Thomas Family

Gift Continues Legacy of Love

Thomas-familyHugs, love and support. These words come to mind for Paul Thomas and Barbara Hubel when they remember their mother, Margret (Mitze) Thomas. They’re the same words that fill the hearts of many patients and families receiving care and support through Hospice of Cincinnati.

In a fitting tribute to his wife, Mitze, Harold Thomas recently donated $1.5 million to Hospice of Cincinnati to continue her legacy of unconditional love and compassion. The generous gift has been recognized with the naming of the Margret J. Thomas Inpatient Care Center (formerly known as the Blue Ash Inpatient Care Center).

Mitze received home care from Hospice of Cincinnati for nearly three weeks this winter following successive hospital stays for a respiratory virus and later, pneumonia. The family received sage advice from friends about hospice care, including: “Engage with them before you need them” and “There are lots of hospices, but you want Hospice of Cincinnati.”

Harold and Barb Hannan, a family relative who’d been staying with the couple, appreciated being able to care for Mitze in her own home. But they also realized not every patient has that option. 

Barb was familiar with Hospice of Cincinnati’s inpatient center in Blue Ash through her mother’s care there in July 2005. Once Harold became aware of the benefits offered by the center, he decided to help ensure this homelike end-of-life care experience for years to come.  “I think that if everyone could stay in their own homes, that would be their preference,” he explains. “But not everyone can do that.” He hopes his gift will help the Margret J. Thomas Inpatient Care Center continue helping people. “They do a nice job,” he says with a nod of confidence.

Harold’s gift is reflective of the importance of relationships and simple pleasures. Harold and Mitze modeled friendship in their marriage – something their children readily recognized. That friendship could be seen in their weekly visits to The Original Pancake House in Montgomery. Known as “regulars,” their photo appeared in the restaurant’s newest menu.

Their friendship endured into Mitze’s final days as Harold patiently provided spoonfuls of yogurt and applesauce to his weakening life partner. It’s the kind of friendship that didn’t need words. It just was.

Not surprisingly, Harold and Mitze were as committed to their family relationships as they were to each other. Besides steady involvement in their children’s lives, they often made out-of-state trips to take their grandchildren on dates. Attentiveness to the core.

Shared meals, laughter, simple pleasures, love. They fill our homes and our lives. Through Harold’s gift, families can more easily continue meaningful experiences with their loved ones. Much like his and Mitze’s cherished weekly visits to the pancake house. 

Written By: Cindy Dodson

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