DAYTON - Senior Center Site Manager Nancy Cregan has left the center for a job closer to home.
Cregan, a resident of Fernley, is the new site manager for the Fernley Senior Center. Her first day was Monday.
"It was a really hard decision to make," said Cregan. "But it's closer to home and means two less hours of driving for me. The Fernley center is only about five minutes from my house."
Cregan took over in Dayton June 19, 1998, after Louise Dresselhaus retired. She was one of 17 applicants for the job.
"I was scared to death when I started back then. I knew I'd have some pretty tough shoes to fill following Louise.
"But the people here made it real easy for me. They have all been so nice and supportive from the get-go, I felt right at home after only a short while."
Cregan is no stranger to the Fernley center. She worked as a van driver for three and a half years, transporting members to the center and delivering Meals on Wheels. It was during that time she got to know most of the seniors that visited the center.
"I then quit that job and took six months off," said Cregan. "When I heard the Dayton position was open, I decided to fill out the application."
Cregan is replacing former manager DeAnna Farris, who retired. Farris was manager for 16 years.
"I'll hopefully retire from there also. Tom (Cregan's husband) and I figure in about five years we could possible retire. And the way time flies, it'll be here before you know it. Plus, with all the money I'm saving on gas, it might work out."
Cregan leaves with mixed emotions. She said she's happy she doesn't have to commute any longer and that it will save her $11 a day in gas. But many of the seniors and staff have become good friends and she will miss them, she said.
"I'm anxious and excited about going home. I'll be happy to work for the seniors. I do have a lot of friends at that center. On the other hand, I'm leaving friends, here.
"I'd like to see the three Lyon County centers work more together in the future. I have to keep in touch with the people in Dayton."
Cregan made it a point to visit with everyone who went to the center for lunch, by being the person who served the dessert.
"I found out the best way to mingle with everyone was to serve dessert. That way I can at least say something to everyone every day. I maybe say more to one person than another, but it worked out real well."
Cregan said she has fond memories of her time in Dayton, like the Halloween parties, the addition of activities at the center and the twice-weekly donations of baked goods from Smith's and Safeway.
"Every day has been memorable, though. Some of the things the seniors say make you feel so good. I want to say thank you to everyone for their support and appreciation, and especially the volunteers who have really helped me out a lot. They couldn't have made me feel more welcome than they did."