By Stacy Smith

Born in Minot, North Dakota, where they say, “Why not Minot?” as a way to explain how to correctly pronounce the city’s name, Helen “Roslin” Williams, has lived in North Dakota, Montana, and now Alabama.

“Ms. Roslin Williams is such a precious lady. She was raised in the north, and is very refined, but she gets so tickled at southern comments,” said Melanie Hill, Activity Director, Albertville Nursing Home & Rehab Select.

Williams has taught kindergarten as a substitute teacher, and while living in Guntersville, Alabama, she worked as a waitress. She remembers when a lady came into the restaurant wearing a hat with a price tag hanging from it. Instead of saying hello, the woman hollered, “Howdeeeee!”

Being raised in the north, Williams had to learn this southern greeting. There is no one better to learn this from than from Minnie Pearl of the Grand Ole Opry and television show Hee Haw. That day, Minnie Pearl spent time with the restaurant staff and gave autographs. Williams loved her.

The parent of six, the grandparent of 15, the great-grandparent of 16, and the great-great grandparent of one, Williams enjoys family visits. The children of all generations are always welcomed to any activity in which she is participating.

One of the things she especially enjoys about her nursing home is the entertainment which includes monthly guest speakers and entertainers such as Elvis impersonator Matthew Scott, dulcimer players and vintage gospel singers.

Williams has lived in the Albertville Nursing Home & Rehab Select for three years and is vice-president of the Resident Council. She said, “Living in the nursing home has helped me to feel safe. If I need something, I know those working at the facility will do everything possible to meet my needs. I feel important to the staff and to fellow residents.”

She has met and made many new friends. A new favorite activity of hers is Bingo. She really likes to win. Williams said, “I still enjoy the camaraderie when I lose. We have fun. But, I really like to win!”

One of the most important things she considers that she has done is teaching her children proper nutrition. “I now note that they eat fruits and vegetables before candy, and they have taught my grandchildren to do the same. It is nice to see your grown children practicing what you have taught them,” said Williams.

She now teaches her fellow nursing home residents about nutrition also.

Editor’s note: This is the first story in a 10-part series about the finalists for the 2017 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 18, we’ll post a story about Ms. Cherry Hill Rehab & HealthCare Center Evelyn Dent.

Stacy Smith, APR, is a freelance writer based in Birmingham, Alabama.

For more information about the pageant, click here.