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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A Job well done


Above / Jenny Dawley is known to participate in drive-by parades to celebrate monumental birthdays of local Veterans, special events made popular since spring 2020. (Photo by James Hoch Photography)

It used to be when someone referred to the Naperville Township, I thought of the Assessor’s Office and the Township Road Department. One department was responsible for valuing my property for taxation and the other took care of the roads in the unincorporated areas in part of Naperville. I really wasn’t aware of the services provided by the Supervisor’s office until my friend, Jenny Dawley, started working there as a Senior Services Liaison in 2010.

When Jenny married her husband John in 1976, she became a military spouse who had the challenge of moving a family 12 times in 16 years. John retired from the US Army, and in 1997 the Dawley family was happy to establish roots in Naperville. After John passed away in 2009, a friend told Jenny to go talk to someone at the Township office. Jenny was thinking she was looking into a volunteer opportunity, but instead was hired as a Senior Services coordinator.

Jenny is the type of person who is never satisfied with the status quo. Friends and coworkers learn the hard way that it is dangerous to suggest a new idea to Jenny. If she thinks something should be implemented, she will work with you to make sure a plan of action is formed to make that suggestion a reality. (And she won’t let you stop working until that goal is accomplished!)

She helped improve the TRIAD program, a cooperative effort by Lisle Township and Naperville Township. The City of Naperville assists TRIAD in achieving its goal of creating a safer environment for senior citizens. Annually, the TRIAD sponsors six general gatherings to share information designed to help the townships older constituents. The Township has established a lending closet for citizens who need items like wheelchairs, transporters, bath chairs or other medical items. Jenny also managed the Ride DuPage program that helps provide transportation for people who cannot drive themselves to medical appointments or employment opportunities.

When Jenny’s friend, Harold, was retiring and looking for something to do a few hours a week, she suggested it would be wonderful if he could volunteer to be a Medicare Counsellor. He did. And he helped people become more informed about Medicare benefits and the supplemental insurance programs. Harold has been recognized for the numbers of hours he has spent helping citizens make the adjustment to Medicare coverage. 

After working for the Township for 12 years, Jenny has decided to retire.

I have always believed that everyone can be replaced. But now that Jenny has decided to retire—I believe that many people will miss her and her tireless efforts to help others.

Special to Jenny—Congratulations on a job well done and thank you for helping so many of us as we faced some of the challenges life has thrown at us as we became senior citizens.

Sue Jelinek
Sue Jelinek
Sue Jelinek welcomes story ideas from ship to shore. Contact her at jelinst@sbcglobal.net.