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Have your cake and clean up, too

IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, a church custodian celebrates a 50-year labor of love.

YAKIMA, Wash. — When it was all over, Joyce Edmondson did what she’s been doing for 50 years: She pulled out her vacuum cleaner and began to tidy up after the worship service. 


Since November 1964, Edmondson, 88, has served the Summit View Church of Christ as part-time custodian, cleaning up after the church’s members and keeping the building looking good for members and guests alike.
“She’s a hard worker, faithful in all she does and impeccably reliable,” said minister Kevin Jensen. “She shows her deep love for God and for the church through her diligent service week in and week out.”
Elder Gerry Sentel added: “She’s such a delightful, caring person. She loves serving her God.”
Recently, the Summit View church honored Edmondson with a 50th anniversary cake between Bible classes and worship on Sunday morning. Then, the elders surprised her at the start of worship with words of appreciation, a monetary gift from the church’s members, gift cards to one of her favorite restaurants and 50 balloons brought in by the church’s children and teens. Her daughter Connie McCloud and grandsons Brian McCloud and Michael McCloud were among those present.

Joyce Edmondson shows off the cake made in honor of her 50th anniversary as the Summit View church’s custodian. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

“I feel lucky. The good Lord’s blessed me,” Edmondson said. “And I’ve kept busy.”
Asked what motivates her, she replied, “I just like to have everything clean. I’ve just enjoyed doing it. And it’s helped me out, you know. Being active helps me more than anything.”
Her late husband, Ralph, began helping her when they married in 1974. He died in 2010.
Secretary Brenda Wardrip recalls a day a few years ago when Edmondson, recovering in the hospital after pacemaker surgery, called the church to make sure the diaper pail in the nursery and the waste basket in the communion preparation room had been emptied. Edmondson was concerned that people often forget to empty those particular receptacles. 
“Things that others don’t think about, she notices,” Wardrip notes. “One thing that amazes me about Joyce is that she can see a speck on the carpet from across the room.”

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