Making a Difference in the Special Lives They Touched

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

In our 50 years history, three women have graced Hacienda with their compassionate care, support, and willingness to help our children and young adults reach their fullest potential. Each made a difference in the special lives they touched.

Ilene Butler, Hacienda’s founder, was the first in doing so by pursuing her vision of motherhood. Her compassion, love and tenacity drove her to action—rejecting the status quo and opening her heart and home to children with special needs.

The second was Mary Baker who graced the halls of Hacienda for 38 years until she was 80 years of age. Ms. Baker, as she was known by all who had the pleasure of meeting her, shared her abundant love with all of Hacienda’s “kids.”

Ms. Baker’s experience at Hacienda ran the gamut. But nothing brought her more joy than caring for and getting to know each of her “babies.” She provided each person with her undivided attention, never rushing through a visit. She made her “kids” feel like part of her community and supported them with encouragement and friendship—a tender quality she extended to staff and caregivers alike.

She was a strong woman of faith who prayed for God’s help in every aspect of life. She was neither ashamed nor bashful, and always made sure that our clients and residents were well taken care of. If she felt something wasn’t right, she made it her job to fix it, and certainly had no qualms about visiting the CEO’s office to voice her concerns. As a result, Ms. Baker became very close friends with our CEO, Bill Timmons.

Though Ms. Baker retired briefly, she promptly returned to work because, as she put it, she, “Missed [her] kids.” It was this passion and devotion that earned her the respect and honor of Hacienda’s matriarch. Her 38 years of history has made Hacienda a better place.

Mary Baker passed away in 2015.

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