CAMP VERDE - Last August, Cornville resident Howard Schwab sold his business, Schwab Heating and Cooling.
"I thought it was about time to retire," he says.
Six months later, his wife Donna retired.
That too, he says, was about time.
Donna chose Valentine's Day as her final day at Verde Valley Medical Center in Camp Verde. Donna says she will never forget her first day at the medical center, back in 1988.
"The people were amazing," Donna says. "To be able to help them, to listen to them when they talked. I always treated them like they were my grandparents. And they gave it back to me. The whole community here took me in and made me theirs. They were always there for me."
The oldest of 11 children, Donna grew up in a time when hard work was embraced, when a good work ethic was the only work ethic.
"It never bothered me to work," Donna says. "It's just what I did. And I enjoyed the patients so much. Every day was a new day. And most days, it was something good."
Donna spent 47 years as a radiological technologist, lab phlebotomist and EKG tech. She began her Verde Valley career at VVMC in Cottonwood, back when it was known as the Marcus J. Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Vacations were few for Donna and Howard. Not that they didn't want to go anyplace. Donna says they just didn't make the time.
"I never really took vacations," she says. "I'd normally take off a Friday and a Monday. The last 10, maybe 15 years, I'd take my two weeks straight."
Now that Donna and Howard are retired, they can catch up on their vacationing.
"Now that we have time to do it, that will be a never-ending story," Donna says.
The Schwabs say they enjoy hunting and fishing. And camping.
"To get into the woods, we love that," Donna says.
Howard and Donna also want to visit Alaska. But they haven't decided if they will take a cruise or if they will drive.
"Some day, we'll do it," Donna says. "We'll have a lot of fun. We won't need to take any time off [of work]. We can just pick up and go."
Donna, I remember when my dad would come see you and he would tell me, 'if Donna would quit taking my blood, I wouldn't need to keep getting transfusions!' Dad and I enjoyed you, your laughter, and care. You will be sorely missed. Enjoy your well deserved retirement!
Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Article comment by:
I just wanted to say Thank You so much for all of your years here in Camp Verde...you were always so pleasant and caring.....when my grandson was two years old, (he is now 19) you x-rayed his legs...the way you talked to him was amazing...he was not afraid at all thanks to you...when he got older, he always looked forward to having you do his blood work and x-rays...you talked to him about hunting and were so nice to us all...enjoy your retirement...you deserve it!!!