site image
site image

Hospice Caregiver Award

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, CNA, healthcare administrative professional or a volunteer.

site image

View past winners by year, October to August:




Wendy Miller

site image

Langeland Family Funeral Homes hosted the Fourth Annual Hospice Caregiver Award Banquet on October 9, 2019. The twelve-monthly award winners were invited to an evening of gratitude for their service and to select the Langeland Hospice Caregiver for 2019. Wendy Miller an RN with SouthernCare Hospice was selected as the Langeland 2019 Hospice Caregiver of the Year. She attended the banquet with her husband, Matt and two friends and co-workers from SouthernCare, Jenny Henley and Julie Gimbel. Wendy lives in Portage with her husband and three children. She was very honored to receive the award and expressed how this award shows validation for the work of hospice and a connection with our community. Wendy sees it as a special way to pass the love along. 

This is what Wendy shares about her work in hospice:

“When I tell people what my job is, I am often greeted with sad faces and words of “oh how sad” or “your job must be so hard”. But I do not find my job to be hard. It is sad from time to time, this is true. But mostly, especially after I have spent many hours with families, and my patients have passed peacefully and comfortably surrounded by loved ones; I find an overwhelming sense of calming reward and inner peace by helping these families find understanding and acceptance of their loved ones passing.”

Langeland Family Funeral Homes expresses their sincere thanks for Wendy and all the Hospice Caregivers for the service they provide to those who going through these most difficult times of their lives as a patient and as a family member.  

Following are quotes from other monthly Hospice Caregiver award winners who attended the banquet:

“I cherish life, every second, because of my Hospice experiences. I consciously try to live in the moment. I value the wisdom and knowledge of the elderly.” Hilary Smith, Social Worker, Grace Hospice

“Working at hospice has impacted me by showing me the understanding of families and no family is perfect and to be kind and understanding.” Kelli Owens, Clinical Nurse Assistant, Great Lakes Caring Hospice

“I feel grateful when leaving a home after a visit, knowing that, with God’s help, I have been able to meet a physical, emotional or spiritual need that is a concern that day, leading to increased comfort for the patient and/or the caregiver. It is important to me that they feel as if they were the most important visit of my day!” Donna Coots, Registered Nurse, Wings of Hope Hospice

“I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to work for such a wonderful company with so many fantastic team members. I think my journey begins there. Everything else falls into place. Everyday is special and all of our patients are special. My favorite story, I love what I do.” Karen Wilcox, Licensed Practical Nurse, Great Lakes Caring Hospice

“Being nominated for this award feels pretty special. I say this mostly because while I do remember the patient and family who nominated me, I do not remember doing anything above or beyond what my fellow coworkers and I do every single day. It is humbling to think about what a huge impact we can leave on others on what feels like just an ordinary shift.” Katie Bonita, Registered Nurse Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan – Rose Arbor

“If I can share one special moment with a person in a song, a story; a laugh; a smile; a dance; holding hands or sitting in silence to help bring an atmosphere of dignity to dying, then I have been blessed. Barbara Gillespie, volunteer, Heartland Hospice

“I loved their mission and wanted to play any part possible to help carry it out. I am impacted every day by the people I work with. People that work in hospice care have an incredible amount of compassion in them and makes coming to work a joy.” Amy Chestnut, Fundraising Coordinator, Wings of Hope Hospice

I often see people at their worst times when they have lost all hope. I have met so many families that were scared and afraid to care for their loved ones. As rapport is built with families and the patients, I see them get more comfortable. Patients become comfortable and it brings about a new sense of peace.” Karen Tennant, Registered Nurse, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan

       Hospice Caregiver Award Banquet on October 14, 2020


Anne received two nominations one from Katelyn Kinkema and a separate nomination from Becky VanDyke.

Anne is an amazing nurse. She came into my family's life at the hardest time for all of us to accept. Anne was there every step of the way. Even on days that she was not scheduled to see him, she called or texted to check in. My grandfather was not on service very long, but Anne made a HUGE impression on all of us that will never be forgotten. His biggest fear was passing in pain. And she made sure he was extremely comfortable, and he passed in peace. That gives all of us peace in return. In his final days, Anne checked in multiple times a day, and stayed well over an hour at all of her visits to make sure he was comfortable, and that we were confident in caring for him. Anne was a blessing to not only my grandfather, but the entire family. She became family in that week he was on hospice. There is no one that deserves this award more than Anne Vantongeren. 

Katelyn Kinkema

Our dad was referred to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. His first visit was December 4, he passed eight days later at home, peacefully. Our nurse, Anne had a way of calming him down by explaining more thoroughly, and talking it out. Anne is a very caring, giving, calming, and a beautiful person. We would like to nominate her for the Hospice Award.  

The Family of Douglas VanDyke, Sherri, Julie, Kevin and Becky.

Pictured from left to right:   Lisa Langeland Allen, Treasurer, Langeland Family Funeral Homes; Anne Vantongeren, Registered Nurse, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan; and Shelby Herendeen, LFD, Langeland Family Funeral Homes.

site image
© 2020 Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS