Kershner provides service with a smile

August 02, 2006|by JANET HEIM

Editor's note: There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like ...

Jeanie Kershner

Age: 69

Occupation: Cashier at Robin's Nest

Hometown: Lived in Shepherdstown, W.Va., until her parents moved to Hagerstown when she was 11

Where would you see Kershner? Although she retired in June, Kershner still works as flex staff at Robin's Nest, the food court at Robinwood Medical Center. That means she fills in when other employees are on vacation or call in sick.

Kershner has been a full-time employee of Washington County Hospital for more than 29 years. She worked in the dish room for the first three months, then as a cashier at the hospital cafeteria until 1996, when she moved to Robin's Nest.


"Old habits are hard to break. I came back as flex time to keep in touch," Kershner said.

She said she went to school until age 16, then quit. Kershner, whose maiden name is Breeden, got her GED in 1978 after she started working at the hospital.

Kershner is known to regular customers as a caring person and a good listener. One of her customers even called in to The Daily Mail's Mail Call saying, "Jean can make the most negative of attitudes turn into a smile ... I love this lady and consider her the eighth wonder of the world."

Kershner said it brought tears to her eyes when she read it. She said customers brought in clippings of it and one woman even framed it for her.

"When thing like this happen, you know you must have done something right. It makes you feel good. It really does," Kershner said.

In her modesty, she thinks the comments are undeserved. Kershner said she treats people the way she would want to be treated, realizing many of the customers at Robin's Nest are dealing with medical issues, whether their own or those of someone close to them.

"We have quite a few people coming through here that tell you why they're here or they tell about their life," Kershner said. "You try to be sympathetic, understanding."

She said customers enjoy the setting of Robin's Nest. Some come just for the good coffee and food at reasonable prices.

Kershner has three grown children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Hobbies: "Gardening. I love my flowers. After you're done, you stand back and look at it. It's well worth it," Kershner said. She said her home is on a 2-acre lot on Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road and one of her daughters does the mowing for her.

What does Kershner like best about Washington County? "It's a wonderful county to live in, especially this area. It's more laid-back," she said. "It reminds you of a hometown you read about."

Kershner said she especially likes the people.

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024, or send e-mail to

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