“I just never imagined this would expand over a 20-year period,” that’s what Briscoe told the Eastern Arizona Courier when we interviewed her back in 2012.
Bonnie began doing her volunteer work at Sunset Hills, now Haven Health, delivering snacks and companionship to its residents. Now over 30 years later, she plans on returning to duty once the pandemic is over and visitors are allowed back into the facility.
“Bonnie is indeed a special person,” said Ruby Cochran.
A retired instructor at Eastern Arizona College with 10 years’ experience in volunteerism, Bonnie soon found herself learning the ropes of hospice care. In 1990 her mother, Margorie Kann, was admitted to what was then called the Sunset Hills facility. She made it a point when visiting her mother to bring her grapes and string cheese.
After some time, her mother passed, but Bonnie continued to visit Odessa, her mother’s roommate at the facility, bringing along her grapes and other goodies to share. Soon Briscoe’s compassion spread to other residents who needed the same time and care. She became known as “the grape-and-cheese lady”.
Bonnie realized her service helped her in healing from the grief and pain she suffered when her mother passed. She truly enjoys spending time with the residents and carries the memory of her mother and past residents in her work as she continually serves as a volunteer and on the hospice team.