St. James resident, Carmalea Bentley, was chosen as Senior Companion of the Month at the May 20 Zoom in-service meeting hosted at the Phelps County Courthouse. Carmalea grew up in Salem with one brother.

St. James resident, Carmalea Bentley, was chosen as Senior Companion of the Month at the May 20 Zoom in-service meeting hosted at the Phelps County Courthouse. Carmalea grew up in Salem with one brother. From 1978 to 1980 she worked in Karlsruhe, Germany at a commissary. Later she worked at the Rawling's Factory in Licking, and at U.M.R  in the maintenance department.

At age 27, Carmalea’s husband passed away leaving her to raise a daughter, two sons and a step son by herself. She says she raised them in church and they all turned out well.

Carmalea joined the Senior Companion Program in April of 2008.  “It is human nature to reach out;” she says."I enjoy having purpose and having the camaraderie with my clients.  But most of all I enjoy making people laugh. One of my clients says she laughs till she pees when I come to see her.”     

Carmalea enjoys Blue Grass music, sewing gardening, canoeing, fishing and playing with her seven great grandchildren. Carmalea recently received a badge of honor from the Rolla city police for her kindness and service to others.       

As Senior Companion of the Month, Carmalea received a Sinks Pharmacy $10 gift card. 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 individuals. 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.