My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends – It gives a lovely light.

“First Fig” – Edna St. Vincent Millay

A Lovely Light

Eleanor Wallis’ candle burned for 87 years; though she died in December, Eleanor leaves behind a lovely light.

A teacher, journalist, listener, community advocate, leader, patriot, friend, mentor, single parent and family matriarch, Eleanor lived a life of advocacy for others. She worked for causes essential to the health and welfare of young children, the mentally challenged and the elderly. At the time of her death, Eleanor had served for more than a decade on Evergreen Hospital's Community Advisory Board.

“Eleanor saw herself not just as an advisor to EvergreenHealth," remembers a colleague, “but as an advocate for the patient. She was the one who wanted to know, ‘Will the elderly or poor have access to this service?’”

When it was finally time to set aside her lengthy to-do list, Eleanor chose to live her last days at the Gene & Irene Wockner Hospice Center at EvergreenHealth, where she and her family enjoyed her beautiful room, views of the garden, the communal kitchen, family “sleepovers,” Eleanor’s kitty, music, games and neighboring families.
“Once we arrived at Hospice, a wave of peace enveloped us all,” says Eleanor’s daughter Heather. “They were angels for mom and for our family. The medical care there was wonderful, while the care for mind, body, soul and family was comforting and gentle for our mom – and for us.”

Eleanor’s family purchased a memorial plaque to be placed in the Hospice garden, where they will remember the woman whose message was love, love, and more love. Purchase of a plaque benefits Hospice and its services – a fitting memorial to a woman who burned her candle at both ends in a campaign to bring light to others.

Written for EvergreenHealth’s Monitor
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