NCIA Opens Memorial Garden
Dear fellow employees,
Yesterday, we officially opened NCIA’s Memorial Garden to celebrate and honor the lives of 4 individuals that were part of NCIA’s family. NCIA created this peaceful memorial garden so that we can reflect on the lives of the people that have passed and keep their memories alive. From this day on this place will bear the names of Trevor Small, Dale Maupin, Allan Johnson, and William Grabau. It is here that their names will be honored by those who love them. It is here that they will be remembered for generations to come.
It was 2 years and 10 months ago when NCIA, like everyone else in our country, closed its doors due to the emergency pandemic. However, there was one program we would never close, our residential program. I am humbled by the dedication of the NCIA team and staff that rallied to do what we needed to do to keep everyone safe, and, before the vaccine, it was scary, and little was known in March 2020 to keep everyone safe.
Sadly, we lost Trevor a month later and Dale 9 months later from COVID. In February, when the emergency release of the vaccine was issued, NCIA was one of the first in line and we mobilized to vaccinate every resident and employee. Since the vaccine, we have not lost any residents to COVID. However, we have lost two more people due to other illnesses, Allan Johnson and William Grabau and we also remember them today.
Below I would like to share the staff reflections for the people we are honoring:
William Grabau was born on June 28, 1958 and passed away on June 22, 2022. Roland Tamajong remembers when, eight years ago, the NCIA residents and staff from Silverbirch visited Spruce Hill for Halloween. Bill was dressed as a Pirate, complete with a crossbones cap, a patch on one eye, and colors in clothing. He knew everyone from the Silverbirch and called out my name when we arrived. When it was time to get pictures taken, he was right in front, smiling and posing in style. He loved being with others at parties and cookouts.
Allan Johnson was born on December 8, 1953, and passed away on August 11, 2022. Allan was his own guardian. Allan joined NCIA on November 30, 1991, and attended the Spectrum Day program. Will Smith had this to say about Allan:
Allan was very independent, humorous, and family oriented. He loved to eat down-home cooking and enjoyed watching movies. Allan stayed to himself most of the time but always showed compassion for his housemates and staff. Allan possessed the most beautiful smile and loved to laugh. He enjoyed going on home visits to be with his family in Washington DC.
Dale Maupin was born on August 17, 1977, and passed away on January 27, 2021. Virginia Naklen stated that Dale was a very pleasant guy to work with and was always happy to participate in home activities. He loved old country music and had so many CDs. He loved listening to music in his room and would look out his window to see who was parking in the driveway or visiting his home. He was a very neat person. He loved to dress up in good clothes, especially when at home. He loved to sweep and mop, and when his roommates got on his nerves, he would pack up his music and other items and move to the living room downstairs to relax. He planned to go on vacation to Ocean City, but, sadly, the pandemic did not allow that to happen before he passed.
Trevor Small was born on November 9, 1991, and passed away on April 27, 2020. He is survived by his father, Buran Small, and his sister. Trevor joined NCIA on September 17, 2013 and attended our day program at the Career Development Center. Cynthia Hodge shared a touching story about Trevor:
Trevor’s neighbor moved into her home the same year that NCIA moved into our home at 727 Milford. The connection with Trevor and the neighbor was very heartwarming. She was employed with the USPS and would leave for work at 5:00 a.m. during the week. She referred to Trevor as her “personal Security Guard”. He would stand at his bedroom window every morning at 5:00 a.m. and watch her get to her car safely. The neighbor said Trevor would open the window and yell out to her to be safe and have a great day at work. He would also be waiting for her to return from work and always asked if she had a good day.
I invite all to visit this space. May you go forward today with a small flickering of light in your soul. May the memories of your loved one begin to bring comfort rather than pain. May the words, touch, and presence of others bring solace, and may you be blessed in your coming in and going out, grateful for a life lived and a legacy left behind. Go in peace.
Thanks for all you do for NCIA!