Sue Chastain likes for residents to have fun
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Aug 06, 2013 | 1214 views |  0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sue Denham Chastain began her career at Jacksonville Health and Rehab Center as a certified nursing assistant in 1995. She quickly fell in love with the residents and knew she had chosen the best occupation for herself.

“I got more and more familiar with the activities program and got interested in it,” said Sue.

Everyone saw Sue’s interaction with the residents as a nursing assistant, and it didn’t take long for her to become activities assistant.

“I enjoy being involved with the residents,” she said. “I like getting to know them better, talking to them and spending time with them. We have a social gatherings and do reminiscing with games, parties and outings. I learn a lot from them. We try to keep them happy. We don’t wasn’t them to be bored. It’s their home, and they should be able to enjoy being in their home.”

Sue said what makes her job even more enjoyable is the fact that she has great co-workers and they all help each other.

“I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if it weren’t for my co-workers,” she said.

Sue was born in Coldwater and grew up in Anniston. She and her husband, David, have been married 30 years and have lived in Anniston the entire time. David installs dry walls.

They have two daughters. Misty Thacker and her husband, Stephen, have a 5-year-old son, Bradyn, and are expecting a daughter in November. They live in Alexandria. Misty works for attorneys Ghee and Draper. Melissa Chastain and her fiancé Brent Green live in Munford. Sue and David will be grandparents again in February when Melissa and Brent’s baby is born. Melissa works at Regions Bank.

Sue attended Oxford High School and Gadsden Business College.

“When I’m off work and at home, I like being with my husband, children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters,” she said. “I’m enjoying getting ready for my grandbabies.”

Sue’s sisters are Nadine Cates and Joann Hodges of Anniston and Lorene Carroll and Sandra Maye of Ohatchee. Her brother, Charles Denham, lives in Anniston. Sue is the youngest in her family.

When she and David married, she knew how to cook some simple dishes which she learned from her mother. She received a lot of help from her sisters, which she appreciated.

Sue shares some of her favorite desserts.

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Mississippi Mud Cake

2 sticks margarine
½ c. cocoa
4 eggs (slightly beaten)
2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 ½ c. self-rising flour
1 c. chopped nuts
Pinch salt
1 bag miniature marshmallows

Combine margarine and cocoa. Melt over low heat. Remove from heat. Mix with sugar and eggs. Add flour, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Add pecans.

Bake at 350 degrees in a 13x9x2 pan for 35-45 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows on hot cake, set back into oven for marshmallows to melt. Spread chocolate frosting on top.

Chocolate Frosting

2 sticks margarine
½ c. cocoa
1 box powdered sugar
1 c. chopped pecans
½ c. Pet milk

Melt margarine, add to cocoa, powdered sugar and milk. Add vanilla and nuts. Mix well everything well. Pour on top of marshmallows.

Note for cake: Sue cooks the cake a little less than the time called for (5-10 minutes less; check with fork in center). It needs to be moist in the middle and not overcooked. While marshmallows are melting, cake will cook more and be too dry.

Note for frosting: Melt margarine and cocoa together in 2 quart boiler on medium to low heat. Keep stirring until mixed well and not lumpy. Then add sugar and milk. Stir well until creamy like. Take off stove. Add vanilla and nuts. Stir well. Sue spoons hers over marshmallows. Frosting will set in one to two hours Let cake sit out until it cools well. (Does not have to be refrigerated.)

Sweet Potato Pie

2 c. sweet potatoes
2 eggs
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
1 stick butter
1 c. sugar
½ c. Pet milk
1 T. vanilla
1 uncooked pie shell

Boil potatoes in large pot covered with water until done. Or bake them. Peel off skins. Mash potatoes well. While potatoes are hot, add margarine, sugar and spices. Let cool. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour into uncooked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour.

Peanut Butter Pie

4 oz. cream cheese (cut 8 oz. size in half)
½ c. peanut butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1 - 8 oz. Cool Whip
1 graham cracker crust

In large bowl blend together first thee ingredients. Then fold in Cool Whip. Pour in rust and cool. Keep refrigerated.

Apple Cake

1 ¼ c. sugar
1 c. salad oil
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3 eggs
2 c. flour
3 t. cinnamon
2 c. diced apples
1 c. chopped pecans

Beat sugar and eggs. Add oil and mix until creamy. Sift together flour, cinnamon, soda and salt. Fold in with first mixture. Then fold in apples and nuts. Pour into greased 9x13 inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour. (Sue uses Bakers Spray for pan). Can also cook in bundt pan.


1 c. sugar
½ t. vanilla
1 T. white syrup
½ stick margarine
½ t. baking soda
½ c. buttermilk

Mix and boil to soft ball stage. Punch holes in cake before pouring filling over cake. Pour filling while still hot and cake is hot. If you remove cake from pan, pour filling over after removed and refrigerate.
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Sue Chastain likes for residents to have fun by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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