who came to visit her.

car54 said...

And another bright star disappears from our view.

Steve said...

I would imagine the number of former Stover's employees is dwindling rapidly; however, my mother worked there too and is still with us. I remember her bringing home the "seconds" and always being able to tell us what was inside by the design on top.

Ah, the good old days!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Chief for including this about Donna on your blog. She was/is one of the most amazing people I've ever known. I appreciate everyday that I was lucky enough to work for her.

Anonymous said...

Among a great deal of other things Donna was a softball umpire for many years around Lincoln. My daughter played during that time.
At one of those more intense games in the heat of a summer day Donna had to make a very close call at second base that resulted in my daugher being called out. Said daughter jumped up and complained bitterly of Donna's "error" in judgement. Donna calmly walked over to her and quietly said to her, "when YOUR the umpire, you will have to make the right call even if your wrong." The look on my daughters face was priceless and I never did hear her complain about an umpire call again all the time she played in high school or college.

Donna knew how to get her message across even when the intended reciever did not intend to listen.

She was responsible for teaching a number of people life lessons.

Judy said...

I know this is late, but I just found out about Donna's passing. What a great person she was. We umpired together for many many years. I'm sure she is sorely missed by many people. Rest in peace, my friend.