Peaceful Celebration of Loved Ones Lost

Scores of visitors lined up patiently to hang a wood-carved ornament of a dove on the NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement Tree of Memories Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Green Valley Administration Center as a harpist strummed holiday music.

It was the 31st year for the event, which invites the public to join in a holiday tribute to honor loved ones. A slideshow of photos created by Hospice Medical Director Terrell VanAken, M.D., and a reading of names were featured, along with a salute to veterans, past and present, offered by oncologist and hematologist Jonathan Lopez, M.D., who was trained as a physician during his time in the U.S. Air Force.

“We welcome your tears, your joy, your sadness and reflection as we focus on peace today,” said Rabbi Jennifer Flam, hospice chaplain and volunteer coordinator.

Guests were able to take the wooden ornament with them as a remembrance at the event’s conclusion.

For NorthBay, ornaments were hung in the memory of senior executive Art DeNio and NorthBay Healthcare Foundation board members Wendy Wasserman Kellogg, Adam Burke and Jim Lawrenz.