Margarita Ruiz has been a familiar face at Humboldt General Hospital for more than two decades.
Friday, July 29, the longtime dietary aide was honored by her co-workers, family and friends during a retirement reception in the hospital's new Sonoma Conference Room.
"I have loved my job in the kitchen," Ruiz told those gathered. "I've loved doing the patient trays, waiting on customers, cutting up food and stocking the department refrigerators."
Ruiz's co-workers commented on their friend's unmatched work ethic as well as her penchant for the humorous.
"I admire her great humor and she has such a great smile," said Karen Arnold. "She is always making us laugh."
Ruiz began working with the hospital's housekeeping department in the spring of 1990. Within a short time, she transferred to the dietary department, where she stayed until her retirement.
"Margarita, it's been wonderful," Food Service Supervisor Jo McClellan told Ruiz on Friday. "You are the most fun person to work with. You have been a joy and we will miss you."
Humboldt General Hospital CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish shared some of the many wonderful comments from Ruiz's annual reviews over the years. "Always willing to help," related Parrish, "very reliable, always knows what's next."
Parrish continued, "Congratulations, Margarita. It has been a pleasure to know you and Humboldt General has been blessed to have for these many years."
Ruiz was showered with flowers from HGH, her co-workers, family and friends. She also was presented with a plaque honoring her for 20 years of dedicated service to Humboldt General Hospital, as well as with a check for $200, representing $10 for each year of service to the local facility.
Additionally, Ruiz's co-workers in the kitchen feted her with a delicious array of hors d'oeuvres, cake and punch, which was enjoyed by the entire staff.
Ruiz's plans include spending more time with her husband, four daughters, two sons, 15 grandchildren and nearly three great grandchildren. She loves to cook and is looking forward to creating more of her Mexican specialties at home.