For more than 35 years, Springwell residents have rested well at night knowing that Edie Johnson was carefully watching over the campus as head of security.
Edie recently stepped down as Security Supervisor to spend more time with her daughters and grandchildren. She isn’t leaving Springwell just yet and will be working as a full-time security guard.
“I love Springwell, from the beginning to the end,” Edie said, shortly after getting off her 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift. “You become so attached to the families; they are like brothers and sisters, grandmothers and grandfathers.
“They’re all like family, and so are the employees. We all feel like family,” she said.
Edie’s Springwell story began in 1985 when she was laid off from her cashier job at the Kresge five-and-dime in downtown Baltimore. She was determined to find new work so her two young daughters could enjoy Christmas that year. Her sister-in-law was a supervisor at Springwell, then known as The Wesley, and encouraged her to apply for an open position in housekeeping.
Edie was hired on the spot — she remembers the exact date, Oct. 18, 1985. Over time, Edie moved from housekeeping to a security position, and then reception. She enjoyed working the night shift, moved back to security and was eventually promoted to manager and then supervisor.
“Edie is a great reflection of dedication and our mission which is impossible to achieve without engaged staff like her,” says Springwell Executive Director Phil Golden. “She also reflects our values of integrity, teamwork, friendliness and customer service.”
Supervisor Rick Altland worked with Edie from the early days of the Springwell Senior Living community and saw how she takes special pride in ensuring the residents live in a safe environment, but also making sure they enjoy living at the community.
“We’ve both seen many changes during our years together and had many experiences, some frustrating and some gratifying,” Altland recalled. “I think the most memorable involved a major second floor flood at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night with the entire dining room ceiling collapsing.”
As the sun rose on Sunday, the two completed their all-nighter and repairs before residents started their day.
“Edie has always been the force you could count on to get the job done,” he said. “When the chips were down, she always came through.”
Edie plans to use her extra time with her grandchildren, two girls and three boys. The youngest recently celebrated her 8th birthday. Not a fan of airplanes or ships, she also might take a road trip with her two sisters.
Whatever is next, Springwell will continue to be a big part of her life. “It’s just like home,” she says. “It really is.”
If you would like more information about Independent Living at Springwell, including how to schedule a tour or view a residence, please contact us today!