When St. Peter Villa was purchased by Signature Healthcare in December 2010 one part of the Villa remained untouched. A room dedicated to the over 150 year history of St. Peter’s is quietly tucked on the second floor of the Assisi Building. On the 5th of July I was called to the information desk to talk with the visitor who had some questions.
Rebecca Martin Losee from Prairieville, Louisiana was enroute to a family reunion in the Missouri Boot Hill Country. She convinced her husband to make a small detour as they transited through Memphis to seek out St. Peter Villa. Mrs Losee indicated to me that her father William Jack Martin had been a patient as a child at St. Peter Villa sometime between 1925 and 1941. That was about all the information she had.
As her husband parked the car and joined her I took the two to that historical little room in the Assisi Building. As we looked through the pictures on the wall, albums, and other areas in the room I came across a framed picture that had several boys pictured at their 8th day graduation in 1939. The picture indicated that the boy at the right side of the picture was a Jack Martin. From that picture we were able to find some additional pictures. Mrs. Losee’s husband clicked away with his smart phone taking pictures of the pictures. They also got pictures of what the facility looked like at that time.
As she reviewed these facts of her ancestry the tears welled up in her eyes. Doesn’t God work in strange circumstances? To have this person suddenly decide to find St. Peter Villa en route to a reunion should come upon the chaplain that had the key to the room that had the key to some of her history. It was a beautiful day that I will remember and that Mrs. Losee will never forget.