FORT WALTON BEACH — Kim Fraley, daughter of the late Ruth Lovejoy, recently began serving in her mother’s former role as executive director of Elder Services of Okaloosa County.
Lovejoy, who directed the nonprofit for more than 41 years, died at age 93 on May 13.
Fraley, who has served as the agency’s assistant director and in other positions for more than 39 years, was named its director by the Elder Services’ board of directors on May 28.
“And now my task is to carry on the legacy,” Fraley, 60, recently said from her office – her mother’s old office – at the Elder Services facility on Hospital Drive. “I have a real sense of what she was trying to accomplish.”
She said there is not a big gap between the duties of the assistant director and director, “so it is not an inordinate transition for me.”
For the past 12 years, Fraley had, in addition to her assistant director job, served as director of the agency’s Twin Cities Pavilion assisted living facility in Niceville.
She said no major changes are planned at this time for Twin Cities Pavilion or Elder Services’ other assisted living facility, the Crestview Manor. Lovejoy helped establish both of those facilities in the early 1980s.
Currently, Twin Cities Pavilion serves 47 seniors and has room for three more, while Crestview Manor serves 56 and has room for nine more.
Several weeks ago, Elder Services received a Florida Department of Transportation grant to pay for a bus for each of the two assisted living facilities. The buses will be used to take groups of seniors to various activities, Fraley said.
She also said that the United Way just awarded a grant to support Elder Services’ Meals on Wheels program.
Additionally, the local community responded to Elder Services’ recent call to help local elderly, frail and disabled residents beat the heat by donating more than 100 fans and about 12 window AC units. Call Elder Services at 850- 833-9165 for pickup details.
Fraley and her sister, Nicole Lovejoy, recently recalled with smiles and tears their mother’s passion and determination in leading numerous Elder Services’ programs during her long career.
“Now, she’s running heaven,” Nicole said.