Mothers are the kind, generous and loving individuals who guide and care for us throughout our lives. Whether offering words of encouragement, providing sage advice or helping us through our best and worst days, the bond between a mother and child is unlike any other. For one family, close mother-daughter relationships have positively impacted a community for nearly a century.
For over 90 years, four generations of the Goepfert/Vantine family have served families, patients and residents at Concordia at Cabot.
Summer Vantine is the youngest in the line of four women who have worked for the organization since her great-grandmother, Mabel Goepfert, was employed as a food preparer in 1928.
Creating her own legacy as a Registered Nurse who treats patients and supervises staff in the Lund Care Center at Concordia at Cabot, Summer furthers her family’s mission by serving others each day.
“I’ve taken care of a lot of patients who are very sick,” Summer said. “The thing that I enjoy most is making it easier for patients by helping them through a difficult time.”
Beginning in 2009, Summer worked as a nurse aide while in high school, knowing that her calling was to enter a profession dedicated to helping others.
“The best thing about Concordia is that they are very personable compared to other health care organizations,” Summer said. “I hope to continue to grow here.”
When she isn’t spending time with patients or studying for classes, Summer collects records to add to her expanding vinyl collection – a hobby she started in high school.
“I have over 1,000 pieces of vinyl so far,” Summer remarked. “I started after my history teacher introduced me to it. I love the sound of the songs – it’s so unique.”
Summer’s personal story however, is only one small part of a much larger tale.
Her mother, Loraine Vantine, is a Resident Coordinator at Concordia at Cabot. She began working with the organization in 2011 as an administrative assistant at Concordia at Rebecca Residence, and continued to take on different roles. She was promoted once again in 2017 to her current position.
“Working with the residents in Haven I is like being at home,” Loraine said. “They are an extension of my family and it’s a wonderful blessing to serve them.”
Loraine noted that one of the best things about working with her daughter is being able to witness her accomplishments.
“I’m very proud of Summer and her dedication to Concordia,” Loraine beamed. “When one of my residents tells me they had Summer as their nurse it makes me smile.”
To add to that pride, Loraine has another daughter, Sheila, who is also a nurse and worked for a period of time for Concordia. Summer observed that one of the best things about working at the same organization as her mother, is being able to pick up the phone and dial her extension.
“It’s great,” Summer said. “I know her number by heart.”
Interestingly, one of Loraine’s fondest memories with her own mother, Irma Goepfert, happened when Irma was employed at Concordia as a dietary aid from January 1971 to August 1995.
“The phone number for Concordia is still the same number as it was in 1971,” Loraine said with a smile. “I will never forget it because I called my mom all of the time at work when I was little.”
Born and raised in Berlin, Germany during WWII, Irma Goepfert met Loraine’s father, Laverne Goepfert, while he was enlisted in the United States Army.
“After she met my father, they had my sister Eleanor and relocated to Cabot after the war,” Loraine said.
Loraine observed that one of her mother’s favorite hobbies was gardening.
“She loved to garden,” Loraine said. “She was also very attached to her residents and co-workers.”
Summer was only two when her grandmother passed and learned about Irma’s legacy through Loraine.
“The unique thing about working here is that I still run into people who worked with my grandmother,” Summer explained. “I get to learn things about her that I never knew, it’s very special.”
Loraine also heard stories about her mother from residents and staff who knew her well.
“When people describe her work ethic it makes me proud to be a part of the Concordia legacy,” Loraine noted.
Irma’s story however, is not the original chapter in the narrative.
Before Irma began working at Concordia, her mother-in-law Mabel Goepfert, was employed as a food preparer from 1928 to 1931.
“My grandmother, Mabel, was well-known for her cake-making skills,” Loraine said. “She made wedding cakes for many Concordia couples, and was featured in the local newspaper for making a duplicate cake of St. Luke Lutheran Church on Hannahstown Road.”
Mabel lived with her husband Henry Goepfert, and their three children, Karl, Joan and Laverne in Cabot on Marwood Road.
“I’m proud to work at the same place as my daughter, mom and grandmother,” Loraine said. “Whenever I tell people our family story and that my daughter Summer works here too – their faces light up.”
To all of the wonderful mothers and mother-figures who give so much each day, thank you for your compassion, kindness and caring. If you have a unique Mother’s Day story, share it with us in the comments below.
For more information on career opportunities at any of the Concordia locations in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio or Tampa, Florida, visit www.ConcordiaCareers.org or call our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571.
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