For employees of the Department of Parks, the slogan “Unbridled Spirit” implies taking pride in serving the customer. Several employees of Rough River Dam State Resort Park demonstrated their commitment to customer service recently.
On Christmas Day, George Fentress, 82, passed way. Mr. Fentress was one of Rough River Dam State Resort Park’s biggest supporters. He lived near the lake and saw the park being built in the early 1960s. He was a regular in the park dining room, bringing friends and family to enjoy a meal at “his” park.
When Mr. Fentress died, the Fentress family knew there was only one place to have the post-funeral meal – Rough River’s dining room. Then, late on Dec. 26, Mr. Fentress’ family discovered that the park, like all other resorts, was closed during Christmas Week.
Mr. Fentress’ daughter Deborah wrote in a letter to Parks Commissioner George Ward recently, “We made a desperate phone call to the park manager, Chuck Tempfer, to see if there was any way that we could have the meal there.”
Regarding her request, she said recently, “I really didn’t expect it. The park has done several things for us before, but this was just above and beyond.”
Park Manager Tempfer said pulling together a food service crew to open the dining room on Dec. 28 was a snap.
“All I had to do was call them,” he said. “Mr. Fentress had eaten there many times, and he’d bring 10 or 20 people. Our staff was delighted to participate.”
So on the afternoon of Dec. 28, Park Manager Tempfer, Park Chef Steve Connell, and food service staff members Mark Camp, Calvin Bishop, Donna Clark, Nancy Decker, Brenda Armstrong and David Henning catered a meal for 60 to 70 friends and family of George Fentress.
“They were so nice and kind,” Ms. Fentress recalled.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the staff at Rough River Dam,” said Commissioner Ward. “It was a generous gesture of support for a family that has meant so much to our park.”