Veteran Pinning Ceremony Honors Virginia Ferguson One Last Time
July 14th, 2017
Virginia Ferguson passed away on Tuesday, July 11th, but just prior to her death the “No Veteran Will Die Alone” program conducted its first pinning ceremony of a Veteran on July 7 in Pana. Seven members of Quad County’s Veteran Volunteers presented special honors to Mrs. Ferguson as family members and Quad County staff stood by. The pinning ceremony is a special program which honors Veteran hospice patients with an American flag Veteran pin and certificate of appreciation for their service to our country.
Virginia Ferguson is a Veteran of the United States Navy. She served as a Pharmacist Technician aboard a naval ship during World War II. She was decorated with a Campaign Ribbon and Victory Medal which was awarded during that time for service during World War II. Virginia was honored by military personnel who came to her home and presented the flag, offered a special prayer, and honored her for her service for our country. Quad County staff member, Denise Orton, RN pinned Virginia with a flag pin that also displayed a Navy emblem. Ribbon Pins were also given to Virginia’s daughters who were present at the ceremony. A special hand-made red, white, and blue care blanket and pillow displaying a U.S. Navy branch design was given to Virginia as a gift from the Veteran Volunteers. As an appreciation and a way to celebrate Virginia’s service in United States Navy a cake was presented to the family.
It was fitting that this first pinning ceremony by Quad County Hospice be for Virginia because she served as the original director of Quad County when the organization first began in 1984. Her daughter, Lisa Ferguson recalls; “I remember mom getting calls in the middle of the night to go check on a patient. Sometimes if the weather was bad, she woke my dad to drive her through snow and ice to get to a patient in need.” Virginia worked as a floor nurse at Pana Community Hospital for 35 years before working for Quad County.
After retiring from Pana Community Hospital as a nurse, Virginia didn’t stop her service for the hospital. She worked countless hours for Pana Community Hospital Auxiliary and served many years as the head of the gift shop volunteers buying products to sell and making the volunteer schedule every month. She also spent many hours creating crafts in which she donated to sell at the Pana Community Hospital Annual Holiday Bazaar.
It was a privilege for Quad County Hospice to be able to honor Virginia, who was 94, as she loved it dearly and devoted so much of her time to it. Lisa stated: “I’m not sure how much mom understood during the pinning ceremony, but she was smiling and I know she was very appreciative of this special ceremony. It means a lot our family to have done this for our mother just before she passed.”
Quad County Hospice provides comfort care to patients in Christian, Montgomery, Shelby, and Fayette Counties. Quad County currently has 35 volunteers who provide spiritual care, respite care, and companionship to the clients we serve. Eleven of the volunteers are Veterans and are recruited to help honor those who served our Nation. For information on hospice services or to be a volunteer, you may call 217-562-6380.
Pictured are the Quad County Hospice Veteran Volunteers who conducted the “No Veteran Dies Alone” pinning ceremony with Virginia Ferguson and her daughters. (l to r) Jack Moss, Veteran Chaplin; Richard Simms, Veteran; Erich Weidemiller, Son of Legion; Mickey Clemons, Veteran; Bill Wright, Veteran; Roger Swim, Veteran; and Mark Denton, Veteran. Seated: Lisa Ferguson, Virginia Ferguson, RN World War II Navy Veteran and Suzanne Ehlebracht.