McPherson Kansas — Official Guide
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A Place For Families
Janette Hess

John and Celaine Worden with their daughters Shelley and Lainey find living in McPherson a “dream come true.”

Just four short years after establishing their home in McPherson, John and Celaine Worden speak as affectionately of the city as any life-long resident would or could.

John, the pharmacy director at McPherson Hospital, and Celaine, a fitness instructor at the McPherson Family YMCA, are the proud parents of two young daughters, Shelley and Lainey. For the Worden family, living in McPherson is a “dream come true.”

“We were living in Kansas City and John was completing his last year in a master’s program for pharmacy administration,” Celaine said, explaining the process that led the Worden family to McPherson. “Our first daughter, Shelley,was born in November, and by the spring months,we knew that a smaller community would be better for us to raise our family.”

At the time, the local hospital was looking for a pharmacy director.

“The very first time we came to McPherson was for John’s interview at the hospital,”Celaine recalled. “While he spent the day in interviews, I explored the town with our oldest daughter, Shelley, who was five months old at The time. I remember going downtown for lunch and walking Main Street.Everyone was so kind and warm, I Instantly felt right at home.”

Later, Celaine and Shelley spent time watching the ducks and geese in Lakeside Park.

“The park was so beautiful on that Spring day, and I knew it would be a ‘dream come true’ to live in McPherson,” Celaine said. “Almost four years later, I still feel the same, and we go to Lakeside all the time to play and see the ducks.” According to John, the family’s initial positive impressions of McPherson were correct.

“We wanted to raise our family in a community that had the friendly atmosphere of a small town but all of the opportunities and activities of a bigger city,” he said. “McPherson is that place.”

Celaine is especially pleased with the friendly, comfortable niche she has found at the YMCA.

“I have been teaching Zumba fitness at the Y for over a year now and am thrilled to be in such a positive and happy place,” she said. “The YMCA has So much to offer in the way of classes and programming for the entire family. I have met people of all ages working towards the common goal of living healthier lives. I have especially enjoyed meeting other moms in the community who share similar interests.”

A key employee at McPherson Hospital, John sees how collaboration and communication lead to excellent local health care.

“As the Director of Pharmacy at McPherson Hospital, I appreciate the hospital’s commitment to putting the patient first.We routinely have patients or family members in the hospital that are not from McPherson, or even Kansas. These individuals are the ones that make a point of telling their story, and it almost always starts off with ‘Everyone in this hospital is so kind.’ As a pharmacist I appreciate that the physicians seek out and utilize the specialized knowledge and services that the pharmacy team has to offer. This kind of detailed collaboration and communication leads to excellent health care delivery that is every bit as good if not better than any urban community.”

According to Celaine, the people of McPherson take great pride in their community.

“There is such positive energy, pride, and passion throughout the entire community,” she said. “People really want to work together to make the quality of life better for everyone. It seems that everywhere you go in McPherson, people want to help others and improve all aspects of the community.” As a couple, John and Celaine enjoy attending theatrical and musical performances at McPherson College,Central Christian College of Kansas and the newly renovated McPherson Opera House.

As a family, they enjoy church activities, community celebrations and visits to the McPherson Water Park.

“We are members of a very active church that provides many meaningful and fun opportunities for the entire family,”Celaine said. “Our girls especially look forward to the May Fête and downtown Halloween festivities, as well as summers at the water park.”

Added John,“McPherson is a wonderful place to raise a family and foster those common dreams that we all have. People care about you and are willing to go out of their way to spend time with one another. We have every opportunity right at our fingertips, supported with positive values and a sense of pride that only comes from a close community.”