As a hometown Naples’ girl, I grew up watching my little fishing village become the No.1 beach town, according to Travel and Leisure Magazine. I grew up in the downtown area of Naples; my mother was the Regional Leader of the Girl Scouts, housed right across the street from the Naples Woman’s Club. She knew well many of the NWC ladies in her day, and always supported their causes. Of course, I learned many lessons from mom, but in particular, I learned the lesson of sisterhood and the value of helping others.
I graduated from Barron Collier High School, and midway Florida Southwest State college was asked to wed. Married and raising a family, when Florida was feeling an economic decline, our decision was to buy a business out-of-state; we began to live 6 months, in the Midwest, as snowbirds. Living on a farm in Panora, Iowa, where the town motto is: “Big enough to serve you, small enough to know you” was a memorable time. I loved living in rural Iowa. As we built a business, I homeschooled our girls and cared for a farm, where I planted gardens, and enjoyed being a mom. To this day, I am happy to have had those years.
After my marriage ended, I found myself struggling economically and socially, so I returned to live in Naples, where I dove into many new adventures. I was a youth mentor at a local church; I earned my pilot’s license at Naples’ RexAir Flight School allowing me clearance to work on the airfield. Later a higher clearance to process private documents for pilot and school. Then, for a number of years, I handled four offices for NAPA, as their Human Resources Manager, evaluating employees for programs created to help them retain and continue their educations.
It was a fortunate match for me when I came to work at the Naples Woman’s Club. As the Office & Rental Administrator, my day to day activities are always exciting and rewarding. Working with you ladies makes me proud, and I thrive in this environment, where being part of the wonderful hearts in this club as a team effort, serving the lives of so many, is deeply fulfilling.
Thank you for letting me share a part of myself with you, my history, my growth, my pride and joys. I call Naples my home, along with my mother, Patricia Hamilton; my sisters, Dorothy and Marlo; my two grown daughters Brittany and Courtney; my two grand-darlings, Lorelai and Reese, and my pup Henry. As your NWC July Spotlight, it is fitting to also share that my youngest daughter serves as a Sargent in the Armed Forces, temporarily overseas in Germany.