Rose DeVinner, a blessing to many

Senior Center Manager Rose DeVinner tells the seniors about some interesting activities they can participate in. (Contributed/Hank Siegel)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

Rose DeVinner talks frequently about the many blessings we all share, but the Montevallo seniors would readily say this tiny, little lady who manages their center is one of the biggest blessings of all.

“Oh, everyone here loves Rose,” said Ann Cheney, who is a regular at the center. “We all know that she does a really good job, and she is so pleasant and so willing to help everyone.”

Rose was born in Montevallo 60-odd years ago in a little house behind the St. George Hotel on what is now the Bank Trust parking lot. She explained that life with her mother, grandmother and brother was wonderful there, right in the center of town, and at a time when neighbors were neighbors.

The family moved from that house when Rose was about 6 years old, and, for most of her life, they have lived on Shelby Street behind the Methodist parsonage.

When asked about her childhood, Rose, without hesitation, pronounced it “happy, a blessing and a joy.”

Along with her five brothers and seven sisters, Rose went to Almont Elementary and Prentice High School. On graduating from Prentice, she enrolled at Bessemer Tech looking for a degree as a certified nurse’s assistant, but through no fault of her own, her education was interrupted.

Rose has had several different jobs during her working years, all dealing with and serving people – a life of giving. She held positions as a nurse’s assistant at South Highlands, cared for residents at Knowlwood Assisted Living and was, for several years, a house parent at the University of Montevallo Speech and Hearing Center, where she especially loved working with the children.

Being Montevallo’s senior center manager tops that long list of the jobs that Rose has enjoyed.

“This is the best job I ever had,” she said. “It’s hard, and there’s lots to do, but I get to plan activities and entertainment for these folks, and I learn so much from them. I was very close to my grandmother; I loved her, and now these ladies remind me so much of her. It’s like having lots of grandmothers.”

Rose explained they usually have about 15-17 seniors come to the center every day for exercise, games, entertainment and lunch. Volunteers pick up and deliver meals to an additional 22 shut-ins. She is presently looking for a few more volunteers to maintain that service.

This sweet-spirited woman is never boastful about her work or her life, but the pride shows in her eyes when she talks about her children, son Charles and daughter Lisa, who both finished college. Their jobs took them out of town, but Rose keeps in close touch with them and with her 12-year-old grandson.

Catherine Legg can be reached at clegg2@bellsouth.net.