John Lionel Chamberlin served as a volunteer in The Salvation Army Toronto Grace Health Centre’s Palliative Care Program from January 1995 to May 2014; almost 20 years of dedicated service. In June 2011, John was awarded the Ontario Long Service Volunteer after contributing 15 years of service at the Toronto Grace.
John retired as an Avionics Technician; trained in electronics and computers. When John first started as a volunteer, he had some concerns that he would not be able to handle the emotional stress of working with terminally ill patients. Over his long career in the aviation industry, he had experienced numerous stressful situations, but remarked that it did not equate to that of the palliative care setting.
John came in regularly on Sunday afternoons, and provided one-on-one comfort to our patients and support to their families. He worked with our staff in providing patients with quality of life for terminally ill patients and their families. John was empathetic, compassionate and always cared deeply for those around him. He had a strong sense of commitment. John was a valued member of the team and was highly thought of by the nurses.
Our nurses say:
“John gave hope and encouragement to patients and their families where hope is sometimes lost.”
“John knew what to do to make the nurses job run smoothly. He did not need to be asked. He was a very nice man.”
“Dedicated volunteer. Excellent with staff.”
John passed away on March 2, 2016 and he will be sorely missed by his Toronto Grace family.
Picture of John dressed in style for the Toronto Grace’s 90th birthday in 1995.