Photographs of loved ones at the Memorial Tree Ceremony of Remembrance

Healing together

A small group gathered in the lobby of Spartanburg Medical Center. Heads bowed in prayer as friends and families remembered volunteers, associates and board members who passed away during the past year.

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) has held the Family Memorial Tree Ceremony of Remembrance annually since its dedication in 2013. Names of those who pass away are added to the Family Memorial Tree, which is displayed in the main lobby of Spartanburg Medical Center. 

During the celebration of life on Thursday, May 11, chaplain residents read the names of each person memorialized on the tree. As the name of each individual was announced, friends and family members received a white rose in memory of their loved one.

Those honored included physicians, volunteers, employees and board members, all of who worked a minimum of 10 years.

“The sense of kinship developed between dedicated caregivers toward the common goal of healing creates an enduring bond,” said the Rev. Carson Rogerson III, SRHS Director of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Education. “The Memorial Tree is a tangible way to celebrate the selfless contributions of our colleagues as they gave of themselves toward creating a healthy community.” 

Those remembered with the Family Memorial Tree this year include:

  • Rebecca McBrayer Andrews
  • Ann Cory Braswell
  • Holly Jo Hassel Cremonese
  • Larry Douglas Cromer
  • Patricia Violette Denham
  • Frank Owen Ezell Jr.
  • Clarence “Junior” Fortner
  • James F.  Hyatt
  • Mary Jane McCoy
  • Betty McCann
  • Alpha Lorena Mintz
  • Virginia Mary Nicholson
  • Elizabeth Brannon Rabago
  • Michael Dennis Richey
  • Pat Howell Stephens
  • Teresa Lynn Stockdale
  • Dr. David K. Stokes Jr.
  • Dorothy Lyles Smith
  • W. Dewey Tullis 
  • Patricia (Patty) Weeks

The tree was dedicated in May 2013, and now lists 180 names. The memorial serves as a lasting tribute in grateful appreciation to those who dedicated their lives to serving others through health care. SRHS CEO Bruce Holstien initiated the Family Memorial Tree. The concept and inclusion criteria were then developed by Team Evolve, an SRHS employment engagement committee representing associates throughout the system. The result is a sprawling piece of art, full of branches, that represents and honors those who served SRHS.

This year’s Family Memorial Tree commemoration ceremony was one of several National Hospital Week events at SRHS, held to celebrate the men and women who support the health of their communities through compassionate care, innovation and dedication.