Thursday, March 7, 2024

Pat Friederich to retire after 30 years of Volunteer Service to Bates County Memorial Hospital

 Celebrating 30 Years of Volunteering

Pat Friederich TO RETIRE AFTER 30 YEARS OF Volunteer SERVICE To Bates County Memorial Hospital

Pat Friederich will retire from volunteering with Bates County Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary on April 1, 2024, almost 30 years to the day started on April 4, 1994. The 86-year-old is looking forward to having the freedom to travel, enjoy her hobbies more often, and spend more time with her family.  

“I know that I’m going to miss everybody because I’ve been here so long,” Pat said. "But I want to be able to go and visit my children and go on trips. I need to do those things while I still can.” Pat is the mother of five, with seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Pat joined the Auxiliary volunteers when she was in a transition in her life. Her children were finished with school, and she was open to new opportunities, so when her friend Alvina Harrison-Wells invited her to volunteer, Pat said yes. At that time one of the main tasks for volunteers was to greet visitors, and the work was meaningful to her.

Pat said, “I enjoy people – meeting people and serving people. And I love the people that work at the hospital. They are all wonderful people.”  

Pat was involved in leadership for the Auxiliary over the years, serving three terms as president. She was also voted Volunteer of the Year in the early 2000s. In addition, Pat was closely involved in efforts that led to the group being recognized by the Missouri Association of Hospital Auxiliaries as Auxiliary of the Year in 1999, 2005 and 2011. In recent years she has devoted her hospital volunteer hours to working in the Gift Shop.

Volunteering also served to fill her time when she really needed it. Pat said the year she lost her husband and son in 2016, she really appreciated having a place to go and tasks to do.

Before volunteering at the hospital, Pat worked for about 10 years in the medical clinic of Dr. Haynie and Dr. Strobach. She was taught to give shots, draw labs, process X-Rays and more in her role at the clinic. Pat said she realized too late that she should have gone to school to be a nurse, or a teacher.

“When I was growing up, your parents didn’t push you to go on to school. It was to get married and have a family. Or you could be a teacher, a nurse or a secretary. But I didn’t want to do those things at the time; I would have liked to go into drama and music, because that’s what I loved. I still do.”

Pat belonged to a local theater group for 16 years known as the Lyle Norman Players (who later changed their name to The Entertainers). She also helped children learn to read as a volunteer assistant to the first-grade teacher at Butler Elementary for 14 years.

During her time volunteering for the hospital, Pat has donated an estimated 8,244 hours. We at BCMH feel honored that people like Pat would dedicate her time for the betterment of her community, and we thank her for her service.