By Colleen Cullison
Ruth Helmholdt-Davis recently received her 55-year service award from Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. Helmholdt-Davis came to Pine Rest right after her graduation from high school in 1959; she had just turned 17. She came from Lucas, a small farming community near McBain, Michigan. Helmholdt-Davis really actually has 57 years of service, but 55 years consecutively.
She entered the nursing program and began work at the Retreat Center with children. It was a natural fit for her since she was the oldest of six kids and had done a lot of babysitting.
Helmholdt-Davis graduated the nursing program in 1961. She was in a group of nurses grandfathered in as licensed practical nurses by the State of Michigan. In her years of service she held many positions; she has been a nurse in literally all areas of Pine Rest, both past and present. On completion of her nursing bachelor’s degree, she became a unit manager in Child & Adolescent. In the late 1990s, she left full time employment until 2004 when she returned full time as clinical service manager of the Child & Adolescent Unit.
In 2007, she became the director of clinical practice of Hospital Based Services and terminated full-time employment in 2008, but still maintains part-time work with Pine Rest. She works on-call as an intake co-coordinator. Helmholdt-Davis also works in the nursing program at Detroit Mercy Nursing School.
Helmholdt-Davis is married to Ron Davis. She has two sons and a daughter, 16 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Her daughter, Sallie Nyenhuis, just received her 5-year service award and her niece Joan Hibma received her 25-year service award at Pine Rest.
Helmholdt-Davis spends her winters in Florida and still has time for her many hobbies. She enjoys interior decorating, flower arranging, reading, golf, gardening and spending time outdoors. She also enjoys spending time with her family especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In Florida, she is currently teaching a Bible study on Nehemiah. She also volunteers at Manasota Care Net which is a pregnancy resource center.