On March 17, 2016, we say goodbye to one of the Department of Anesthesiology’s longest-serving employees, Rebecca Lovely. We wish Rebecca much happiness, heath, and fulfillment in her retirement, and she will be deeply missed. Having been with the University of Florida for over 40 years, she often serves as our historian, protector, organizer, and conscience. We are very grateful for all the many contributions she has made to our department and the College of Medicine.
Rebecca started with UF as a part-time student clerk typist in 1973 and began working in the Department of Anesthesiology in 1983 as a Staff Assistant II under Chair Jerome H. Modell, MD. Carolyn Schoenau, onetime Business Manager for the department, remembers, “When I interviewed Rebecca Lovely for a staff assistant position in the Department of Anesthesiology, I did not dream at that time that she would be one of the best hires I made during my 29 years in the Department. She was always dependable to a fault, efficient, made excellent suggestions for changes, and I could not have asked for anything more in an employee. Her personality was cheerful, she was thoughtful, and never acted in haste. The best way I can describe her is that she was truly LOVELY!”
The only chair Rebecca has not worked for is J.S. Gravenstein, MD, although she worked closely WITH him. Over her 40-year career with UF, she has worked her way through the ranks to become Associate Director of Administrative Services in the Department of Anesthesiology, while also serving as the Executive Secretary of the Anesthesiology Alumni Association of Florida from 1993 until December 2015. During this time, Rebecca has earned the praises of many, including Professor and former Chair Kayser Enneking, MD, who said, “Rebecca is a great Southern Lady. She has lovely manners, she cares deeply for those around her, and she knows how to cross t’s and dot i’s. If she is displeased, she has a way of looking down her nose and pursing her lips that leaves no doubt about her true feelings. Her smile is worth a 1,000 words of praise. She has seen great times and horrible times (not just good and bad) in the department. She has been a rock for the department, doing nitty gritty jobs, going behind everyone and making sure things are done correctly. She has sat in on every important meeting that has occurred in the department for at least the last twenty years.” This is high praise, indeed, and is echoed by Professor Emeritus Shirley Graves-Modell, MD, who seconded the fact that Rebecca “carried a big administrative load and did an excellent job.”
For many of those working with Rebecca, it was and still is her deeply caring personal side that has meant the most to them. Joanie Nyland, once an employee of the department for many years, says of Rebecca, “She is very dedicated. She is always looking for fair and reasonable solutions to problems and/or events and is very compassionate and caring. Rebecca has a perpetually positive attitude and is generous with her time, patient in her dealings with others, and has always been a wonderful sounding board for me.”
Rebecca has been married to her husband, Ed, a retired school board administrator, for 41 years. They have two children, Emily and Craig. Emily is a school teacher and Craig works in information technology. In her leisure time, Rebecca likes to participate in church activities, garden, travel, and raise honeybees with her husband.
Please join us in offering Rebecca the most sincere congratulations on her retirement and our warmest thanks for all that she has done for UF and the Department of Anesthesiology over these many years. There is no question that hers will be very difficult shoes to fill.