Elaine Gillis of Rolla was named Senior Companion of the Month for September at the Senior Companion in-service held Tuesday, Aug. 20 at the Phelps County Courthouse.

Gillis grew up in Southern California with one brother, two half brothers, a half sister and a step sister. After high school, Gillis got her nursing degree, moved to Cape Sear, North Carolina and went to work at the General Hospital.  She has worked in delivery and nursery as well as respiratory therapy, O.B triage for pregnant women, spinal cord injury, and head trauma. Gillis has also worked in Monett and at the Mt. Vernon Rehabilitation Hospital in Missouri. She worked in nursing 26 years.

Gillis has two sons; one which works at Missouri University of Science and Technology as a professor of mechanical and electrical engineering. The other son is retired army with a master’s degree in education. Gillis also has four grandsons, all which have various degrees.  One grandson, Carmon Gillis, ran for the senate seat for the 32nd district in Neosho. He did not win.

Gillis continues to serve her community through the Senior Companion Program.  “I love meeting people and hearing their stories,” she says. “I love helping people. I am a caregiver; that’s what I am. It makes me feel useful.” Gillis also enjoys crocheting, and reading.

As Senior Companion of the Month, Gillis received a floral arrangement donated from Blossom Basket Florist and a free $10 car wash from Cowtown Express Carwash USA.

The Senior Companion Program is sponsored by the Phelps County Commission, funded by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service as well as several local groups and individual.

If you know a Phelps County resident who might benefit from the services of a Senior Companion, or someone who is 55 or older who would like to become a Senior Companion, call 573-458-6180 for further information