9/19/2013 9:35:00 AM At care home, son carries on mother's 'legacy of love'
Marcey's Place photo
Diane Hager and Larry Etzel, manager and owner of a new adult care home in Sublimity.
SUBLIMITY — Marcey Etzel is surely smiling down on the new adult care home here that carries her name.
“This is mom’s legacy of love,” said Larry Etzel, her son and owner of Marcey’s Place. Larry opened a care facility where he hopes residents can live in comfort and peace, “just like home.”
“There wasn’t a person [my mother] didn’t like or who didn’t like her,” Etzel said. “This is my chance to return the love that mom shared.”
Marcey’s Place, which opened its doors in July, is a fitting tribute to the woman who raised her six children with Christian values and an abundance of love. She was a natural caregiver, tending to her own mother and father in their senior years. She also nursed her brother-in-law as he recovered from the shingles.
“She was there to help everybody,” Etzel said.
Marcella “Marcey” Etzel died at 83 in 2012, at her family farm just east of Stayton where she lived for more than 60 years.
“She taught us how to work by taking us to the berry patches and bean fields when we were young,” said Etzel, a former U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves pilot and commercial pilot for Continental Airlines and U.S. Airways.
Etzel returned home in 2005 to help his mother with the farm. Three years later, she took ill with viral meningitis and never fully recovered.
Marcey loved to unwind in her garden, canning and freezing all of its bounty. She was famous for her dill pickles and freezer jams. But at the center of her life was her relationship with God, and as a young mother, she led the family to recite the rosary almost every night after dinner. Her friends from St. Boniface Church were a huge part of her extended family, and that friendship extends now to guests at Marcey’s Place.
“This whole process has been a walk of faith,” Etzel said.
To help with his mother’s care, Etzel hired Diane Hager, who is now manager of Marcey’s Place.
“After eight months, I asked her if I ever opened an adult foster care home, would she manage it,” Etzel said. “After Mom died, I brought up the idea again.”
The idea took hold, and Marcey’s Place became a reality.
Hager found the house on Craigslist. It has just been taken off the market after 18 months with no offers. The owners still wanted to sell, and so Etzel’s real estate agent, Jon Heuberger negotiated the deal. Heuberger was so taken with Etzel’s mission that he donated his commission. Marcey’s former doctor, Dr. Claire King of Cascade Medical Clinic, has donated her time to help teach staff basic medical procedures.
The home’s first guest came on July 29.
Marcey’s Place has five guest bedrooms, two caretaker bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a secluded back yard with a deck and plenty of produce thriving in the garden. Etzel also provides farm-fresh produce for the home, which Hager loves to cook.
“They’ll always have good meals here,” she said.
Hager ran her own retirement home in Montana for 12 years. Her husband Luke will handle garden and house projects.
Marcey’s granddaughters, Katie Matheny and Heidi Etzel, created their own tributes to their grandmother by painting decorative murals on two walls of the house.
“This house is beautiful, but the real beauty here is the care, compassion and genuine love Diane has for the elderly,” Etzel said. “It’s a difficult transition from their own home to here, but Diane makes it easy.”
Etzel and the Hagers are looking forward to welcoming their next guests.
“We want to bring some of the gold back into their golden years,” Etzel said.
For information about Marcey’s Place, call 503-769-1313.