Nonagerian Evelyn Slaughter (right) receives a corsage from York Area Senior Center Coordinator Rose Suddarth. Suddarth has resigned her position at the senior center. She said the senior center’s celebration for patrons aged 90 and above was one of the highlights of her tenure.

YORK — The York Area Senior Center is looking for new leadership, as York Area Senior Center Coordinator Rose Suddarth has ended her tenure.

Suddarth said the decision to turn to the next chapter was partly due to a Lincoln-to-York commute. She said the 7 ½ years she was coordinator also fit right in with her life. However, her situation has changed, she said.

“My husband, J.B., and I built a new home and moved to the southwest Lincoln area,” Suddarth explained. “Driving on the interstate multiple times a week just isn’t my thing. It stresses me way too much.”

J.B. will continue working at Henderson State Bank, Suddarth said.

“Being at the Senior Center during the time I was -- it was perfect timing in my life,” she said. “My [daughters] had the opportunity to meet a lot of special people who took great interest in them during their teen years.”

Suddarth indicated leaving the York Area Senior Center was a difficult choice. “I’ll definitely miss my relationships I’ve developed with many of ‘my’ seniors,” she said. “Our talks and laughter around the tables and in classes will always make my heart smile.”

Senior center volunteer Ted Gulbrandson said that Suddarth was truly cut out to lead the senior center. “She has a super personality and works well with older people,” he said. “That’s kind of an art in itself.”

In addition to the friendships she fostered, keeping the York Area Senior Center on a tight budget was one of Suddarth’s contributions. She said it was important to “[Keep] things simple and [know] we don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep the facility going, In today’s world, there is way too much money being spent on over the top facilities, salaries….”

One of Suddarth’s thrifty successes focused on the wellness of ‘her’ seniors. “I have loved teaching the exercise class and offering it for free to our members,” she said.

Suddarth said that while keeping things cost effective is important, relationships were what mattered most to her. “I have loved listening to their life stories. There are many amazing people there who you can learn so much from.”

Much of the learning was mutual, thanks to Suddarth and other volunteers securing senior center programming.

“Different activities and events that go on draw in people of different interests,” Suddarth said. “The fashion shows were absolutely fantastic and fun. Celebrating the members in their 90’s last August was probably the most special event.”

Gulbrandson said special events like afternoon movies and organizing celebrations were something Suddarth took great care in. “She always took care of Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day,” he said. “It’s going to be hard to fill those shoes.”

Suddarth said she will continue working with seniors, saying that she has been offered opportunities to work with seniors in the Lincoln area. Even so, she said, the York Area Senior Center will continue to be in her life.

“J.B. and I have enjoyed supporting the Senior Center and will continue to do so,” Suddarth said. “It’s a vital part of the York community.

“There are so many things that have gone on at the facility before and while I was there. We will continue to hope more people will begin to realize and support it also by attending events, giving monetary contributions, renting the facility, or volunteering.”

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