Journal Staff Writer

After 34 years of service with the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Eloise Coley retired on May 13. On Friday, May 27, family, friends, and co-workers gathered at Trilby Park Shelter House, 3125 Shawnee Rd., to celebrate that retirement, and the impact she had at her job.

Anita Coley, sister, told The Toledo Journal that the party would consist of dinner, dancing, presentations, and songs performed by family members.

“We’re giving this party for my sister because we love her,” Anita Coley said. She’s the eldest of 20 siblings, 11 of which are still living, so she was like a mother to us. And, although she was a really good worker at her job, she never neglected any of her family obligations,” she said.

Karen Sauer, co-worker, described Eloise Coley as, “Someone who was always reliable. Over the years, we became really good friends, and I think the world of her. She treated her co-workers, as well as those she served with the greatest of respect.”

Although she had only been in retirement for two weeks, Eloise Coley describes that time as, “Boring. I was actually going to stop by job last week, but something came up that prevented me.”

Not quite sure what she will do in her retirement, one thing is certain for Eloise Coley, and that is, she misses her co-workers, and those she served.

“The clients were great. They were like a second family,” she said.

Dr. Samuel Hancock, rehabilitator coordinator for Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, praised the work ethics of Eloise Coley, and described her as phenomenal person that can’t be replaced.

Eloise Coley, sitting right, shares a funny moment with her former supervisor, and friend, Dr. Samuel Coley, as Ellene Mayne, former co-worker, and friend, and Miller Watkins, brother-in-law, look on.

“Her work ethic was exceptional,” he said. “She was the only person I had under my supervision who never called off, and she was always there before I arrived,” Dr. Hancock said.

He went on to say that she truly loved those who she served. In fact, Dr. Hancock said, she would come out of her own pocket to provide various activities for the clients.

“When it came time for me to find a replacement for her, since she was retiring, I knew no one would be able to provide the type of service that Eloise gave the clients. Although they would receive, good care, Eloise’s service was unmatched. It was more than a job for her; it was a calling,” Dr. Hancock said.