Leoto Courtney was recognized this month as a 25-year member of Raymondville Senior Housing. Pictured are, from left: Tilitha Waicekauskas, site manager; Courtney; and Sherry Hughes, rural development specialist.

A longtime tenant at Raymondville Senior Housing was recognized this month as a 25-year resident.

Leota Courtney was among the first moving into the complex and the youngest of the original tenants. She was the only one at that time who came by reason of disability instead of age.

At 85 years old, Courtney has the distinction of being the oldest resident as well as the one who has resided longest in the apartments. A celebration was held at the community room with refreshments and plaques presented by the board of directors and rural development.

Courtney moved into the complex March 5, 1985.

“In spite of her disability, Leota has been one of the busiest people I know,” said Tilitha Waicekauskas, manager of Raymondville Senior Housing. “She keeps her apartment spotless with no help. Through the years, she has also cleaned the community building most of the time and has done more than her share to keep the complex looking neat. She has always been a good neighbor and has always been there to help anyone who needed her. She tries her best to see each tenant every day and when she doesn’t see them, she checks with the closest neighbor or manager to make sure they are all okay. She is always pleasant and demonstrates her Christianity with her actions more than with words.”

Courtney was joined by three of her daughters at the celebration. She has five children, 14 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren.

Raymondville Senior was built during 1984 after a non-profit corporation was established to seek federal financial assistance to help those 62 years or older or disabled with decent, safe and affordable housing. USDA Rural Development, formerly Farmers Home Administration, provided the financing with a 1 percent loan with repayment amortized over 50 years.

“It is very heartwarming to know this federal program has provided affordable housing for so many deserving senior citizens,” said Janie Dunning, state director of USDA Rural Development.

Missouri currently has financing for 732 properties consisting of 17,088 apartments in each rural county in the state. Nearly one-half of the housing properties were built with the purpose of providing adequate housing for senior citizens and the disabled, as is the case for Raymondville Senior Housing.

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