Rita Cappert, 85, patient with Heartland Hospice serving East Central Wisconsin, wanted to leave a legacy for her family. Thanks to Heartland Volunteer, Tim Guiden, she now has a 30-page “history book” that her family can always enjoy.
Mrs. Cappert, raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin by her grandparents after her mother’s passing, shared the story of her life with Tim. For several months they met multiple times each week as Tim recorded her personal history as well as Rita’s perspective on topics such as the role of women, religion and her life’s philosophy. Adding Rita’s personal photos to illustrate her story, Tim produced a family tree. “For me it was a logical coming together of two things I love: hospice and history,” said Tim. “I have always found listening to people's stories to be very educational, as I can apply their life lessons to my own life. I have a 90-year-old mom in Indiana who sits home alone most days and would love to have someone stop by regularly and talk to her. I'm just doing what I would hope someone else would do for my mom.”
With Rita mentioning to a Heartland staff member that she would like to document her life history, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to match her and Tim. A retired military attorney,Tim has been volunteering with Heartland Hospice since February of 2016; he visits hospice patients and sits bedside to provide comfort and support. Rita herself was a committed volunteer, which she addresses in her personal history. “It is important that we all help each other, and that’s why I did so much volunteer work, especially at my kids’ schools,” said Rita. “My husband, Jim, used to call me a ‘professional volunteer.’ When you get involved, you not only meet and help others, but you make friends as well.”
Heartland Hospice hosted a reception for Rita to celebrate her 85th birthday and to share the finished history project with her family. The reception was held at Waterford of Oshkosh, where Rita currently resides.