AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — There are heroes among us. They are our neighbors who answer the call to work late hours on the frontlines of this pandemic. They are our educators who have dedicated extra hours to keep our children on track. They are the volunteers who have continued to make sure our local food banks are stocked.
The darker the days during this pandemic, the more they shone.
Few have shone brighter than Spearman’s Liz Hartsell. She is a Remarkable Woman, and according to her friends and family, she is an angel among us.
When you pull into Spearman, Texas, the green sign on the side of the road reminds you that the population is 3,368. It is a small town at the top of the Texas Panhandle, home to a lot of windmills and some of the finest people the High Plains has to offer.
Liz Hartsell is one of them.
“To know her is to love her,” said Missy Bates, Liz’s sister. “She’s an amazing person.”
Missy and Liz are only a year apart. Missy said they are more like twins because they are only a year apart.
These sisters could give you a play-by-play of who is who, where they live, and how long they have lived in Spearman. It is a “Three-Doors-Down” kind of neighborhood. Most everybody lives just three doors down.
When it comes to Liz’s kindness, Missy knows everything.
“She has loved with her whole heart and it’s normal,” said Missy. “It’s what she thinks God lead her to do.”
Tammy Murray is Liz’s longtime friend and co-worker at the Hansford Manor nursing home. She is also the one who nominated Liz to be recognized as a Remarkable Woman.
“She’s not just the director of nursing,” said Murray. “If someone calls in sick. If there’s a spot that needs to be filled, she goes in and works.”
If you had to take a head count of the people who know Liz Hartsell, chances are it would look a lot like that green sign on edge of town.
“She has blessed every single person she’s ever met,” said Missy Bates. “I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love Tia Liz.”
Hartsell’s acts of kindness landed her a nickname and a reputation of helping anyone at any time.
“Liz is right there to offer a word, to give advice, to try and help them,” said Dr. Mark Garnett, the County Medical Director. “In reality, she becomes Tia Liz or Aunt Liz to all these people who may not have a connection or somebody else they can lean on.”
Dr. Garnett has seen that firsthand for the last several decades. They started school together in Spearman and have worked together taking care of the people of Hansford County.
“Liz knows personally everyone in the Manor,” said Dr. Garnett. “She cares for them personally. She knows their families. She knows who takes care of them. She knows what problems they’ve had in the past. She’s vested in them a lot. It’s just amazing.”
Liz, the provider, the caregiver, the hero, the life saver.
Liz the humble.
“I don’t feel like I’ve done anything special,” said Hartsell.
That is where her friends and family disagree.
Tammy Murray would tell you about the time Hartsell moved into her house as a teenager to help care for a baby. They will both tell you they did whatever it took to raise that boy.
Missy Bates could tell you about the time Liz began caring for a young child that had fetal alcohol syndrome with a seizure disorder. Liz was in her twenties, that young child is now an adult and still lives with the Hartsells.
Her former neighbor would tell you about the time she took several kids into her home to help their mother get back on track. She would eventually adopt one of the boys and now has legal guardianship of their sister who is 21 years old and has a diagnosis of anoxic brain injury.
Liz Hartsell would tell you she does not deserve the recognition, that is where she would be wrong.
“She very much deserves it,” said longtime friend Tammy Murray. “She doesn’t shout it from the rooftops. She is so humble. She doesn’t want to be recognized. She never receives anything. She does deserve it.”
Tia Liz has become a saint of sorts for the people of Spearman.
She has given her time, her money, her heart, and her home to complete strangers.
“I’ve seen her pick up hitchhikers, carnival people that needed a place to stay, she gives out to the homeless,” said Murray. “She has taken in many kids, people that just needed an overnight stay, friends, family members.”
When you ask Liz Hartsell why, the answer is always the same: “That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what the Lord has called us to do.”
Hartsell is a hard sell when it comes to getting any recognition or praise.
“I don’t deserve this,” said Hartsell. “I’ve done nothing expect to serve others. That’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Hartsell is a constant companion, a gracious giver, and a faithful friend.
Some would even say she is a godsend to the people of her community.
“I believe there are angels who walk amongst us and I think that she is one,” said Missy Bates. “I truly describe her as if there’s room in her heart, there’s room in her home and there’s always going to be room in her heart.”
Elizabeth is a true servant of God and the community of Spearman. She has always served. She got custody of her sister in law, Cindy, when she was a teenager. Cindy has fetal alcohol syndrome with seizure disorder and has to have adult supervision. Elizabeth was in her early 20’s when she got her. She has cooked, cleaned, showed up in hospital rooms, given monetary assistance, loved on, adopted many many kids in Spearman. She has a name of Tia Liz here. She is everyone’s Aunt. Everyone knows her and loves her. She has x 1 adopted son Kasen and has housed and had temporary custody of Kasen’s half brother Kolton until his mother became clean and sober, now 3 years, and got him back. She never gives up on anyone. She stood by Kolton and Kasen’s birth mom and pushed her to be better until she was better. She has since then gotten legal guardianship of their sister that is 21 years old and has a diagnosis of anoxic brain injury. She has to have 24 hour cares. Liz is the director of nursing at Hansford Manor in Spearman. She loves every resident that has ever been admitted there. They are truly like her grandparents. She is available 24/7 for the people of Spearman. No matter the age, socio economical status, religion. She loves everybody . She loves with her whole heart and its not just words , but action.