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The work of a hospice caregiver often transcends any description of kindness, service and ministry. It takes a very special kind of compassion and dedication. A very special person.

Each month Langeland Family Funeral Homes selects an individual as a recipient of the Hospice Caregiver Award from your nominations. The person chosen as the monthly award winner receives a gift card to be used for whatever they desire. Their name is also engraved on a leaf on the Hospice Caregiver tree at the Westside location. Yearly, Langeland Family Funeral Homes holds a reception to honor the past year's award recipients. During the reception, one of these special people will be selected as “Caregiver of the Year”. The Caregiver of the Year recipient will receive a gift certificate for a very special evening and a night away.

We invite nominations from peers, friends, patients and their families, and others who feel a particular person excels in his or her profession. Through your nomination, you can provide a special honor to someone who gives so much.

Please take a moment to nominate an individual whose care has touched your heart. This person may be a hospice professional physician, nurse, chaplain, social worker, grief counselor, CNA, healthcare administrative professional or a volunteer.

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Hospice Caregiver of the Year 2020 - Shea Auge

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What a year, what a challenge! The Hospice Caregivers in our community need recognition now more than ever considering the challenges they have faced trying to support their clients and families through the death process and at the same time keeping everyone safe. The striving to find a balance between physical safety and meeting emotional needs we have had to confront throughout the pandemic is felt to the extreme in the caring for the dying and their families. To seek to not to be a spreader of a deadly virus and at the same time satisfy the desperate need for human physical contact in one of the most vulnerable times of life. These Hospice Caregivers have put themselves on the line and are providing the care that is needed.

So Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services has not faltered in recognizing these special individuals through the monthly Hospice Caregiver Awards even in 2020, presenting the awards in a way the Hospice Care Organization feels comfortable - via zoom or on the phone, in person outside, in a large spacious room always wearing masks and keeping a safe distance.  

Now it is time to gather the monthly awards September 2019 – August 2020 and select the Hospice Caregiver for 2020. A time to honor all the monthly winners and select the Hospice Caregiver of the Year normally takes place at a special banquet in October where the monthly Hospice Caregiver Award Winners have an opportunity to invite several people to enjoy an evening of food and fellowship together. It became apparent we would be unable to present the award in the usual way. So, the staff at the Langeland Memorial Chapel gathered on April 6, 2021 for a reading of the names of all the monthly winners who were eligible and then selected the Hospice Caregiver for 2020 from this group.

Shea Auge was selected as the Langeland Hospice Caregiver for 2020. Shea is a Hospice Aide for Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. She has worked for HCSWMI for the past 2 ½ years and has been a Hospice Caregiver for seven years. Shea was nominated for a monthly award by Thomas Fenwick and Paula Striebel for the exceptional care which she gave to their mother. Shea said she finds the most gratifying part of her job is being a positive support for her clients and their families.

Shea was attracted to becoming a Hospice Caregiver because she saw how she could make a positive difference in people’s lives, and especially as they are going through a very hard time, to be able to make them feel special. Shea said she feels especially humbled by being allowed to care for people during the most vulnerable time of their life. Shea also sees each of her clients as bringing something special to her life, whether it is a new perspective on death/dying, a joke or flash of a smile while telling a story from the past. She appreciates the uniqueness of all the people she supports.

The Pandemic has certainly raised the bar on the stress and difficulties of caregiving. Shea enjoys spending time with her family who are very supportive and being outdoors with her energetic 3 year old son, Asher. Shea shares how she has been challenged and how she has grown going through the pandemic, “The uncertainty and processing new information every day. Also trying to remain calm and positive for our clients while trying to keep them safe and healthy as well as ourselves. I learned even through difficult times, if we work together, we will get through it.” 

Shea also has a message for her coworkers: “To my coworkers I just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for all you do each and every day. It’s not easy the type of work we do, and it takes someone with a very special heart to do this job. I feel Blessed to work for such a great company and to work along side the best!”

Thank you Shea! You are a wonderful example of the heart and soul of an exceptional Hospice Caregiver.




Beth was nominated by Lian Wardrop for the Langeland Hospice Caregiver Award.

Beth went above and beyond her line of nursing care to give my mom the most comfortable emotional and physical death she possibly could. Not only is Beth excellent at communicating to her patients but is also outstanding at communicating to families. By taking as much time as my mom needed to explain to her what was happening in all areas as she was dying of brain cancer, Beth exuded compassion, calmness and light. Our family and most likely many others want to recognize Beth for her amazingly beautiful job of caring for her patients as they pass.

Lian Wardrop

Left to Right: Tod Langeland, Secretary and General Manager of Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial &; Beth Koperdak, Registered Nurse, Hospice Care of Southwest MI; and Dana Naumann, Bereavement Care Coordinator, Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services.

Beth received the Hospice Caregiver Award for July.

Thank you Beth for all you do as an exceptional Caregiver and we especially recognize how you have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.

Beth received The Crystal Heart Award and a gift card to be used for whatever she would like.

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Memorial Chapel
622 South Burdick St.
| Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Tel: 1-269-343-1508
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411 East Centre Ave
| Portage, MI 49002
Tel: 1-269-343-1508
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3926 S. 9th St.
| Kalamazoo, MI 49009
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205 East Maple St.
| Climax, MI 49034
Tel: 1-269-746-4206

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