This week we have been deeply saddened by the passing of a cherished member of our NAHC family. Jerri Davis dedicated 30 years of her life to NAHC and became an integral part of our community and the history of our health center. As a member of the Pomo Tribe in Clearlake, CA, Jerri came to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s. She started here on a whim, filling in for an absent employee in our fiscal department. But even with no finance training, Jerri quickly realized she had a knack for numbers and immensely enjoyed the job.
After retiring in 2017, Jerri continued to stay a part of NAHC. This past summer, our Indigenous Pathways Interns had the chance to sit down and speak with Jerri as she reminisced about humorous stories and the many changes that NAHC has gone through over the decades. “I enjoyed working here,” she shared. “We always had fun.”
Greg Harmon, who worked at NAHC before retiring in 2011, considered Jerri one of his favorite people. “She was always happy and full of fun,” said Greg. “And she was definitely a true comedian.”
Greg shared with us that one of his favorite comedic moments with Jerri was the day she struggled to find the perfect parking spot at a restaurant. “She kept saying, ‘Oh, this parking space is not good enough.’ And I went, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘Jerri, that’s perfect,’ but ‘no, it’s not a good, perfect parking space.’ And so we went by three different parking spaces.”
“I said, ‘Jerri, I don’t understand. What are you doing?’ And she said, ‘Greg, the reverse has gone out on my car. Wherever we park, you’re going to have to push the car backward,'” Greg shared with a laugh. “So we found a place to park, and after lunch, I had to push the car out of the parking space so we could get back to work.”
Jerri was a true treasure at NAHC. Our Board Member Jessica Rich said, “Jerri was one of a kind. I never met anybody like her.”
“She was honest. She would tell you what she felt and wouldn’t hold back. There were times when we had staff meetings, and I had to tell her to watch what she was saying,” Jessica recalled humorously. “That’s how I remember Jerri. She was funny. She was honest. And she was nice to everybody.”
NAHC will greatly miss Jerri, her often mismatched shoes, and the many ways she made us laugh. Our hearts go out to all of her family and loved ones during this difficult time.