Plantation Village Nursing Center residents have lined up outside the facility’s beauty salon every Wednesday and Thursday for the last 15 years to see one woman, beautician Connie Conner. Having provided residents with a sense of independence and status for so many years, Conner now passes the brush to beautician Krista Hilley, as she officially retires this week.
“We will miss her,” said long time customer and PVNC resident, Suzie Wittner. “I’ve had my hair done here once every week. She’s a good beautician. I’m going to miss her a lot.”
PVNC Administrator, Terri Person, explained that having access to an in-house salon helps make life feel “as normal as possible” for residents, allowing them to maintain the choices and quality of life they had outside the facility.
“Hair is almost as important as bingo,” Pearson said. “It’s a little bit of a status symbol here too.”
Conner, owner and operator of Connie Hair Design in Altus, also spent every Friday for the last 16 years at the Plantation Village Assisted Living Center.
“I feel like God put me here for a reason,” Conner said. “To help and do my best. It’s been a blessing everyday. Everybody is wonderful… the administrator and nurses. I couldn’t ask for any better place. This facility has been real good to me.”
Conner has been a beautician for 50 years beginning in El Paso, Texas, where she owned Connie’s Hair Design for 27 years. Once she move to Altus she began working at the Air Force Base beauty salon for 10 years before connecting with the nursing centers. Then 10 years ago she re-opened Connie’s Hair Design at 2225 Falcon road, now sold.
Upon retirement, Conner plans to initially travel, spending a few weeks in New Mexico and a month in Mexico. She said that she hopes to supplement her retirement income by working part time and winning big at the casino. She will reside in McKinney, Texas, with her husband, Elton W. Conner, who is retired Army and civil service, and to be closer to two of her five children.
“Everybody says, ‘Why must I go?’ and I say, ‘Because it’s time to go home.”