Bernie Buckles

The healing power of a hot meal

The Hospice House provides comfort, refuge and sanctuary for terminally ill patients and their families during one of life’s most challenging times. Scores of dedicated team members and volunteers work in the hospice house to help ease such difficult transitions, and one volunteer, Bernie Buckles, is even more exceptional.

Bernie 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.

“So when they smell biscuits and gravy coming from the Hospice House kitchen, they line right up.”

“A lot of our hospice families stay here all day and night with their loved ones, and they don’t always take time for regular meals,” Bernie said. “So when they smell biscuits and gravy coming from the Hospice House kitchen, they line right up.”

Nothing, even snow and ice, can deter Bernie from his work. He's felt a calling to serve with the Hospice House since his father and father-in-law spent their final days there. Soon thereafter, Bernie began volunteering whenever he could, and after his retirement in 2012, he began the steady, three-day-a-week schedule he maintains to this day.

While his breakfast definitely qualifies as comfort food, Bernie truly makes a difference by helping allay fears and making everyone feel comfortable and cared-for.

Bernie has the gift to make people feel at ease to talk about anything and has the uncanny ability to immediately understand and relate to anyone. For our hospice families, Bernie’s a listening ear and shoulder to lean on who offers comfort and reassurance and helps them know that everything is going to be all right. 

The story of a hospice patient is inherently tragic, but Bernie remains committed to his servants’ heart and dedication to others. He loves life, loves his community and is honored to serve it with his many talents.