Houston woman named regional winner in state's Outstanding Older Worker Award

A Houston woman is the regional winner for the state’s 19th annual Missouri Outstanding Older Worker 2009 Award.

Wilma Dean Holder, a longtime daycare worker at First Baptist Church in Houston, was selected in a 12-county area in south-central Missouri. Fourteen people from across the state will travel Sept. 1 to Jefferson City to compete for the statewide award.

Holder was honored with a reception from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church.

Holder, who just turned 84, has worked at the Wee Care Daycare for 26 years – most of those years full time before taking part-time status. In nominating her, Director Missy Gayer wrote, “Wilma Dean always has a hug and a smile for every child. She has contributed unconditional love for every child that has ever attended Wee Care.”

She is a teacher for toddlers, who refer to her as “Mama Dean.” She has done it all: teaching, changing diapers and at one time, arrived at the daycare in her housecoat because a worker had overslept.

“There are so many thing that we can say about Wilma Dean. The one thing that comes to mind is she is an angel from heaven to help take care of God’s children,” wrote Gayer.

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