June 29, 2020

Vivian Hatwood, Leavitt Family Jewish Home Kitchen Manager/Assistant Director

Vivian was born in Worcester, MA and came to Springfield at the age of 4. She was educated in the Springfield public schools and graduated from Putnam Vocational High School, with an emphasis in fashion design. She soon began working at Buxton’s Leather Factory, followed by several years at the US Postal Service. Vivian and her husband Tony welcomed their first child, Shawna, in 1982, at which point Vivian stayed home to take care of her. Several years later, their son Glenn was born, followed by their youngest son Tyrell.

After years of raising her children, Vivian went back to work, now at Raymour and Flanagan as a Customer Service Manager. After 15 years, she left that position to go to Culinary School at Branford Hall in Springfield and graduated with a degree in culinary arts. While at school, she came to JGS LIfecare, to fulfill her internship requirement. Upon completion of her internship, then Food Director Tony DalZovo invited her to join the Dietary Department team, initially as a cook and subsequently as Kitchen Manager/Asst. Director. “At first I didn’t think I would like it here,” Vivian said. “ I had never spent any time in a Nursing Home and I didn’t think I would like it. But I’m still here!! And I do like it! The employees are helpful, I really enjoy what I am doing, and it’s been a place where I’ve learned and grown from the employees and the residents. I’ll never forget one resident, I think she was from Ireland, she shared with me her story about a near-death experience she had. She told me that she heard God tell her: I’ll be ready to take you Home to Me so long as you thank Me every day for waking you up every morning. So that’s what I have been doing,” the woman told Vivian. And Vivian, who says she too believes in a Higher Power, took on that same practice.  “That’s been my prayer on my way to work every morning,” she says with a smile, “ Thank you God for waking me up this morning.”

Vivian is a proud grandmother to two grandchildren:  Jamari in Atlanta, and Keligha who lives locally. Since she began her work at JGS, Vivian has been a devoted and highly respected member of the JGS Lifecare team. We are grateful for her leadership and her generous spirit!