Remembering One of a “Rare Breed”
By Michael E. McRae
President & CEO, St. Ann’s Community
The view would never be the same.
From his apartment window, Stanley Jachimczak could see The Heritage, the 19-story tower on St. Ann’s Irondequoit campus. Over breakfast in the morning, his daughter would point and say, “Daddy, there’s work!”
Stanley was a beloved member of St. Ann’s Environmental Services team for 43 years. For him, The Heritage was more than just work; it was his life. And when the building came down in 2012, although the view was never the same, his dedication to the residents of St. Ann’s Community never wavered.
Stan (his last name is pronounced “Hee-ma-chek”) died in September 2018 following an illness. We were honored that he spent his final days with us at the Leo Center for Caring, our hospice and palliative care center.
St. Ann’s Community is blessed to have in its ranks many people for whom caring for others is a way of life. Stan personified this to a degree that is unmatched. He would move heaven and earth for our residents. The clock didn’t matter; for him, it was about serving the people.
Stan didn’t view what he did at St. Ann’s as just a job. He was here to make our residents’ lives better, and he did that not only through his professional skills but through his demeanor. Our residents loved him. When he came to your apartment to address a specific need, he always asked what else he could do for you. He’d see something you didn’t realize needed doing, and do it. It was a life of service beyond self.
His selflessness did not go unnoticed, although Stan would not have minded if it did. In 2004, he was the first recipient of St. Ann’s Partner in Philanthropy award, which recognizes employees who demonstrate an exceptional level of support in their professional commitment to giving and generosity. His nomination said the following:
Stan embodies a positive spirit with the attitude that there is always a way to accomplish a task. He’s one of a rare breed that gets things done without asking and never looks around to see if it’s supposed to be someone else’s job.
Stan is a favorite among staff and residents. He uses his ability to speak Polish and Ukrainian to communicate with residents and staff who have difficulty understanding English, and makes them feel comfortable when doing so. This is Stan’s personality. Regardless of the request, Stan makes you feel that it’s never a bother.
People don’t generally view our Environmental Services staff members as caregivers. Stan showed us that they truly are. Those of us who knew him remember him fondly and with profound respect. May we each strive in our own lives to live up to the standard of caring and kindness that Stan showed every day in his.