We’ve been introducing you to the various members of the Senior Center’s staff and today I want to introduce you to Bobbie Jean Doss. She is the Lead Cook at the Center and, if you’ve eaten here, you’ve probably seen her cooking and dishing out the food at lunch time. Bobbie not only cooks the food she also makes up the monthly menus and does the majority of the shopping. A lot of the dishes she makes are from her own tried and true recipes.

We’ve been introducing you to the various members of the Senior Center’s staff and today I want to introduce you to Bobbie Jean Doss. She is the Lead Cook at the Center and, if you’ve eaten here, you’ve probably seen her cooking and dishing out the food at lunch time. Bobbie not only cooks the food she also makes up the monthly menus and does the majority of the shopping. A lot of the dishes she makes are from her own tried and true recipes.

She has three siblings, a sister Kerry and 2 brothers, Mark and Ron. Her Dad moved around a lot finding jobs to feed his family and they settled in Colorado for a great part of her teenage years. When she was 18 she moved to Stroud, Oklahoma where her Mom was living and met the man who was to be her first love, Jim Milligan. He was in insurance and 6 months after they met, they were married. His work in insurance eventually led them to live in Mississippi. They had a daughter, Amanda who still lives in Oxford, Mississippi where she is a forensic scientist at “ole Miss”.

Bobbie worked in many commercial kitchens in places from Shoney’s to Cracker Barrel over the next 30 odd years and then her husband, Jim, was diagnosed with lung cancer. In 2000 Bobbie and Jim moved back to Oklahoma City where his family was from and Bobbie got a job at the Golden Kitchen in Midwest City. The doctors ultimately determined that Jim’s cancer was terminal and he was no longer able to work and was on hospice. While on her way home from work on November 27, 2006 she watched a car coming toward her hit an icy spot and hydroplane toward her. She aimed at the right side ditch and the car hit her head on causing the transmission to come through the floor boards. Her right leg was broken in 2 places; her foot was broken in 8 places and doctors told her she was lucky to be alive and that she would probably never walk again. She was house bound and unable to put any kind of pressure on her leg or foot for two months and for the next 14 months she was only able to stand and move with the use of crutches. It was a terrible accident but as Bobbie looks back on it now, she says it enabled her to spend the last year of Jim’s life with him.

After Jim’s death, Bobbie remained in Oklahoma City and, eventually, she was playing on her computer and found a website for a group called “Plenty of Fish”. It was a people organization and she checked it out. Some guy on it called, Rick, was checking it out also and they started typing back and forth. After several months of that they decided to meet. Rick lived and worked right here in Shawnee so they could meet and get to know each other. I’m assuming that worked cause on May 16, 2009 they were married in Oklahoma City. Rick moved to OKC and kept his job at the Firelake Casino in Shawnee. After the tornado in 2015 (the one that demolished the Shawnee Trailer Park) also hit their house in Oklahoma City Bobbie and Rick decided to move to Shawnee. They would be closer to work for Rick and his family, and where Bobbie could find a job. At the same time Jim Milligan’s brother was looking to move (Bobbie calls him her brother from a different mother) and thought Shawnee sounded great. Bobbie & Rick found a perfect house for the two of them and, amazingly so, the house right next door appeared to be the perfect house for Ron (her brother from a different Mother).

Bobbie came to work at the Center through an AARP work program and Kate offered her a job after she was finished with the program. Bobbie not only works in the kitchen but she also handles a craft class during the late spring thru early fall time of year. They’ve done “Pop Can Art”; making things out of glass dishes like bird baths; painting bottles with holiday themes and all sorts of artistic type endeavors that are fun to make and enjoy.

The next time you spot her in the Center (she’s usually wearing some kind of coordinating jaunty hat), say “hi” and find out what’s next for lunch and enjoy the smile you’ll get in return..

Now I just want to leave you with information on what’s going to be happening this upcoming week at the Center. This is a reminder notice to all Vets and their Spouses that the DAV’s (Disabled American Veterans) Van will be at the Center, in the parking lot, beginning at 9:00 in the morning on Thursday the 22nd of March. Any and all vets are welcome to see what Tom Smith, Chapter Service Officer, and his crew can do to help you get information on how to start a new claim or check on an existing one. Please remember to bring your DD214 with you so that they have the information they need to check on your existing claim or so they will be able to help you to initiate a new claim. They will be here from 9:00 in the morning until at least 3 in the afternoon, so come on down and check out what benefits you may be eligible for.

And as we’ve mentioned before as part of “Health Week” the Center is having a “Senior Stroll” on April 4th. There will be warm-up exercises in the front of the Municipal Auditorium starting at 5:00pm and the walk will begin around 5:30pm. There will be water stops along the way, and you can walk for the whole mile around downtown or do a half mile trek. There are still available sponsorships for the Senior Stroll pick up your phone and call the Senior Center at 878-1528 and let Kate help you to become a health week enthusiast.

Our Cruise Director Kate Joyce chats with “Mike in the Morning” every Wednesday at 8:35am on KGFF (FM 100.9 or AM 1450). They will be telling you all about what’s going on at the Shawnee Senior Center, so check it out and hear about what’s happening for yourselves.

And remember “Age is just a number” at the Shawnee Senior Center, so come for lunch and stay to play. Check out the new website at www.ShawneeSeniors.org and the new Facebook page at “Shawnee Senior Center”.

And, as always, SEE YOU AT THE CENTER!