Family ties are found throughout Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor. That was evident in this year’s Art is Ageless competition when two of the top prizes went to quilters with granddaughters on our staff: Elsie Tipton and Gerry Matney.
Elsie Tipton & Cammy Boone
Elsie’s Arkansas City home was always the family nerve center. She lives in town; most of them are in the country. Everyone is naturally drawn to Grandma’s.
Since Elsie moved to Presbyterian Manor in March, not much has changed. Elsie’s granddaughter, Health Services Director Cammy Boone, recently came up to visit and found her own mother dozing on the couch. Cammy’s teenage children come over after school and send their mom text messages that they’re upstairs at Grandma’s.
“Her house was always the stop-by spot for everybody, if you needed to change clothes before a meeting or if the kids needed to do their homework before practice. This is just four blocks away, and it’s continued to be the place for everybody to go,” Cammy said.
Elsie said it seemed only natural to move to Presbyterian Manor. Her sister is a resident. Her uncle and her husband’s aunt lived here too. And Elsie’s mother-in-law, Vera Tipton, lived here about 20 years ago — when Cammy was a CNA. In fact, Elsie used many of Vera’s handkerchiefs in her quilt “Buttons and Bows,” the Best in Show winner in our Art is Ageless competition this year.
“She didn’t go anywhere without a handkerchief in a pocket or two. She had 40-some when she passed away. Everyone said, ‘What are we going to do with all of them?'” Elsie said.
Years later, Elsie saw a handkerchief quilt in a magazine, and she went to work. Elsie had already made quilts for her seven great-granddaughters (one of them, Paige Bates, is a medication aide in our memory care neighborhood). “When I made this one, everyone asked me, ‘Who’s going to get this?’ I said ‘I guess it’s the first one who has a girl!'”
This fall, the question may be settled: that’s when Elsie’s first great-great-grandbaby is due.
Gerry Matney & Casey Zavala
Gerry started quilting about 15 years ago after her husband died, although she has been sewing most of her life. All of Gerry’s granddaughters now have one of her creations. One of them, Casey Zavala, is a medication aide in memory care at Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor.
This year, she insisted her grandmother enter the quilt she made for Casey in the Art is Ageless competition. Gerry’s entry, “Handmade Quilt,” came away with first prize in the quilting category and received the Judges Choice award as well.
“She was very surprised,” Casey said. “She said, ‘I really didn’t think I was going to win anything, especially on that one,” because she felt she had made some mistakes on it.