Older American’s Month: Olivia

There’s one thing you must know about Olivia Ussery. She loves to help people. “I’ve always had love in my heart. Even as a child,” she says. “I guess I was born this way.” Olivia’s got sunshine on a cloudy day. If you face a struggle, she’ll rush to your side. She’s 89-years young and she’s here to make everything better.

One piece of her big heart belongs to James–her husband of 69 and a half years—and their six children. You might assume that with such a big family, she wouldn’t have time for anything else.  You’d be wrong. While living in Germany as a military wife, she volunteered for the Red Cross. As she puts it, “there’s always time to volunteer. Even with 6 children, I could volunteer.” Over the years, Olivia has volunteered and served on several boards, including Family Eldercare’s.

In her late 30’s Olivia discovered another way to help people. She became a Licensed Vocational Nurse and worked in both hospital and home health settings. For 52 years, she was a bedside comfort, an encouraging voice, a quiet, loving presence. Olivia officially retired in 2019 at age 88.

Now, there’s one last thing you should know about Olivia. She’s a DIVA. A Divinely Inspired Virtuously Anointed Sister, thank you very much. Olivia’s joyous, vibrant soul is fed by her lifelong connection to church. The DIVAS is a women’s ministry at the David Chapel Baptist Church, where Olivia’s been a member 30 years. Among other good works, the DIVAS donate fans to the Summer Fan Drive–always in colorful bags which the recipients love.

Olivia says, “Prayer is the answer to everything.” And she strives to be a beacon of hope and love to anyone who needs it.

Let your light shine on, Olivia. For it is resplendent.