Betsy Dane is a woman who truly cares about people, and especially the medical beneficiaries of Kenner Army Health Clinic. She will retire from Federal Service May 3, after working more than 30 years at KAHC.

She began her career in health care in 1968. Hired into the Youth Opportunity Corps Program, she worked part time while a student at Richard Bland College.

She graduated from Richard Bland College in 1970 and married Walt Dane the same year. She then worked full time with the Blood Donor Center until 1971. After the Vietnam War ended, the Blood Donor Center was closed and she continued her work in the clinical and anatomical lab as a general lab technician. Dane was promoted to supervisor of Anatomic Pathology in 1985 and continued in that role until 1996 when the hospital was downsized to a clinic. She then was assigned as the supervisory medical technologist over the clinical laboratory in 1996, overseeing the day to day operation of the technical lab, until the present.

When she was ready to retire, she found that helping others and teaching were “in her blood” and far too important to her to allow her to “just quit,” so she has decided to become a full-time grandmother.

As a lab tech, Betsy wore many hats: supervisor, educator, comforter and champion for her patients, to name just a few. Betsy is generous with her knowledge, her wisdom, her humor and her heart.

James T. Jackson joins Dane in retirement May 3, from the Laboratory Services staff.

Jackson’s positive attitude has an insidious way of infiltrating everything he does in life. His attitude has lifted the laboratory staff of KAHC to great heights.

In May 1966, Jackson joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas where he completed basic training. He also completed the Medical Laboratory Specialist Course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. He entered Virginia State College in 1970. During his college years, Jackson worked at Petersburg General Hospital. Jackson graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Jackson came to KAHC in October 1976 as a blood bank technologist in the morgue of the hospital while the main lab was still located in a wooden building. His duties later expanded to include being lead tech serology, diagnostic immunology and reference lab shipping.

Jackson met and married his wife Brenda Stone of South Hill in 1974. This union resulted in three sons; Kevin, age 28, Keith, age 26 and Karl, age 22.

When asked how he plans to spend his upcoming retirement, Jackson said, “My post retirement plans are simply to become more active in my church and to relax and wave at cars passing by.”

Jackson has been at Kenner for a long time and the staff at KAHC cherish his insight and knowledge. Dane, Jackson’s co-worker, describes Jackson as positive, fun and laid back person. However, when it comes time to work, he transforms into a team leader.

So, how do you sum up careers that span over 60 plus years combined?

Dane and Jackson can answer that question with ease. The answer is simply “retirement,” the sweet promises of leisure and freedom from the daily grind of work.