Hospice provides opportunity to remember loved ones

| December 6, 2012

COSHOCTON – Remembering loved ones is important to Barb Emmons and so is giving back to a supportive community.

Emmons, the executive director of Hospice of Coshocton County, accomplishes both of these goals through the Community Remembrance Tree.

The tree in the gazebo at the court square features star-shaped ornaments that display the names of people who have passed away.

“The idea is that the names on the tree don’t just have to be people that were from Coshocton,” Emmons said. “They can be family and friends from any place. My parents weren’t from here and I get a good feeling from being able to put their names on the tree.”

In 2002, when the tree first went up, there were only 300 names on it and in 2011 there were 1,009 ornaments displayed.

“People really like this tree,” Emmons said. “We have people that call in ever year and request a star and having it go up in a certain section so it’s easy for them to find. People often remember their loved ones all year long, but this is a special time for them. We see a lot of people coming down to look at the stars. It can be a real family time.”

The tree also is a community effort.

“Kenny Scheetz donated the tree in memory of his brother,” Emmons said. “He’s been donating it to us for a number of years. He’s wonderful and always gives us a big tree. Tom Edwards from Auer Ace Hardware also brings a ladder up to help us get the tree up and we have staff and volunteers who also donate their time. Without all the different people coming together to help this wouldn’t be possible. It’s one of the nice things about living in a small town.”

She also especially appreciates the help of staff member Marge Donley and volunteer Barb Wilson.

“Marge heads up the project and Barb is like the postman,” Emmons said. “Rain, snow or sleet she picks up the ornaments and makes sure they all get on the tree.”

Volunteers also cut out the stars, outline them in gold and write the names in black.

“They are made out of a material that we are able to clean up and use again,” Emmons said. “We get a lot of repeats.”

The community can request names be added to the tree through Friday, Dec. 21 by calling Hospice at 622-7311 or stopping in at their office at 230 S. Fourth St.

“No donation is required,” Emmons said. “This isn’t at all tied to money.

Individuals may request as many star-shaped ornaments as they wish to be added to the tree. One name only will appear on each star.

“We live in a very busy time,” Emmons said. “There is a lot of stress in our world and I think people are just looking for an opportunity to slow down and remember cherished memories.”

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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