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Beloved Phoenix Manager Retires

Last week we said goodbye to Pam Owen, Program Manager of Viking House for 15 years. 

She’s become a familiar face around Phoenix and it’s hard to see her go, but this month we had to say goodbye to  Program Manager Pam Owen. After nearly 15 years at Phoenix, Pam decided it was time to retire—taking with her a lifetime of memories and people she’ll never forget.

Pam joined Phoenix in December 2005 as Program Manager at Viking House. It was such a great fit that she’s been there ever since, building strong relationships with staff, several of them working alongside her since the beginning. Together, they have supported the individuals at Viking House, always giving them the best of care.

One of the Direct Support Professionals at Viking House put it this way: “I worked with Pam for over 11 years and she was the best manager I ever had! I am deeply grateful for our relationship and the support, honesty, and fun times we had. Pam was 100% committed to the Viking residents and they all loved her.”

Anyone can tell you how hands-on Pam was with the folks at Viking House. She’d be the first to jump up and volunteer for activities. She was always coming up with fun things for the folks in the home to do, especially during COVID times. And she always wanted to make sure the family members were a part of everything, whether that would mean sending them photos from the weekend or inviting them over for a barbecue.

Even when things didn’t go according to plan, Pam always made the best of it. Take Made in the Shade this year for example. Normally, staff and individuals from Phoenix head down to the lake for the annual 5k walk, run and roll, every September. Of course, due to COVID, the in-person event got canceled this year. However, that didn’t stop Pam from planning a fun afternoon picnic at a nearby park, in honor of Made in the Shade, where she barbequed lunch for the whole group.

And that’s just one example of Pam’s undying generosity and commitment to the individuals she supports. She’s never afraid to join the group and have a good time. She’s been known to host multiple birthday parties in one month for those at Viking House and would often join in on water gunfights and other party events, much to the delight of residents and staff alike.

Arlene, who lives at Viking House, agrees. She said she appreciates Pam because “She’s nice, and she dresses nice.” And the gals aren’t afraid to joke around with her either. The day before Pam’s retirement, Arlene told her “If you don’t come in tomorrow, I’m making chicken noodle soup out of you!”

Along the way, she’s also built friendships with the staff, many of them became like family to her.  “I will miss all the times Sue B. and I sat in Pam's office, and she would put up with us and embrace our antics,” said one of the DSPs. “Those are among many great memories I have of working with Pam at Viking. Viking was very blessed to have her for so many years.”

In retirement, Pam hopes to do more traveling and gardening in her spare time. “I look forward to spending more time with my family,” said Pam, whose extended family includes a husband of 49 years, 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren, as well as others who regard her as their ‘adopted’ mom and grandmother. “One of my favorite things to do is making Swedish Rosettes with one of my granddaughters, which is what I’ll be doing right away with her birthday coming up.”

Thank you, Pam, for all you have done for Phoenix over the years! You will be truly missed!

                              

                             

To thank Pam for her time here at Phoenix, they had a goodbye party at the house
and some of the leadership staff celebrated her with a drive-by parade on her last day.