Bio: Kodl, Lynn – Retires from Oakbrook (Feb 2012)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Kodl, Meyer, Hoffman, Schmidt, Harycki, Steusser

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI) 2/29/2012

Oakbrook Nurse Retires (Lynn Kodl - 2012)

When Lynn Kodl tackled her first day of the new nursing home in Thorp, never would she have imagined that she would still be there 38 years later. Back then, in 1974, the new Thorp Care Center, built by Lynn’s dad of North Central Construction, was just opening its doors. Lynn recalled her first shift: “We didn’t have food yet for our three new residents, so I went to the store and bought a gallon of Ravioli!”

With Arlene Meyer as nursing home’s first Director of Nursing. Lynn felt quite comfortable during her first years amongst her and friends like Lucy Hoffman, Ruth Schmidt, and Peggy Harycki, as well as Sue Steusser who still works at the facility. In addition, Lynn’s mother worked there as an aide and her sisters followed her nursing path and worked there as LPN’s.

Life at the nursing home was different then though, as Lynn recalls. Residents weren’t as ill as they are now and were better able to care for themselves. It was more like a retirement home and residents saw their rooms as small apartments. Nearly all of the residents were from the community and were typically well known by staff upon admission. Today, Lynn says, the acuity is much higher and thus the demands on Oakbrook’s nurses are significantly greater. “The difference now is that residents have higher nursing needs, and everything has to be documented more carefully, which is an improvement,” Lynn explains. “We weren’t Medicare certified when we opened, like we are now,” which takes much more oversight, Lynn continues. “Nursing [at a nursing home] is physically harder and much more mentally challenging.”

Lynn says, she will miss everyone at Oakbrook but is looking forward to days (and nights – Lynn has been a night nurse) with her husband, who retired a couple of years ago. Camping at their permanent site at Otter Lake and enjoying the fire pit their children gave them are some of their plans during retirement. They also intend to garden, can, see the sights of Wisconsin, and dote on their granddaughters. “I know I won’t be able to stay away [from Oakbrook,]” Lynn smiles, thinking back over the past 38 years, “but I also know it’s my time to go.”

Staff and residents at Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation wish Nurse Lynn Kodl all the best and thank her for her nearly four decades of dedication to the nursing profession.



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