Longtime Franciscan Health Crown Point volunteer celebrates her 100th birthday

By: Franciscan Health Last Updated: September 8, 2019

Plenty of people go to work on their birthday, but not everyone goes to work on their 100th birthday.

Franciscan Health Crown Point staff welcomed volunteer Sylvia Richardson with balloons, flowers and cake on Sept. 5 when she showed up for her usual Thursday shift at the hospital’s information desk, 100 years to the day since she was born in Gary.

Sylvia said she had already celebrated her birthday over the weekend with family, so she saw no reason to skip her usual duties at Franciscan Health Crown Point, where she’s volunteered for nearly three decades. Sister Marlene Shapley, vice president of mission integration, served cake to visitors who stopped by to wish Sylvia a happy birthday.

“She’s always here on time. She’s always bright and smiling. She’s a joy to work with,” said Bethel Griffin, director of volunteers at the Franciscan Health Crown Point information desk. “I called her last week to make sure she was going to be here, and I said, ‘Do I need to get a sub for you, seeing it’s going to be your birthday,’ and she said, ‘No, I’ll be there.’”

Sylvia has lived in Crown Point since 1948, raising her four children with her husband, Arthur. She now lives in an apartment near the hospital. Two daughters who still live in town drive her around, keeping her active. She said she enjoys “just keeping busy” with her volunteer work.