Two beloved Solid Ground staff members passed away in recent months, and we’d like to honor their lives and long commitment to service in our community.
After many years in the paratransit industry as an Operator and Trainer, Hayward joined Solid Ground in 2013 and quickly became part of our SGT family. He brought a warmth of heart and caring attitude to the community and everyone he came in contact with.
Hayward grew up in Baytown, TX, the ninth of 11 children. After graduating from George Washington Carver High School, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he served as a military police officer. Later, he lived in Los Angeles, CA where he worked for the US Postal Service and the famous Car Wash from the movie “Car Wash.” He often told the story about how he met one of his favorite singers, Etta James, while hanging with his childhood friend and blues singer, Buddy Ace. In the early 60s, he settled in Seattle, WA, where he raised his family.
Hayward loved his children, grandchildren, family and his dog Gizmo. He was wise and had insightful visions. He was a talented craftsman and artist, gifted with his hands. He enjoyed playing cards (Tunk), going to Longacres, listening to the blues, and playing pool. He loved to cook and was known for his fried chicken, spaghetti, sweet pea salad and banana pudding.
A fun, laid back guy with a great sense of humor, he was always cracking jokes. In his later years, Hayward led a simple and meaningful life. He read his bible, watched his show (Family Feud), and kept working as a Metro Access Van Driver with Solid Ground until his passing on March 3, 2016. He had five daughters, 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
Anita worked for over 30 years as a social worker with homeless women, children and families experiencing homelessness. She spent the last 11+ years as an ESL Case Manager with Solid Ground’s Broadview Emergency Shelter & Transitional Housing, where she made an impact as an amazing model for doing direct service and social justice work together.
Anita always thought of others, both her clients and coworkers, maintaining her integrity, dedication and compassion for each person and family she cared for at Solid Ground. She worked tirelessly to help in any way she could. Her grace and service changed lives for the better for a long time. Her coworkers will remember her for her dedication, passion in serving her clients, her many kindnesses and her central role in our Broadview family. Here are just a few remembrances from her coworkers:
“I remember Anita as unfailingly kind, dedicated and smart. She really listened to families and worked hard to assist them while they were in shelter.”
“She was a truly wonderful person. She had a very sweet and gracious way about her and worked very hard on behalf of others.”
“She was a gentle, diligent and loving person. She was loved by her clients and coworkers. Anita was one who took her relationship with Christ seriously and lived her faith.”
“Anita was one of the most thoughtful, generous-spirited and giving people I’ve ever known, and it was a privilege to work with her in service to women transitioning out of homelessness. She lived her faith quietly, with ease and grace, assuming the best in others and never judging. Pure kindness is her legacy and she will be long-remembered and loved.”
Anita’s Catholic faith guided her life’s decisions and she regularly attended daily Mass. She had three daughters, three grandchildren who were the center of her life, and a large and loving extended family.
Our hearts go out to Hayward and Anita’s family and friends. They are deeply missed across our Solid Ground community.