News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 11, 2018
Maintenance director retires from Island Nursing Home

End of an era

Longtime maintenance director Ed Faulkingham retired from the Island Nursing Home on October 5. A party was held on his last day, with friends, family, colleagues and residents all in attendance.

Photo courtesy of Deena Staples

by Monique Labbe

Just six weeks shy of his 36th anniversary at the Island Nursing Home, maintenance supervisor Ed Faulkingham walked out of the building with that title for the last time on October 5.

Faulkingham was part of the original team when the nursing home opened 36 years ago. In fact, he started working in the building before its official opening, making sure all the piping, heating and plumbing was up to snuff before the grand opening.

Three days before his retirement, Faulkingham was still fixing sinks in some of the rooms, not yet able to give up fixing things inside a building he said feels like a second home.

“When you work somewhere for 36 years, it’s almost like it’s your home,” he said. “Some times it feels like I spend more time here than my actual home.”

Faulkingham said he has only missed a handful of days due to sickness during his time at the nursing home, and he has “never been home” during a snowstorm, but instead at work plowing the driveway and parking lot.

“I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with myself after this,” he said with a laugh.

Faulkingham said he plans on keeping himself busy during his retirement, as he also has a side business for heating and plumbing. That will allow him to still work while keeping time open for his grandchildren, who live on the island and in Ellsworth.

“If I want to go to a soccer game, I’ll be able to do that,” he said. “I’ll have a little more time now.”

While he has loved his time spent maintaining the building and keeping things running smoothly, Faulkingham said it has been the residents he will miss the most.

“I’ve grown close to many of them,” he said. “There are some I like to tease, and you learn very quickly which ones you can do that with. Some of them, if I get busy and I haven’t been able to give them a hard time in a couple days, they stop me in the hall and ask why I haven’t teased them lately. They love it.”

As the employee who was there the longest, Faulkingham has seen changes in staff and administration, as well as shifts in how things are managed through paperwork.

“I’ve been here since the first board of directors. Some of them have been great, others not so great, but overall, everyone has been so good to me here,” he said. “I will miss them all very much.”

Faulkingham added that while it will be an adjustment, he is looking forward to more time spent with his family, and to be a little “less attached” to his work.

“I have gone 36 years with a pager attached to my side,” he said. “I won’t have that anymore.”

A retirement party was held for Faulkingham at the nursing home on his final day of employment.

Faulkingham’s family has planned a party, scheduled from 6-8 p.m. on October 12 at the “Family Church” in Sunset.