MOUNT GILEAD — Whetstone Industries thanked Maggie Clark for her 43 years of service and teaching with a Disney cake and party. She was greeted with balloons and streamers in the cafeteria and then enjoyed a slide show of her past activities and adventures through the years at Whetstone.
Whetstone staff member Rosetta Canaday called it bittersweet. Everyone enjoyed the party, but Maggie Clark will surely be missed.
“Passion, that is the one word I would use to describe Maggie’s work for all the years she’s been here,” said Morrow County Developmental Disabilities Superintendent Nancy Foglesong.
“Immeasurable passion for her work — and her passion is never wavering.”
Clark talked about her time at Whetstone with six superintendents in several buildings on Main Street and at the Douglas Street location. She had a degree in elementary education when she began teaching adults at Whetstone.
“It hasn’t been work,” said Clark. “This is my mission field.”
When she came to Whetstone she was told that several adults in their 50’s wouldn’t be here long. She introduced them to crafts, socializing in the community and other activities. Then she saw them live and thrive into their 80’s.
A major project was working with the Whetstone Industries building on Douglas Street. She was there when the Community Improvement Corporation got the grant to build and when it was built, learned where every electric light socket and outlet was.
“I came with this building,” Clark said with a chuckle.
Another project Clark took on was making sure Whetstone adults could register to vote when they were denied the right several years ago. She also works to see they know the information on local issues. Through TV and social media they follow the presidential candidates and continue to register and vote as they are able.
Recently she works with individuals with extremely challenging disabilities. Often they can’t speak and Maggie and the staff work with their sensory abilities to learn what they like. Lately she has helped with the transition from working on furniture to the garden center at Whetstone Industries.
Fogelsong said that Clark is talented in many ways. “Maggie has been creative in working with crafts and very creative in coming up with ways to engage people in activities and she does it on a dime.”
Clark said she will continue in retirement with her volunteer work at the Morrow County Fair. That is her other passion. She has been involved with the fair for 44 years and this year worked on the garden at the north entrance and the new “Welcome to the Fair” sign. She is also a trustee for the Morrow County Historical Society and loves history.
They will also see her at Whetstone Industries as she continues as a volunteer. She has already signed on to go on a bowling outing.
“Maggie has been the heartbeat of Whetstone,” Fogelsong said. “And she has a heart of gold.”