She has cared for others for almost a century

Published 10:34 pm Thursday, April 21, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - For most 90-year-olds, taking care of other people usually isn't on their mind, they are usually being taken care of by someone else. But for Olove Colcord of Niles, doing things for others is just second nature.
For the majority of her life Olove has given her time and energy to volunteering with different organizations in the area.
In 1948, she took a job as a registered nurse with the American Cancer Society in Berrien County. The group wanted to do some sort of home care program, where nurses would go out and take care of sick patients.
Olove was put in charge of creating this group. "I really had no idea what I was doing when I was put in charge of creating this group," Olove said. "During my first year on the job, I held 179 different meetings educating people about their health, and only made eight house calls. "
Olove added that after meeting all of the people at the meeting, she found that there was a real need for a visiting nurse program in the area, sort of like what Hospice is today.
At the time the the American Cancer Society was really mainly interested in educating people, rather than service. So with the help of hundreds of volunteers, the Berrien County Cancer Service was started.
The group doesn't charge its patients for its services, and has offices located at 227 E. Main St., Room 202 in Niles and at 7301 Red Arrow Hwy in Stevensville.
Another group which Olove volunteers with is Love Inc., which is headquartered at the First Presbyterian Church in Niles. This is a group of local churches who have banded together to help residents of the community who have fallen through the cracks.
Olove was born and raised in Niles. She grew up on a farm on Ullery Road, with her two older brothers and parents Milton and Ethal Kelsey.
She attended the Electric Light School for eight years, and then Niles High School, from which she graduated in 1932. She went to work at Simplicity Pattern and later at Epworth Hospital, which is now Memorial Hospital. She graduated in 1937 from nursing school.
She was married to Chalmer Colcord for 56 years and the couple has one daughter, three granddaughters, and two great-granddaughters.
When Olove isn't volunteering she spends her time reading, and visiting with family and friends. She is also active at the First Presbyterian Church where she has been a member for 60 years. She is a member of the Red Hat Society, the American Legion, the Business and Professional Womens Association, and an antique club in South Bend, Ind.
Olove has two things in life that she thinks people really need to follow. The first being that it is very important to listen to what people are saying. You may not think it's worthwhile information at the time, but later you may need to use what you have heard.
The second thing Olove says you should do, is don't ever stay at a job your not happy at. It's not good for you or the people you work with.
Olove was recently recognized for her outstanding work in the community by the Alpha Lota State: Pi Chapter sorority, as the Community Woman of the Year for 2004-2005.