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Home > Volunteer > Meet Mercy Volunteers > Jeanette
“I’ve been in several hospitals in my life but never found one more compassionate or caring as Mercy.”
Long-time volunteer, Jeanette, was taking an older gentleman to visit a patient when he offered that thought on the hospital. The quote struck a chord with Jeanette. She agrees with him.
“Everyone who enters Mercy’s doors — no matter a banker or a street person — is treated as well as could be,” she said.
Jeanette has been on both the giving and the receiving side of that care. She was born on her family farm in 1930, but feels her whole life is connected to Mercy. Jeanette’s mother graduated in the early 1920s from the Mercy School of Nursing. Her mother was a registered nurse and made her way through school all on her own. Her father was a patient, and Jeanette agrees that he must have gotten special care since it wasn’t long after his release that they were wed! Her mother continued working at Mercy but, after having children, money was tight and the family could not afford the $0.50 to renew her license.
When Jeanette was a senior in high school, her father became ill and died at Mercy. Sister Mary Lawrence Hallagan helped Jeanette’s mother get her license renewed, and she went back to work at the hospital until she retired. Her mother later became resident at Hallmar. She died at the place she loved so much and where she had served so many.
Jeanette had early dreams of being a nurse herself. When her father died, she needed to help her mother pay bills, so she went to work at the courthouse and eventually gave up her dream of nursing to fulfill the role of wife and mother to three daughters (all born at Mercy).
When Jeanette’s husband died at Mercy in 2005, she wasn’t sure she could come back. She began volunteering at the Catherine McAuley Center. However, her mother had been so attached to Mercy that Jeanette decided to check out the volunteer options here.
“I thought, if I run out crying, I’ll know I can’t handle it,” Jeanette said. “But, I didn’t, and I’ve been a volunteer here ever since.”
As a greeter, Jeanette is a very friendly face and offers a bright smile to all who enter. She chuckled that she’s just about as close to nursing as she’ll ever be. Jeanette also said she’s met the most wonderful people as a volunteer at Mercy.
“My whole life is entwined here,” she said.
Thank you for your service and dedication, Jeanette!