Brown Goolsby said her transition from living in West Virginia to Trotwood wasn’t always easy. “It took me a while to get used to it,” she said. “Things were different, people were different and didn’t have friends or knew anyone.”
But after years of integrating into the area, Brown told Goolsby she’s starting to feel more at home. With that came a sense of pride in doing their part in moving the community forward bit by bit.
“You become part of the community and the community becomes a part of you,” she said. “You want your community to grow and thrive.”
Affectionately nicknamed “Vera,” she was nominated as a “Dayton Daily News Community Gem” by neighbor and friend Gladys Turner Finney, who Brown Goolsby describes as a “compassionate angel who cares about others and their neighborhood and community.”
According to Turner Finney, her and Brown Goolsby’s friendship blossomed from tragedy after Brown Goolsby, when warned by another neighbor that something might be wrong at Turner Finney’s home, made a disturbing discovery inside the home.
“She had the unpleasant experience of finding my late husband in this house,” Turner Finney said. “Afterward, she showed great sympathy for me being here alone, especially around the holidays, which can be a triggering time for grief.”
Turner Finney said her friend’s commitment to her community knows no bounds. Brown Goolsby is secretary of the Northgate Neighborhood Association in Trotwood, planning events and meetings and regularly collecting rubbish along Denlinger Road and at Wolfe Creek Park. Although she retired in 2016, she continues to use her experience as a nurse to lovingly care for her neighbors, Turner Finney said.
“She uses compassion and knowledge to help the elderly and infirm and others manage their medications and chronic illnesses. She’ll shop for groceries or take them to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments,” she said. “She’s the kind of person who reaches out to people and doesn’t just wait for them to ask her for help… I’ve seen her make a difference in other people’s lives.”