Frankie Jones, a native of Oglethorpe County, was recently named St. Mary’s Foundation 2017 Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year.
Jones, who was employed at the hospital before becoming a volunteer, first worked at St. Mary’s in 1950. 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 as a transcriptionist in the 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 and continues as a volunteer at the hospital’s Information Desk.
“Frankie is a jewel,” said Foundation 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. She is a hard worker and a dedicated volunteer. We are so happy to see her every single time she takes her seat at the Information Desk to welcome people to our hospital.”
As best as St. Mary’s Human Resources staff can determine, Jones has the greatest length of service of anyone who has ever been associated with St. Mary’s. Her 67 years surpass even Sister Sara, one of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who re-opened the hospital in 1938, who served continuously for more than 51 years.
The family ties between Jones and St. Mary’s run deeper than her own long tenure. Her daughter, Cindy Nunn of Jefferson, has been with St. Mary’s for 41 years and serves as the executive assistant for nursing. One of Jones’ sons, Phil Smith, who lives in Watkinsville, is Region Director of Supply Chain Management for St. Mary’s and has worked at the health care system for 22 years. Another daughter, Kim Stewart of Watkinsville, worked at St. Mary’s for several years, and a granddaughter, Sarah Stewart, recently became a registered nurse and now works in St. Mary’s Family Birth Center.