Remembering Dr. Leslie Harrold and Julia “Judy” Linder

Within two weeks, Community Hospice lost two of our legacy volunteers – Dr. Leslie Harold and Julia (Judy) Linder. Both of these women were instrumental throughout the years in assuring the success of our organization. Undoubtedly they will be sorely missed. We had the privilege of taking care of both of them at the Truman House.

Dr. Harrold started serving as a volunteer Medical Director for Hospice of Tuscarawas County in 1987 and continued to volunteer in some capacity for 34 years, including serving on our Board of Trustees for 18 years, until just weeks before her passing. According to numerous staff, Dr. Harrold was nothing short of a genius – she had a memory like a steel trap and knew something about everything. Sometimes employing methods and treatments that were unconventional, she always had the patient’s best interests in mind. Dr. Harrold cared deeply for our staff and often gave to those in need anonymously. For many years she served as Medical Director 24/7 and 365 days a years.  There were even times she would takes calls from her home – while dealing with some sort of health issue herself – because she refused to let the other medical staff down and feel overworked. Dr. Harrold was selfless and a true advocate for Community Hospice.

To view her memorial service, please visit our YouTube page here:
Dr. Harrold Memorial Service

We would also like to remember our dear friend Julia “Judy” Linder who passed away on September 4. Judy’s passion for Community Hospice began in 1986.  During that time she led our Fundraising Committee and served as a Board of Trustees member for 24yrs. Anyone who knew her knew that she was a Hospice Volunteer, and if you talked to her long enough, she would ask for a donation to hospice. Judy rarely took “no” for an answer. She raised millions of dollars over the years for Community Hospice and was instrumental in the purchase and creation of the Truman House. Judy advocated for Community Hospice any chance she got. Even from her bed in the Truman House, Judy and her husband worked to raise money, securing a check for $10,000. In 2003 Judy was recognized by the National Hospice Foundation for her outstanding volunteer service as a nominee for the Volunteers Are the Foundation of Hospice award. She was also selected as the 2014 Midwest Care Alliance Volunteers recipient of the Heart of Hospice Award. Judy will be greatly missed.

My Journey to Heaven

When a doctor tells you your time is almost up because you have cancer and pulmonary hypertension of the lungs…instead of being sad, I was put on Hospice and that day changed my life. I handed my life over to God and since then God is in complete control. He has allowed me to watch my two older children become grandparents and these two babies have changed our family and brought us so close.

I have a son who is into drugs and who I cannot help anymore. God has put a shield on my heart so I have peace. He has put me in a wonderful place now because my son is getting the help he needs. I live in so much peace.

One day when my burdens were heavy, I was sitting in my chair and when I closed my eyes and talked to God I felt him there on my couch. It was the most wonderful experience. Everything I asked for, he did. Amazing. God answered my prayers through people he sends into my life, through things on television – sometimes I feel like they are talking directly to me. I am so blessed. My journey to heaven is so wonderful and very peaceful now.

My husband died of COPD and I was his caregiver. Without Hospice I wouldn’t have made it. Now I am the patient and I didn’t think twice about making this journey without Hospice. I share my experiences with many people – cashiers, friends, anyone who will listen. People are afraid of Hospice. They think you have to be dying in 6 months. For me, I will be with Hospice for 2 years in November. I am only alive by the grace of God because I believe he has things he wants me to do yet. And that is what makes it so special. I have had more peace these last 2 years than any other time in my life. I pray that God takes me in my sleep and my children, friends, and family need to be happy because that is my wish and God did it for me.

There is not a day that goes by that God doesn’t take care of me, if I’m willing to see it. It doesn’t matter what we face, God is with us. I am not alone.

Dorothy McCune


Remembering Cicely Saunders: A Pioneer of Hospice Care

Written by Gayle Mack


Cicely Saunders was a tall, bright, energetic teenager growing up during WWII in London, England.  She was raised in a business-minded family, who pushed her towards an education in philosophy, politics, and economics.  But it was wartime and she wanted a career with a practical impact and decided to become a nurse. Early in her nursing career back problems prevented her from strenuous labor and she changed directions, qualifying in social work.  Gearing her training to public health, she was unknowingly setting up a well rounded direction for her life.


Many of the patients to which Cicely was assigned were chronically or terminally ill and she found that the hospitals were poorly equipped to deal with dying patients.  One of her most impressive patients in the late 1940’s was a Polish Jewish refugee who had escaped from the notorious Warsaw ghetto.  After already enduring much suffering, he found himself diagnosed with terminal cancer. Unexpectedly, Cicely found herself in a close relationship with this man. Their long conversations revealed a whirlwind of heartfelt unresolved needs.  Spiritual conflicts made his physical pain even more intense. She was able to help him come to terms with his faith and found that this gave him peace and helped his pain. Her faith was tested and strengthened as well.  With a small legacy left from him upon his death, she began a dedicated life of caring for the dying. 


Working with the medical profession and hospitals, Cicely became acutely aware of the deficiencies in treatment options for the incurably ill patient.  These patients and their families were often told: “there is nothing more that can be done”.  But Cicely refused to accept that there was so little to offer on their behalf and was determined to address the inadequacies.  Having been advised that to be able to change the attitude of the medical profession, she should get into medicine, that is precisely what she did, and became a physician.


She was awarded a research scholarship and did exhaustive research in palliative care.  She learned about the importance of symptom control by paying careful attention to details while listening to her patients.  One of her insightful mottos was, “let the patients do the teaching.” 


Dr. Cicely Saunder’s hospice care concepts were in the works, and by the 1960’s she was doing fundraising for a hospital specializing in these concepts.  St Christopher’s Hospice was founded in 1967 and is to this day a beacon of holistic care in its multi-professional approach.  Through the years Cicely was given dozens of awards, honorary degrees, and commendations ranging from the president of the US, to the pope, and was made a Dame of the British Empire.


And what was her inspiration?  The Jewish soldier she met and loved, and all the many patients she met thereafter.  Her strong Christian faith was also a major factor in her commitment to the dying and remained an anchor throughout her life.  After years of self-sacrifice and devotion to her cause, she found a loving partner and was happily married. 


Dame Cicely Saunders is universally recognized as the founder of the modern hospice movement and made quite an impression among some of her American counterparts. Some of her introduction to the US came through Florence Wald of the Yale University Nursing School, who was credited with promoting the hospice movement in the U.S.   Those remembering Cicely would reflect that her vision was not that hospice be a monument to itself, but be an ongoing entity with new research and ever-growing creativity.


To quote this wonderful woman, “You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life.  We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”


Pioneering hospice founder Dame Cicely Saunders remembered April 30, 2018

Photo courtesy of  Sunday Post : Pioneering hospice founder Dame Cicely Saunders remembered April 30, 2018

A Summer Afternoon

Ronald’s special experience started when he shared with his hospice nurse, that one of things he missed most, was just going out for a nice, long drive. Quickly, his Hospice Care Team and Kelly Bichsel, Patient and Family Liaison, reached out to this daughter, to gather more information and planned a meaningful, joyful afternoon for Ronald.

On a beautiful Friday afternoon in July, with assistance from the Coshocton County Coordinated Transportation Agency, Ronald and long time volunteer Bob, set out for an afternoon of driving and and a trip to Lake Park for some fishing. Ronald’s afternoon was full of beautiful scenic sights, great conversation and the excitement of catching a few small fish and a turtle. The look on Ronald’s face during this experience, was one of true joy!

After fishing, they enjoyed a lunch at Champions Unique Desserts & Food, followed up with his favorite ice cream. Ronald’s family later shared with us just how much that special day meant to him and that he continued to talk about it for days!

This experience as made possible through the generosity of the communities we serve, by donations to our Moments & Memories: Patient Gift Fund Program. This program was established to allow Community Hospice the means to go above and beyond by creating and capturing memorable experiences for our patients and families. Other experiences have included canoe trips, anniversary celebrations, airplane rides, weddings and much more!

Donations to the Patient Gift Funds are tax deductible. If you would like to show your support, donations can be made out to Community Hospice with a designation of the Moments & Memories Program on the note line.


A Way to Cope With Grief You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings: My Marla Kay

Written by Vern McDonald

What can you say about a woman who loved her family, loved people, loved animals, and loved me for 58 years?  Those 58 years were not always easy.  We married at 17 and had our first daughter, Lori, at 18.  We were so proud of her.  Little did we know at the time that this baby would grow up to bless us with our only granddaughter, Marsha, and three great-grandchildren that we love dearly – Billy, Brooke, and Brandi.

We started out with nothing but love and a prayer.  We could have given up many times but we chose to turn to each other instead of against each other.  I got a job at a steel mill and we were getting along pretty well when we found out that we were going to have our second child.  Unfortunately, our little boy, Vernon, came early and only lived a few days.  That was enough time for us to fall in love with him.  He was loved and never forgotten.  Even in Marla’s last days she would still say I wonder what he would have grown up to be?

In the following years we had another son, John, our third child.  John had a quiet
disposition and a kind heart.  He was talented in sports and a hard worker.  Devastatingly, he was killed in an auto accident when he was 35 years old.  I can’t even put into words how this affected us or the heartache we felt.  It could have torn us apart but instead it only made us grow closer, and love and respect each other even more.  It is not anything you ever get over.  Although Marla was amazingly strong, she carried this heartache until the day she passed.

Our fourth child, our daughter Holly, surprised us a couple years after John.  We were not expecting her but love her very much.  She later blessed us with our only grandson, Christopher, or Rambo as Marla always called him.

We had our ups and downs like all marriages but I can honestly say that I loved her the day I married her and everything we went through made that love grow every day.  We had our rough times as most people do.  However, we also had some wonderful times.  For two kids who start out with nothing we did pretty well for ourselves.  We raised three great kids, I ended up being Vice President of the steel mill, and we got to do and see a lot of wonderful things.  I am so happy that when I retired, we took off for about a month and just traveled together.  We didn’t have much of a plan but we had a wonderful time and made memories that I will never forget.

Marla cared more about others than she did herself.  She always made sure that no one did without and she had a way of making you feel special.  As much as I miss her, and I do miss her so much, I am glad that she is at peace with our Heavenly Father and her suffering on earth is over.  She is now an Angel in heaven, as she was always an
angel on earth.

Community Hospice offers individual in-person counseling, support groups and telephone support.  If there are other dates/times for groups that would be beneficial to you, we  welcome feedback and suggestions. If you would like information on our program services, please contact the Bereavement Team at 1-800-947-7284 or email at


Ice Cream and Community Hospice

Executive Corner by: Norm Mast, President/CEO

I am often asked “Aren’t all hospices the same? What makes your hospice better than the others?” My response has always been “No, hospices are not all the same.” That’s like saying all hamburgers are the same! Or even all ice cream is the same! (More about that later.) And the follow-up question is always “Well what makes Community Hospice better than the others?” And that question always makes me pause. I know we are different and better, but what is the right answer to this question? So, back to the ice cream thing – it’s quite easy for me to describe what makes certain ice cream better than others. I prefer real ice cream to custard. It has to be creamy and smooth without nuts and preferably with some sort of caramel or coffee flavor infused. Even better if it has both!

Enough about ice cream for now, let’s get back to what makes Community Hospice different/better than the other hospices.

Here are a few reasons why we are better:

– 30 years of service – Community Hospice has been around for more than 30 years. Now, older doesn’t necessarily mean better. As an organization we have been around the block a few times which has allowed us to gain experience and try to provide a higher quality of care. We are always looking at ways to improve and serve our patients and families. Health Care is constantly changing and in order to survive in this world we need to be nimble and adapt.

– Non-profit community based – Being a non-profit community based hospice allows us to be nimble and make changes and improve our services. We are not a part of any other organization, which allows us to make changes quickly without having limitations put on us by a parent organization. Since we are a non-profit, all money that is donated and any profits that are made are put right back into the organization to continue to change and improve what we do.

– Same day admissions – We pride ourselves on doing same day admissions or even within an hour of getting a call if needed. Most patients and families don’t plan out a hospice admission. The admission is usually driven by some type of event or decline in a patient’s condition. So when that crisis is occurring you don’t need to wait days for us to come see you. We can start care immediately and if needed can bring you to The Truman Hospice House for more intensive care.

– The Truman House – We pride ourselves in providing care wherever the patient needs us. There are times when patients need more care than can be provided at home due to symptoms that are not being controlled. The Truman House is a 12-bed inpatient facility designed for just those occasions. Staff provide 24-hour care in a home like setting so that caregivers can once again be the mother, father, son or daughter instead of worrying about how to care for a loved one. Since the facility is designed for short term stays, our specialized clinical staff work with families to provide a home going plan or for placement in a long-term care facility.

– Specialized medical expertise – Our team of nurses, physicians, social workers, hospice aides, chaplains and volunteers have extensive training in end-of-life care. It’s what we do and we believe that end-of-life care is just as important as the beginning of life. We want to be the best at what we do and provide peace, hope, compassion and dignity at end-of life no matter who you are.

– Providing care for all – We provide care to all patients regardless of ability to pay. Most patients have some sort of insurance, however there are times and circumstances that may occur when there is no billable insurance. As a result of the tremendous support of our community through donations and fundraisers, we can offer that care to qualifying patients without having to pay.

Now, back to the ice cream analogy. For all the same reasons that our organization is the right choice for patients and families, you could say that those reasons apply to ice cream as well. I want good old fashioned, local ice cream provided by someone who has perfected their recipe. I want good service provided by knowledgeable staff who are specially trained to provide that ice cream. I would love to say that I can get that ice cream 24-hours a day at no cost – but alas that is where the similarities end.


Healing Through Journaling

Written by Sheri Sundheimer

In loving memory of her husband, Ed, Sheri Sundheimer offers to share an excerpt from her journal…” journaling felt better than I thought it would…I hope it helps others to share.”

Two months and eleven days seems to be forever long, but at times, those days feel only as if I just blinked.  In reality, I have done so much and know in my heart how  proud Ed would be in me — I purchased

our final resting place, moved in a beautiful apartment with my daughter, Tracie and granddaughter, Haylie, paid off our bedroom set and my car.  Taking care of mom and allowing my pets to somehow fill a space of a very lonely heart. Some of these days have been okay,

but tears still flow like a river.  It’s okay to cry – its nature’s way of destressing.  I don’t know how I have made it to today – my faith.  Yes, and to know that God allows Ed to have my back – to give me the strength to keep going, and also all the love and encouragement I have received from my children – especially Tracie.  She lets me cry, laugh and just sit.  And she never tells me that it’s not okay to do so.  I see so much of Ed in her, at time it is scary – goes to show that blood does not make you a Dad, love does.

The Benefits of Journaling – It is common for individuals to struggle with their expression of thoughts and feelings during grief following the loss of a loved one. Bereaved individuals often identify the worry of ‘burdening’ their loved ones with what they’re going through as one of the reasons for this common struggle. This is where journaling can be a healing tool, as it is a safe outlet to express thoughts and feelings at a pace they are comfortable with. A journal is a safe place to unload the many emotions that are often experienced, rather than bearing that weight day in and day out. Journaling also allows us time with those thoughts to reflect, identify problems and solutions to those problems and even showing us how far we may have come in the healing process.

Community Hospice offers individual in-person counseling, support groups and telephone support.  If there are other dates/times for groups that would be beneficial to you, we  welcome feedback and suggestions. If you would like information on our program services, please contact the Bereavement Team at 1-800-947-7284 or email at


Grief Is…

Written by Lucy Domer

Grief is…fear, anger, hatred, sorrow, sadness, depression, scared, loneliness.  The who, what, why, where, when, how, would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. Love, friendship, family, tears, emptiness, sharing, trying to live through it. Not just one or another. Not just all or none.  Not knowing if or when. Not at any particular time, place or day.  Never put it on a calendar that any day picked will be the end.  Grief is felt, seen, heard for as long as you need to heal.  Grief is in every person’s life.  Not one person can avoid it.  It is not something that will not affect you.  Every person deals with it differently. It is a living hell, but getting  through it is a part of God and Heaven’s Angels helping.

“Grief is the price we pay for love.”

Community Hospice offers individual in-person counseling, support groups and telephone support.  If there are other dates/times for groups that would be beneficial to you, we  welcome feedback and suggestions. If you would like information on our program services, please contact the Bereavement Team at 1-800-947-7284 or email at


Leaving Your Mark – Volunteering & Mission Trips

Tuscarawas County Volunteer Carol Radefeld, and her late husband, Bud, were known for traveling the globe with Medical Mission International (MMI), having completed 57 two-week trips during their marriage.

After breaking his hip in 2011, Carol and Bud thought that was the time to let the “kids” take over the trips and step away from their roles as a surgical unit nurse and Medical Director, respectively. In 2015, at the age of 96, Bud passed away, and Carol was sure she would never complete another trip.

Learning to live life without Bud was difficult, and she was blessed to have many friends and family supporting her in her grieving. During that time, she had gotten many calls from former mission participants, directors, and even from the Dominican physician who was in charge of all of the Dominican Republic projects, inviting her to come back on a project. Each time she gave the same answer – “I just can’t do it!” That changed in the fall of 2016 when Carol received a call from Marc, a surgeon that she highly respected, who wanted Carol to join him on a trip in February 2017. Carol and Bud had always hoped that Marc would take over as Medical Director, and Carol told him that she would “consider it.” As she reached out to friends and colleagues for advice, she received the same answer over and over – “We will go if you go!” With the needed team members on board, supplies, clothes, medication, and monetary donations began to pour in. Carol could truly feel Bud’s gentle nudging and support throughout the preparation process. The trip was incredible. The team was able to share important health information, and their faith, with 1,413 patients.

In the medical clinic, 404 adults and 168 children received medical care, 95 lab procedures were completed, 456 parasite treatments, and 2,771 prescriptions were filled. The dental clinic served 160 patients, performing 130 extractions, 103 cleanings, 159 restorations, and 56 fluoride treatments. The eye team completed 227 eye exams, giving out 90 pairs of glasses to those in need. In the local hospital, the surgery team performed 218 minor procedures and 95 major surgeries.

Carol’s decision to go on her 58th Mission Trip was further validated when she was introduced to a 19-year-old woman, whom Carol had helped deliver via C-section on a previous mission trip to the same hospital. This was the first C-section ever performed by a team from MMI, as it was the only opportunity to save both mother and baby. There was no chance in this meeting, as Carol feels Bud certainly had a hand in it. If given the opportunity, Carol hopes to travel on another MMI trip in the future and wants to share that you do not have to be medically trained to be a part of this experience! Learn more at


Written by Pamela Burkall

As I continue my journey each day, sometimes the day seems to be shades of dark gray, but again…it has silvery light surrounding it.  I continue my walk.  Some days you force
a smile, but it turns into laughter for no particular reason.  God walks with me as each day passes.  He brings nature to me.  It may be a single bird to look and watch me at my window, or deer waiting patiently for me to feed them.  I feel blessed.  A stray leaf blown
off from a nearby tree, flutters down and brushes my hair or lands at my feet.  Funny, as I look up at the trees, and wonder where it came from, for it seems that there were no leaves left about the trees. You take notice, a sign that you are not alone.  In the stillness of the day or night it brings about light of better understanding.  A soft voice whispers…Be still and know that I am God.  You feel comfort throughout your soul.  You feel blessed.  You wish that you could truly express to others how you really feel, but they have no idea what flows throughout your heart and mind.  A little secret I share of my own…still I feel very blessed never the less…God walk with me.

Community Hospice offers individual in-person counseling, support groups and telephone support.  If there are other dates/times for groups that would be beneficial to you, we  welcome feedback and suggestions. If you would like information on our program services, please contact the Bereavement Team at 1-800-947-7284 or email at