Hospice gathering honors loved ones

Photo provided by MELANIE ZAFFUTO -- Sister June Engelbrecht, North Oaks Hospice bereavement coordinator/chaplain, from left; Charles Bigner, North Oaks Hospice chaplain; Shirley Hunt, widow of the late Milton Hunt; and social worker and nurse Deborah Kirby, look over the Memory Tree in the lobby of the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center in Hammond. The tree will be on display until Jan. 7.
Photo provided by MELANIE ZAFFUTO -- Sister June Engelbrecht, North Oaks Hospice bereavement coordinator/chaplain, from left; Charles Bigner, North Oaks Hospice chaplain; Shirley Hunt, widow of the late Milton Hunt; and social worker and nurse Deborah Kirby, look over the Memory Tree in the lobby of the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center in Hammond. The tree will be on display until Jan. 7.

North Oaks Hospice held its 20th annual Hospice Memory Tree gathering on Dec. 6 in the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center in Hammond.

Family members and caregivers of former patients attended the event as part of North Oaks Hospice’s Bereavement Program, North Oaks officials said.

Family members and caregivers of former patients are invited to hang ornaments on the tree in memory of their loved ones and receive support from Hospice staff members.

Shirley Hunt, of Hammond, was among the guests. She attended in memory of her late husband, Milton Hunt, who was a Hospice patient for one month before he died Aug. 28.

She helped to trim the tree with a Popeye ornament in memory of Milton, who owned a Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen franchise in Hammond for 34 years. The ornament was handmade by Shirley’s aunt, Illys Utz.

“North Oaks Hospice is a wonderful service,” Shirley said. “The whole team was very supportive.”

The North Oaks Hospice team of professionals focuses on the patient’s emotional, physical and spiritual needs and emphasizes the importance of the patient’s quality of life.

North Oaks Hospice offers complimentary evaluations with no obligation.

For more information about North Oaks Hospice, call (985) 230-7620 or visit http://www.northoaks.org.