Former employees give to Christmas Happiness in honor of doctor

The 10 women who worked for years with the late Dr. R. Gordon Senter say he was an extraordinary physician, and a special person.

That’s why they donated $225 in his memory to the Christmas Happiness Fund, which helps make sure children from low-income Rowan County families get presents for Christmas.


The donation was to be in Senter’s honor after he fell 20 feet from a ladder while cleaning windows Nov. 18 at his Shortsail Road home in eastern Rowan County.

“At that time, things were looking fairly hopeful,” said Carol Palmer, who worked five years as a receptionist at Senter’s private practice in the Oak Hollow business center on Statesville Boulevard.

But he died last Tuesday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Palmer and Kim Johnson — Senter’s nurse for 15 years at the practice — spoke about him and why “the girls” who worked with the doctor thought so highly of him.

“I think he kind of nurtured sense of family in our office that’s carried over,” Palmer said, so much that they still gather regularly for lunch.

And it wasn’t just the people who worked alongside Senter who thought so much of him. Patients came from out of state to his rheumatology practice.

“He was the best doctor. He spent so much time with his patients,” Johnson said. “They loved him.”

Senter retired from private practice in 2006, then worked part time a couple of years with Rowan Diagnostics before retiring for good. But he was still helping patients, Palmer and Johnson said, continuing a tradition that included volunteering with A Storehouse for Jesus’ clinic, the Community Care Clinic, the county AIDS Task Force and First United Methodist Church’s Camp Discovery, as well as mission trips to Ghana, Africa.

“We just want everybody to know what a special, special person he was,” Johnson said, “and how he touched all our lives.”

The Christmas Happiness fund helps Rowan County families who are in need to buy gifts for their children. The contributions are collected at the Salisbury Post and listed in the paper each day. The Salvation Army of Rowan County distributes those funds. Families receive a $30 voucher to buy Christmas gifts for each child who qualifies.

The Salvation Army is holding additional application days this week at its office, 620 Bringle Ferry Road. The first round of applications were processed earlier this fall through the Christmas Bureau, which handles requests for several agencies.

This new Christmas Happiness application period is for families who have been burned out of their homes or face some other emergency situation. The Salvation Army will take applications 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. today through Thursday; and 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday.

Bring Christmas Happiness contributions to the Salisbury Post, 131 W. Innes St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or mail them to The Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund, P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, NC 28145-4639.

Make checks payable to the Christmas Happiness Fund and indicate how you wish your donations to be listed. Please write legibly to ensure that donations can be listed accurately.

Here are Monday’s donations:

Le Jeudi Book Club $335.00

In memory of Grayson by Lady, Dugan, Lucky, Juanita and LuLu $25.00

In memory of my parents, John and Dot Rebhan by Dottie Rebhan $25.00

In honor of our grandchildren, Harley and David Graham, Siera and Ethen Fesperman by Bettie and Harold Fesperman $100.00

In memory of my mother, Agnes Mixer by Bettie Fesperman $25.00

The Peripatetic Book Club $100.00

In honor of David, William, Will and Reese $100.00

In memory of Jimmie Loyd Young by his children, Debbie Childress, Steve Young and Roxanne Wiggins $25.00

In memory of Earl C. Alexander by Carolyn Alexander $100.00

Happy Hannukah and Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad by Emma and Maddie Labovite $50.00

In memory of H. David Goodman, Arthor Grimmie, Sr., The Rev. Uly H. Gooch, Ron Ball, Era Setzer and Everette L. Setzer and in honor of Shannon Adam, Terrica Campbell, The Rev. Don Chancellor, Barbara Franks, Jean Williams and Kathrin Williams by Mark Setzer $1.00

In memory of Melene Safrit by Glenn, Glenda and Tim. $25.00

Today’s Total $911.00

Grand Total $10,386.00

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