Volunteer will be missed

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 14, 2008


They’ll miss his eternal optimism.

Robert &8220;Bob&8221; McDowell had been a volunteer with Cahaba Hospice since 2004, and staff there say he always looked at that glass of water as half full.

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McDowell, 77, lost his wife Jo Ellen McDowell while he was ill. They died five days apart. He was hospitalized in intensive care when she passed, Curtis said. He died Wednesday.

Cahaba Hospice has 11 staff members and 16 volunteers. Staff and volunteers visit in the home with terminal patients, and spend 13 months following up with family members after the patient has passed away.

Richard Ware, Cahaba Hospice owner, said, &8220;Bob will always be missed.&8221;

A native of Kentucky, McDowell had worked as a volunteer in a Jefferson County hospice before he and his wife moved to Selma. Curtis said McDowell was wheelchair bound and had health issues of his own, but after his own doctor’s visits he went to visit with the terminally ill.

After McDowell became confined to a wheelchair, Curtis said he didn’t stop sharing his kind spirit and compassion for people.

McDowell was a cancer survivor, who never complained about his illness or trips to doctor offices. Soon as he was finished, he was off to visit with a client and their family.

Angie King said they provide volunteer training, and McDowell came to Cahaba Hospice already trained on the sensitivities of dealing with terminally ill patients.

Cahaba Hospice will be recognizing volunteers this spring. They said there might be tears shed for &8220;Bob,&8221; knowing if he were there he would say, &8220;It’s going to be all right.&8221;