This past Friday night, over 100 former Kings Park State Hospital employees gathered to enjoy an evening of food, music and conversation at this year’s reunion held at Larkfield Manor in East Northport.
This, the second reunion organized by Kings Park resident and former hospital employee , drew former employees and old friends from coast to coast. Former employee Fran Bodie-Small received an appreciation plaque for traveling from Las Vegas to celebrate with fellow co workers, as did John and Mary Fenoy who traveled from Florida.
In between the food, drink and reminiscences, guests were treated to the music of hometown favorite, the KP Trio.
Mary Mullen, who came alone from Ireland in 1954 when she was just 20 years old, worked at the hospital for 34 years. She has many fond memories of the hospital, staff and patients. “The hospital was very self sufficient,” she says. “I made dear friends there.” Still living in San Remo, she volunteers in area nursing homes. “I enjoy getting out and going everywhere there's people.”
Judy Maschino, who worked as a therapy aide from 1965 to 1996, also has good memories of working at the hospital.
“There were wonderful employees and supervisors.” She recalls parades down the boulevard and shows at York Hall. “We were one big happy family.”
Graduate of Kings Park School of Nursing, Donna Matzuga said, “the patients were important to us. The hospital was like a family and I have stayed friends with the wonderful people I worked with.”
Also receiving an appreciation plaque was Gerry Creighton for her hard work and diligence in helping to organize the reunion.
"I loved the patients, met wonderful people and made life long friends," said Creighton.
Her husband, Smithtown Town Board member Robert Creighton, who also worked at the hospital for six months in the electrical shop in early 1960, summed up the sentiment of the night. “This was a good hospital where good people took care of the patients and respected them.”
“It was beautiful, everyone enjoyed it so much that we might have another one in five years," Fontana said.