Calvin Dean Floyd Retires

Click image to start slideshow

Have you met Calvin? No? You, my friend, are a rarity. (Or you are a very new resident!) Everyone knows Calvin. But did you know that Calvin has worked for Sunnyside since December 1970?

Calvin grew up in Stokesville and had never heard of Sunnyside until he volunteered to move some plants for Georgia Brown. Calvin’s family assisted in moving Georgia to Sunnyside. Georgia was Sam Shrum’s sister. Sam was on the board and was instrumental in hiring Calvin here at Sunnyside. He was hired by Dr. Cobb and started working in Grounds. He said he helped housekeeping on rainy days. He also took residents to their doctor’s appointments and picked up the mail.

At that time, Sunnyside consisted of 12 houses, an assisted living facility, and the infirmary. There were only two employees working in Grounds.

Calvin has had a lifelong passion for growing things. He has earned a Certificate in Horticulture. He began his working career in an apple orchard. He wanted a career in horticulture and was attending Blue Ridge College while working at Sunnyside. In his words, “I found out it would take too long to get into the career field I wanted. One thing led to another, so I decided to stay here.

Ten years later, he married a nurse’s aide working in Health Care. He laughed and said, “She’s still there!” They had one daughter, who provided him with four grandchildren: three girls and a boy. He carries to this day the grief from the death of his grandson.

Calvin’s job has changed over the years, along with the changes at Sunnyside. He has particularly enjoyed working with the plants here. If you ask him, he can tell you things about plants that you would never guess.

Calvin, who now works in the Highlands, is always greeted by the residents with a smile. That must be because he enjoys his work. He commented that his greatest accomplishment at Sunnyside was just helping, “even if I am not supposed to!” He remembered coming out of the Chapel one day when he saw a resident starting to fall. He scooped her up and carried her to her room. He said she would never let him forget it and mentioned it every time she saw him.

He attributed his long and positive career to getting along with everyone and, when he did not agree with a decision, he kept his mouth shut and went on. He was encouraged in his long career at Sunnyside by Mr. Shrum and Martin Bratcher.

He said he enjoyed Sunnyside because of the residents: he enjoyed doing anything he could for them. If he could not help, then he would find someone who could. He enjoyed working for the Grounds Department and especially the way Sunnyside would decorate for Christmas.

After he was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, Calvin started thinking that maybe it might be time to think about retiring. He knew he had to lose weight, and he had surgery to accomplish that. He had to slow down. He has lost so many resident friends who have gone on. He will retire on March 17, 2017, on his birthday.

He will miss the residents, the grounds, and being able to help residents with planning their gardens. He will miss Robert Shenk and Steve Figgett. They have been friends for a long time.

What he won’t miss is coming to work in snow and ice!

Calvin plans to have fun. He will be volunteering for catering, making cookies, and helping his wife’s cousin who works in the greenhouse at the East Rock High School. He wants to teach the students how to raise certain plants. And, he wants to enjoy those grandchildren!


--Kat Marlowe