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Team Member Stories

Life savers


Gilda McKinney portrait

Gilda McKinney – Leading with a servant’s heart

Gilda McKinney was living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. She had evacuated the city but returned to a destroyed home and neighborhood. It became one of many challenges that enabled her to help others through trying times of their own. Watch or read Gilda’s story here.


Bernie Buckles portrait

Bernie Buckles – The healing power of a hot meal

Dedicated volunteer Bernie Buckles can be found at the Hospice House every Monday, Wednesday and Friday without fail, pulling 12-hour shifts. He arrives by 5 a.m. and begins his day by preparing breakfast – his famous biscuits and gravy – for everyone. Watch or read Bernie’s story here.


Dr. Roy Deel portrait

Dr. Roy Deel – From coal miner to small town doctor

“I was a coal miner like lot of other people here,” says Dr. Roy Deel. He became an EMT at the mines to save his job when layoffs were predicted. When the mines finally closed, he started down the path to become a registered nurse and, eventually, a physician. Watch or read Dr. Deel’s story here.


Wanda Butte portrait

Wanda Butte – A song in her heart

Wanda Butte has always loved to sing. From her preschool days in Church Hill, Tenn., to family gatherings and gospel and bluegrass songfests with her husband, Ernie, she relishes every note. But it just takes one song, she believes, to truly touch a life. Watch or read Wanda’s story here.