Sustained by Kindness – Our Friend, John McNamara

Paul Sirois, RH COO; Cathie Petrosky, Manager of Donor Engagement; with John McNamara

Paul Sirois, RH COO and  Cathie Petrosky, Manager of Donor Engagement with longstanding donor,  John McNamara

“Regional Hospice is such a worthy cause. They have been there for me, my family and my dear friends. I believe that people should give what they can. I just give every month, and had no idea even how long it had been. What they do is so important.” – John McNamara

Who is this generous man?

More than twenty-one years had passed and the hand-written checks kept coming in month after month. Yet, the donor was a mystery to us.

Never accepting an invitation to join us at a chapter breakfast or meet for coffee on the rare occasions that we made direct contact, the years went by, and we still knew nothing about our compassionate yet enigmatic friend.

Little did anyone at Regional Hospice know— John McNamara has passed our Center many times since its opening while handling legal matters for an elderly uncle—he had been meaning to stop by.

Then one day it happened. Our decades-long, monthly donor, John McNamara, answered the phone himself, no phone-tag in play, no work commitments to interfere; and made a date to tour our Center for Comfort Care & Healing.

We first met John on October 4tha recent retiree after 35 years in the Danbury Post Office. In addition to indulging his love for travel, history and science fiction, John finally had some time to catch up with the cause he was quietly sustaining with annual, then monthly, donations since his mom died on Regional Hospice care in 1991.

His expansive view of “family” touches many lives.

An only child, John had lost his dad at the age 27. He had a special gift for assuming the mantle of family caregiver inherited from his mom. His kindness extends not only to aunts and uncles for whom he has continually overseen healthcare and financial issues, but also to his extended group of friends who are all family to this multi-generational Danburian.

As John’s work colleague, and dear friend of 28 years, had started discussing retirement plans, he was handed a terminal cancer diagnosis at the age of 55. A strong advocate for bringing Regional Hospice onboard to care for and support his friend and his loved ones, John continued to be there for them throughout his friend’s illness and death in 1999.

His old friend’s loved ones embrace John as family, and John, in turn, continues to be there for them. The last time John visited our Center, he was in between racing from Yale to a skilled nursing facility to support their family member while fielding texts from his “family” of post office buddies about a gathering that evening.

Our very first Compassionate Friend

Our longest, continual donor in the history of Regional Hospice had made our families part of his years ago—now we are honored and deeply grateful to finally get to know him and officially have him as part of our Regional Hospice family.

Monthly donors are part of Regional Hospice’s Compassionate Friends. For information about becoming a member of our Compassionate Friends or signing up to have monthly debiting to support Regional Hospice, please call Cathie Petrosky at (203) 702-7413 or email for more information.