Les was a well-respected Sports Journalist for over 40 years with the Observer-Dispatch until his retirement in 1993. He held a tremendous knowledge for local sports and history. He, along with his wife, Pat, were energetic volunteers for the Utica Boilermaker Road Race. Words cannot express the care and compassion my Dad received while he was a guest for nine days. My family and I will be forever grateful to all the “angels” at the Abraham House. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. All his needs were attended to without our family asking for assistance. We were allowed to help in any way possible. We feel the staff and volunteers truly loved Les as we did.
by The Diven Family: Pat, Shirley, Carolynn, Barbara & Sandra
Abraham House staff and volunteers let Marsha be herself. They were all so wonderful and showed such compassion to Marsha. Marsha never wanted people to help her. At Abraham House they encouraged her to do what she could for herself. They really respected her wishes. Abraham House is a place that allows as many family members to be present. We always had family members there and we always felt welcomed. Her daughter was able to use the kitchen to make a whole meal for her mother just as if she was home. We are so grateful to Abraham House because we wanted her to be cared for in a place that seemed like her own home. We are also so grateful that Abraham House allowed us to say our goodbyes in our own time. All of our family members were so pleased with Abraham House. Cathy Hanretty, who is Marsha’s sister, was an Abraham House volunteer until 2010 when she left due to family and work commitments. Cathy now works as an Abraham House surrogate caregiver. Cathy says, “I thank my sister for bringing me back to Abraham House. I love every minute I am here at Abraham House. I look forward to coming to work. I often said when I retired from nursing that I would love to work at Abraham House and here I am working at Abraham House. I’m so happy to be back. Marsha would give her shirt off her back to help someone. Even as sick as she was, she would still cook meals for people in her apartment building. She quit work to care for her children, so she was a stay-at-home mother. She loved her grandchildren and loved doing things for them. Her granddaughter Heather says all the time that she was the most wonderful grandmother anyone could have.
–by Cathy Hanretty
“Our experience at the Abraham House for my wonderful 94 year old Dad, Albert Savicki”
Albert died at Abraham House on December 9, 2013.
He surprised us when he was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer, that he wanted to go to the Abraham House. We were in the process of bringing him home with Hospice, and when they got to The Pines, they told us he was too ill to take home. God was with us, in that there was a bed available at the Abraham House. We got there at 11:30, and were greeted by open arms, wanting to know if they could get us anything–we felt as if we were in a friend’s home. It was all decorated for Christmas. They got him settled in his room, and what they said will stay in my heart always…”he opened his eyes and smiled.” In his bedroom, we were able to play classical music, something he loved, hold his hand and talk to him. He peacefully passed away at 2:55. Losing him was devastating, but I cannot imagine being in a hospital environment. More members of our family came, and we were told to stay as long as we wanted. The last 4 hours of my Dad’s life gave him dignity in the most loving, caring place-it was as if he was in our home. Their compassion to him and us cannot be measured. We will be forever grateful. Albert made wonderful choices in his 94 years of life. He led a life filled with exercise-ran his last Boilermaker at age 92 young. He enjoyed hard work and was canning and gardening the summer before his cancer diagnosis and death. Family was the center of his life and the constant smile on his face warmed our lives. His last smile was after they put him in his bedroom at the Abraham House…our family will always be appreciative to the Abraham House for fulfilling his final choice, to be there–a warm home away from home.
–by Joyce Savicki Bojdak