Carlsbad CA— More than 60 volunteers throughout the area were recognized at the November 7, 2014 North County Philanthropy Council’s annual awards luncheon as exemplary women and men who have contributed much to their fellow human beings and the community. None is more deserving than Hospice of the North Coast (HNC) recipient Robert Johnsmiller.
HNC Executive Director Sharon Lutz states, “With the indefatigable energy of someone half his 92 years and an always sunny disposition that brightens the lives of terminally ill patients and their loved ones at our Pacifica House in-patient residence, where he volunteers three days each week, Bob is a shining role model of compassion and service.”
A humble man with a cheerful smile and quiet demeanor, Johnsmiller is a retired U.S. Marine who says his own role model was his wife, a nurse. He confides, “She lived with leukemia for seven years, and she trained me on being a caregiver.” After his wife died, Johnsmiller became a hospice volunteer; initially with Tri-City Hospice. He joined HNC when Pacifica House opened one year ago.
He says volunteer work is fulfilling. “It makes me feel rewarded that I’ve done something for others. I am so thankful that my brain is working and I’m in good health, and so thankful I can be here.”
Lutz believes, “Hospice of the North Coast staff, clients and families are very thankful that Bob Johnsmiller is here with us.”
Nonprofit Hospice of the North Coast was established in 1980 to fill the need for comprehensive, compassionate hospice care in North County San Diego. Since its inception, it has grown in services, staff and clients. It currently provides a full spectrum of programs to terminally ill clients and their families, including anticipatory and post-death bereavement support, as well as a Pathways Program for those with a declining chronic disease. To fulfill its goal of maintaining dignity, comfort and highest quality of life for those it serves, regardless of ability to pay, HNC hosts fundraising events, operates a resale shop and maintains a cadre of volunteers.