North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond upheld a 23-year tradition this holiday season with a special Christmas tree displayed Dec. 3 through Jan. 6 in the lobby of the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center.
The memory tree was decorated with ornaments selected and hung by the loved ones of North Oaks Hospice patients in their memory as a part of the North Oaks Hospice Bereavement Program, a news release said. The trunk was wrapped in a handcrafted skirt made by the late Christine Verdross, a hospice volunteer.
The group held a Dec. 3 gathering to unveil the tree.
Evelyn Jones, of Hammond, attended the gathering in memory of her late husband, Jacob “Jake” Jones, who died at age 88 in October due to a heart condition. Her ornament was a clear bulb with a lighted snowman inside.
“You can’t help but smile when you see a snowman and lights,” Jones said, adding that the ornament called to mind memories of her nearly 61-year marriage, a news release said.
Cathy Cullen, of Hammond, hung an ornament hand-painted by her friend and co-worker, Kristi Bourgeois, in honor of Cullen’s late father, Hilary Hutchinson, of Head of Island. The bauble represents Hutchinson’s love of deer hunting, a favorite pastime at his Wilson camp throughout much of his 85 years. He died in April of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the release said.