A Member of the Family

This week, I’m not going to talk about our industry or our business. I’m going to talk about our family.

We always say that we’re a big family here; I hear that from staff members all the time. When one of us is hurting, we’re all hurting; when one of us succeeds, I feel like it’s a success for everyone.

Yesterday we lost a dear family member—Debbie Wilson. And I’m as upset about the loss as I would be if we had grown up together.

Debbie was one of my heroes. That’s pretty high praise, but I mean it. I’m sorry that I didn’t tell her when I could. I’ve known Debbie for nine years…ever since our merger in 2000. Back then, Debbie worked for the Marva association, and she was the board secretary and assistant to the CEO. Obviously, that role changed after our merger, and Debbie took on her new role with her trademark cheerfulness.

I’m not sure if the move bothered her, or if she had any difficulties with the transition. If she did, she didn’t show it.

In the past few years, Debbie’s role has changed again and again. When we needed help, she pitched in and did it with a smile. Need to scan in a couple thousand loan docs? There was Debbie at the scanner, joking about the job, making everyone smile who walked past.

In the last few years, Debbie pitched in to help the appraisal department in Delmarva. As usual, Debbie handled this change, too, with grace and a positive attitude. In fact, Debbie always seemed happy to me…and when I heard her trademark giggle, I was happy as well.

We lost her giggle this week. We lost her great sense of fun. And most importantly, we lost a member of our team, and a dear member of our family.

I wish that I could handle this change as well as she could have.


PS—If you didn’t know Debbie personally, she is leaving behind a husband and a son in his early twenties. And, of course, a whole family of grieving co-workers.

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