Administrator named Ossian Fest grand marshal


Administrator named Ossian Fest grand marshal

Eileen Courtney will represent Ossian Fest this year as grand marshal.

Courtney is a community member who is passionate about Ossian Senior Hospice, as well as the work of the Crown Club Visioning Committee and the push for a Winneshiek County Medical Clinic in Ossian. 

She has been the administrator for Ossian Senior Hospice for 25 years. 

“It has gone by really fast. I tell everybody when people ask me, ‘How long have your worked here?’ I say 25 years, but I was in fourth grade when I started,” laughed Courtney.

As administrator, she oversees the entire function of the hospice. 

“You do everything. I have even worked in the kitchen, taken patients to appointments, and handed out mail,” described Courtney.

The hospice has 46 residents, including an area for dementia patients. 

In 2009, Courtney oversaw renovations that included a new kitchen, dining room, and two new patient rooms. 

While dedicated to the hospice, she remains modest about the work she does.

“I feel kind of guilty with it,” remarked the grand marshal in regard to her recent honor. “I feel like everybody here, we all work together. It’s not that I stand out more than anybody else.

“I feel like the queen of England; I get to ride in the parade and everyone else has to work,” chuckled the Ossian resident. 

Along with her job at the hospice, Courtney is a member of the Crown Club Visioning Committee, in which she is an advocate for the recreational trails and Carey Park. 

“It has become real interesting because we are elgible for grant money to improve and beautify the city,” Courtney said.

“Carey Park has needed attention for a while,” she added. She also has hopes to connect the Ossian trail with the Decorah bike trail.

Another big push in Courtney’s eyes is Winneshiek County Medical Clinic. 

After losing the services of Gundersen Health System, the hospice staff is now required to take lab tests to Decorah; and having someone right in town was nice, explained the administrator.

Courtney originally grew up in Waukon where she started her career with the elderly as office manager at North Gate Care Center. 

She was promoted to assistant administrator, at which time she went back to school for her administrator’s license.

Courtney heard of an opening for an administrator at Ossian Senior Hospice, and she applied. 

“I didn’t even know there was a nursing home in Ossian,” she recalled. “A friend had told me about it.

“It has a nice board, nice staff, wonderful families, and everyone is supportive,” Courtney continued. 

For the dedicated Ossian resident, working with the elderly was something she’d grown up with.

“My grandpa lived with us,” she recalled. Spending quite a bit of time with her grandfather and taking him places allowed Courtney to become very comfortable with the elderly. 

“I love to hear how things used to be and transpired,” she smiled. 

For this Waukon native, Ossian is a great place to be proud of and to call home.

“Everybody gets along with everybody. They’ve been very supportive of the hospice, and to think it has succeeded all these years,” closed Courtney.

Ossian Fest will be held on Saturday, Aug. 10. The parade will begin at 7 p.m.



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