Surrounded by all 13 of her children, Spanish Fork resident Beverly Schofield was crowned Senior of the Year by the Spanish Fork Senior Center for her many years of service at the center and in the community.
Beverly, who is the current receptionist at the center, began going to the center 12 years ago to take her husband Patrick Schofield who had Parkinson’s disease. Beverly said that not long after going to the center, she stepped into her first volunteer position serving a meal, and soon after that, opportunities to serve continued to grow.
“After I had been volunteering for a year or so, they asked me if I would do the newsletter, and I did that for quite a few years,” Beverly recalled. “During that time, there was an assistant director who got really nervous talking to people, so she asked if I could get up and make announcements. It doesn’t bother me to do that, so I did that.”
As part of doing the announcements, Beverly took it upon herself to not only let those at the center know what was going on, but to make them smile. To do that, Beverly began telling a daily joke.
Beverly said that it was quite interesting to be the one up there conducting and making people laugh, because while it wasn’t totally out of her element, it was something that her husband did when they were first married.
“I actually met my husband at BYU, and he was the Master of Ceremonies for the BYU Program Bureau,” she recalled. “He would introduce groups and tell jokes, and that’s what I do right now. I started telling jokes and leading the announcement before my husband died, and he really liked it, so it’s kind of funny that I’m doing that now.”
Patrick passed away in 2016, and Beverly continued to do what also made her husband smile, which was interacting with people and telling jokes.
Beverly explained that during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, she and members at the center thought that it was important to continue to provide a service to those at the center, even though meeting in person was often difficult. In order to do this, they started a program on Spanish Fork City’s Channel 17.
“During Covid, the Senior Center decided that they needed to do something to connect with people, so they started a little program on Channel 17 every day at 9:30 a.m,” she said. “I let people know what’s going on at the Senior Center, and we have tips on how to take better care of yourself. We have somebody who’s a nurse who gives really good tips. We have people who get on there and show us exercises we can do to keep healthy, somebody reads stories, and I tell jokes!”
Beverly said that it is interesting now since she began telling jokes on Channel 17, that she gets recognized as “The joke lady.”
“I will go to the grocery store here in Spanish Fork, and people will stare at me and pretty soon they say, ‘Oh! I know you, don’t I?’ I’ll say, ‘Do you watch Channel 17?’ and they say, ‘Oh! That’s where I know you from!’”
Times and seasons
Beverly said that being awarded for her service to the community was really neat because as a mother of 13 children, she didn’t have many opportunities to serve outside of her home.
“I always felt like because I had such a large family that I didn’t get to do as much of that when I was having all of my kids, and I felt like that’s something I wanted to do,” she said. “It was fun. I loved having all my kids. It was wonderful – a dream really. I somehow thought thatI wouldn’t be able to have children, and so everyone was a miracle to me.
“I didn’t feel like I did enough for other people when I was having my kids because it’s full time when you have as many kids as we had. You have to make sure everything is happening that needs to happen, and support your husband and do the things that need to get done with whatever he does. So, yeah, I’m really appreciative of the time that I have that lets me be able to do some things for other people that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I didn’t have this time to myself.”
Many of Beverly’s children, including 52 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren live all around the country and even outside the United States. All 13 children came to see her be presented with the award, and she said that it was wonderful to have all of them there.
“All 13 kids showed up. One came from Vietnam to see me. I have kids who live in Texas, Iowa, California, Idaho, and Oregon, and one here in Utah. I’m trying to think of where else. Nobody lives here in Spanish Fork, but I have some in Utah,” she said.
She said that she can sometimes go many months without seeing any of her kids or grandkids, and that it has actually been since her husband passed away seven years ago when they were all together. Seeing all her kids together, she said, was truly a dream come true. She also said that she is grateful for the community in Spanish Fork and at the Senior Center for making her feel welcomed and needed.
“People ask me if I get lonely, and I say that I’m not really,” she said. “I love to be at the center. It’s good to stay active and have something to do. I look at other people who come to the center, and they love it. I think it’s great to get to know people and find out about them, and it makes them feel better about themselves to have someone asking about them. I feel really blessed with everything in my life.
“I work at the Senior Center three days a week, and usually on the other days that I don’t work, I at least get some time at the (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) temple. … I know I’m so blessed because every day of my life I’ve always woken with happiness. I mean, I just feel happy. So, I’m glad to be here.”
On behalf of the community, we at Serve Daily congratulate Beverly on her award, and thank her for her service.