Charles Hise retires after 17 years

Published 3:15 am Saturday, December 12, 2009

Scurrying around Park Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Friday morning, employees covered red or green T-shirts with “Charlie’s Angels” printed across the front, hiding the emblem from administrator Charles Hise.

At the Christmas luncheon that afternoon, the staff had prepared a special tribute to Hise for his 17 years of dedicated service with the center.

And he had no idea.

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“I like the T-shirts,” Hise said. “Oh, I just read them. Cool.” Maintenance worker Latrell Richardson designed the shirts.

“We wanted to do something to make him laugh,” said Beverly Parker, activity director.

“We’ve got his back,” Parker said, striking a classic Charlie’s Angels pose.

As Hise walked arm in arm with Gloria Buford, passing beneath a large sign labeled “World’s greatest boss, we love you ‘Big Dawg,’” he fought back tears of joy. Staff members refer to Hise as big dawg because “he is always out with us in the halls,” Parker said. “His door is never closed. That’s why we call him big dawg.” Hise believes the nickname started after he commented that “it ain’t over until the big dog barks,” Hise said.

“This has been quite a shock,” Hise said. “I don’t know when I have ever been more surprised.” As Hise continued to speak to the crowd, he paused momentarily, this time letting tears fall. “I want to thank each and every one of you for what you have done

But the planning committee had more surprises than just the event to honor Hise. Three former co-workers who were influential for Hise drove in from Huntsville, and Hise’s son Chuck Hise flew in from a business trip in Seattle. Elaine McTigue worked with Hise from 1975 to 1978 as a medical record personnel in the business office at one of Hise’s former nursing homes. Pauline McComb was the housekeeping supervisor under Hise from 1969 to 1971 in Huntsville. Carrie Horton worked with Hise as the certified nursing assistant from 1968 to 1985 in Huntsville. “We needed to come surprise him,” Horton said. “He was a good boss.”

“These are very dear friends of mine and I’ve been fortunate to work with some very wonderful people over my years,” Hise said.

Hise had worked with a plethora of nursing homes in the Huntsville area, as well as Augusta, Ga., Nashville, Tenn., Birmingham and finally Park Place NRC in Selma. “Y’all just don’t know what a jewel you have,” McComb said.

City Council president Dr. Geraldine Allen presented Hise with a resolution to recognize and honor him. The resolution was read at the City Council meeting on Dec. 10.

“I’m just thankful for the people I work with and the job I do everyday,” Hise said. “We’re just a simple, carding nursing home taking care of grandparents.”

Park Place has 103 residents with 4 outdoor porches, a beauty salon, physical and occupational therapy rooms for the residents. The facility opened in February 2004. Prior to this, residents lived at Dunn Nursing Home on Mabry Street.