Hospital remembers longtime worker

Published 4:31 pm Saturday, March 10, 2018

Sentara Obici Hospital mourned the loss of a long-time employee a month ago, and they still hold her memory close every day.

Sheila White, 57, passed away on Feb. 6 from what appeared to be sudden cardiac arrest while she was working. White worked in the food service department at the hospital for 40 years.

White is remembered by all of her coworkers in the hospital and her son. Those that worked with White embraced her like family, and her son, Jaylen Bradshaw, is still welcomed like one of their own when he visits the hospital.

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“She was so nice, and she really gave me everything in the world,” Bradshaw said.

Despite working in the food services department, she was still always cooking in her home. Bradshaw remembers his mother always cooking soul food for everyone. White even made sure to cook special things for Bradshaw, since he is a picky eater.

Those that knew her described her as talkative and friendly. Co-workers remember White saying good morning and good night to everyone that walked into the building.

“She was awesome. She was always there no matter what, and she was always willing to help someone out,” said Lisa Burgos, one of White’s coworkers.

While White was an administrative professional, she always found herself dabbling in a little bit of everything. She made the effort to help everyone get their work done when it was needed.

“She was more than a co-worker,” said Javonda Worthington. “She was your second mom or even your auntie. She was family.”

Not only did White make sure to help those who needed it, she made sure to treat everyone she worked with like family.

“We ate lunch together every day,” Worthington said. “I haven’t brought myself to sit in the same place since she passed.”

While some of White’s co-workers were older than her, she was always the motherly figure. She was the matriarch of the hospital.

“She may have only had two kids, but the hospital was her family,” Burgos said.

There was nothing that White wasn’t to her co-workers, and she made sure to bring laughter to the workplace. She regularly cracked jokes to make her friends and family smile.

“She was a rare jewel. I love that girl,” said Burgos.

Everyone in the department wears a pin with her face on it, and it’s their way of holding her memory near their hearts. Worthington was the one behind the idea.

White’s love of others led her to be quite the hoarder, as her co-workers remembered her. If someone was giving something away, White was the first to grab it, but it was usually meant to help someone else.

Her co-workers had the opportunity to have the whole department attend her funeral. While her friends gathered in Suffolk on Feb. 13, Morrison Food Services, who has a contract with the hospital, made sure to bring people in from different cities to cover the department.