Michelle Rheuport, a resident of Richmond and a CNA at Valley Manor and Rehabilitation Center in Excelsior Springs, was remembered during an emotional ceremony Thursday morning at the center. Rheuport was killed the last week of May during a home invasion. Residents and faculty members soon after they heard the news of her death pooled together and planned a memorial service in her honor.
Rheuport was a Certified Nurse’s Aid for 13 years, having spent the last three years at Valley Manor, the staff and residents were very fond of her. She had worked on both the day and night shift at the center and worked both on the traditional side of nursing as well as the rehabilitation side, where she helped prepare residents to go home after their therapy was completed.
“We are here to remember someone very special to all of us today. Michelle was a popular staff member who was liked by both her co-workers and residents,” said fellow CNA Stacey Sands who spoke during the memorial service. “She made an impact on all of our lives. Michelle was dedicated to all of us, she thought of us as her extended family. We will miss her.”
Sands added, with agreement from other staff members, that having lost Rheuport was an eye opener for everyone. “We all need to remember, and do our best every day to say I love you,” she said.
According to testimony from several staff members and residents, Rheuport enjoyed joking with the residents and everyone felt she was easy to talk to. In her memory, Valley Manor planted a Spring Snow Crab tree, and placed a plaque beneath the tree in her honor.
“In her memory this tree will flower each spring,” said Sands. Rheuport was remembered for always having a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew tucked under her arm each day at work while headed to her break. Adding to the service, champagne glasses filled with Mountain Dew were passed out and everyone shared a toast in memory of Rheuport.
By Jae Juarez • firstname.lastname@example.org