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The ground breaking for The Good Samaritan’s Society Prophets Riverview Center in Prophetstown on July 10, 1966. The 5 acres of land was donated by James B. Mosher.
Good Samaritan; The Beginning00:00 AM October 05, 2017
For 50 years the Good Samaritan's Prophet Riverview Center has been serving the needs of the aged in the Prophetstown and surrounding area. On Saturday the center will be celebrating those many years of operation with activities beginning at Noon and running until 3 :00. The party will include a meal served from 12:00-1:30, a program at 1:00, then live music by the Reflex Blues Band, carnival games, photo booth, and face painting from 1:30-3.
Most area residents have had some experience with the facility, perhaps entrusting a loved one to their care, visiting a friend or relative, entertaining the residents with a song or a game, or perhaps visiting as a child to just share a smile and a few moments of time.
One area woman has a very special connection with the facility not only now, but when it was first opened in 1967. Joyce McCracken's husband, Marlyn, was the first administrator of the center and she was right there with him not only as a spouse, but as a caregiver herself.
Joyce moved back to Prophetstown in 2011 after leaving the area when her husband was transferred to help run a another facility for the Good Sarmatian organization. Her son Paul still lives in Prophetstown and she spent some time sharing her memories with Aroundptown when the facility welcomed its first residents. Joyce has come full circle with Good Sam as she is now a resident at Prophet Manor Apartments, which is run by The Good Samaritan Society.
Marlyn McCracken was working at a grocery store in Lincoln, Nebraska as a department manager and was married to Joyce who had received her LPN certification. He developed some back issues which caused him to look for another line of work. He applied for and received a job as the business manager of a nursing home called the Tabitha Home. Even though he had no degree the skill set he developed at his previous job made him a perfect fit.
Marlyn went on to be hired by the Good Samaritan Society and was sent to Clinton, Minnesota for three years before being called to open the Prophetstown facility. Joyce said the Prophetstown home was born out of a desire by local residents to have a place for the aged. The group decided to contact the Good Samaritan Society as it was growing rapidly at the time building facilities throughout the Midwest and a deal was struck.
The McCrackens met the founder of the society, August "Dad" Hoeger, many times during their time working for Good Sam, which built its first home in 1922 in Arthur, North Dakota. The society is Christian based with their mission in part reading."Because the teachings of Jesus would guide our actions, people would care for each other, everyone would be welcomed, bills would get paid, lives would be changed, and everything would just, "workout."
The local facility also gave rise in those early years to Winning Wheels. The idea came from two young men who were quadriplegics and wanted a facility more geared to young people with disabilities. Winning Wheels eventually built a facility on the east side of Prophetstown and serves the needs of residents from all over the United States.
Joyce said that the entire family was involved in the opening of Riverview Center recalling that son Paul helped assemble the beds as they arrived at the location. Joyce filled in as needed working various shifts and "just doing whatever needed to be done." Local resident Connie Johnson was the first Director of Nursing at the facility.
Joyce also recalled that the Paxton sisters, who were among the first residents, brought a lot of supplies for their hand made crafts assuming they would have plenty of idle time on their hands, but later told her, they were kept too busy to do their hand work.
After a three year stay the McCrackens were called to Des Moines to run a facility and eventually ended up at a facility in Villisca, Iowa. Marlyn passed a way of heart problems at the age of 58. While it was a shock for Joyce she continued her life of service to others helping her family by moving to their towns and helping in their times of need. She eventually found her way back to Prophetstown after overseeing the selling of the family farm in Minnesota.
The facility has served the area well providing good care and employment to hundreds over the past 50 years. Joyce added that the facility has changed a lot since its opening, but the mission remains the same, providing care to those in need in a Christian environment.
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