May 30, 2024

Hospice Volunteers Recognized

Garden City, KS. (May 9, 2018) –St. Catherine Hospice has named their Volunteer Chaplain of the Year and Volunteers of the Year for 2017; Obed Fernandez of Garden City, Linda Cooley of Liberal, and Gloria Bray of Dighton.

Volunteer Chaplain of the year, Obed Fernandez, began his volunteer work in 2013 with a desire to serve others, especially the dying and their families. He is present at all trainings or workshops and continues his learning through research. Obed accepts assignments with enthusiasm and a servant heart. He meets the dying and their family “where they are” on their spiritual journey, without judgement, and is a true companion. In addition, Obed can be seen in the hospice office weekly helping with mailings, bereavement follow-up calls, cleaning, and even assembling chairs.

Obed came to the United States from Chile in 1987 to pursue his masters at Western Baptist college.  In 1990 he began his seminary studies and completed a Master program in Christian Education.  Obed served as a church planter in Missouri, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Linda Cooley began her St. Catherine Hospice volunteer work in 2016 in the Liberal area. Her first assignments were difficult ones, so much so, that she considered resigning.  After visiting with volunteer coordinator Gina Cash, she agreed to try again. In April 2017 she was assigned to a lady on hospice services as a friendly companion. She continues to visit this same lady one year later. Linda has added quality to this patient’s life as she would not be able to remain in her own home if it was not for Linda’s willingness to drive 28 miles twice a week. Linda’s kindness, gifts and compassion has earned her the 2017 Hospice Volunteer of the year!

Our last Volunteer of the Year, Gloria Bray, began her service in 2008. Having a mother who received hospice services, she had a desire to give back. Gloria seems to know exactly what is needed most and when. She has made pharmacy runs from Dighton to Garden City to pick up medication, done laundry, brought meals, provided respite and companionship,  and been a voice for hospice care in her community. She is active in the Dighton community and church, works at the public library and at Garnand Funeral home.

Gloria has shared her musical talents and been a facilitator at Comfort Zone, an annual bereavement retreat for those grieving the death of a loved one. She also participates in the Annual Tree of Life and Memorial Wreath Lighting events.

For more information on Hospice services or to inquire about becoming a volunteer, please call 620-272-2519.