It was 15 years ago when Carol McDivitt was approached about taking a job at the Glacier County Health Department. It was going to be a part-time position, at least until Ann Shors, the current Glacier County Health Nurse retired, and then, if Carol wanted the job, it would be hers.
A few years later, Ann retired and Carol became the Glacier County Health Nurse, a position she has held and loved. Now, Carol will be passing the “baton” to the next Glacier County Health Nurse as she begins the next segment in her life…retirement.
“I can honestly say, I love my job, I love the people and I love the services that we provide for Glacier County. But timing is everything,” Carol added, “and it is time for me to retire.”
Carol’s husband, Keith, decided he, too, was ready for retirement as the director of the nursing program at Blackfeet Community College and will be retiring at the end of June.
Not long ago, two of Carol’s three grown children moved to the Kalispell area. Then those two kids and their spouses each had a child. That meant grandchildren were now in the picture and close by.
A few years before all this, Carol and Keith found a home they loved in the Kalispell area, more specifically on Echo Lake, and dubbed it, “our retirement home.”
All these things combined made for the “timing” Carol referred to being “everything.”
“I am not retiring because I don’t like my job. I am retiring because it is time and because everything has worked out well for retirement,” she said.
She continued, “We are so glad that two of our kids are close. We never planned for that and we couldn’t be more pleased to have them living in Kalispell. We never thought that would be the plan, but we are certainly loving that,” she said. “Now retirement means we will be doing some childcare and I am loving that idea too.”
Carol and Keith have lived and worked a few places in the country before moving to East Glacier and settling there for 15 years. They opted for a move to Cut Bank after that and have been here ever since.
In 2005, with the retirement of her predecessor, Carol became the Glacier County Health Nurse and the Department Head of the Glacier County Health Department.
“Ann (Shors) was a great mentor,” Carol shared. “This department has always had a great staff and we still do. Jenny Krapf and Holley Dewitt are just wonderful to work with. We all get along so well.”
Jenny will be acting in Carol’s position until “the county decides what they want to do with this job and department,” Carol said.
For Carol, one of the best things about her job, were “building relationships and getting to know so many people. I established relationships with people at the colonies, the schools and throughout the community. That has been very rewarding,” she said.
“It has also been rewarding knowing that we have met the needs of this community, whether during this COVID crisis or during any other situation our county has been involved with. We have all worked so well together, making it a team effort. That has been huge. No matter what we have dealt with, I am always in awe of how well people respond and are so willing to work together,” she said.
Carol also loves how working in public health continues to be a work in progress. “Public health is a learning environment. There is always something happening and it is always something different. We are forever expanding our knowledge and learning through each situation we encounter.”
Carol and Keith have three children, Andrea, who is married and living in Colorado Springs; Brian, who is married and living in Kalispell; and Morgan, who is also married and lives in Kalispell. Each of their children have one child, giving the McDivitts three grandchildren to love and dote on.
“It is such a blessing to have two of the kids so close and even Andrea is not really all that far,” she said. “I am so looking forward to retirement and taking care of those sweet grandbabies. And I am looking forward to having a morning cup of coffee on the deck at our home on Echo Lake and watching the water and sun come up.”