SHEBOYGAN — Jim Herber was a U.S Army Veteran who passed away from COVID-19 complications on Nov. 3. To Jim’s daughter Shannon Ognacevic, she remembers the years her dad spent serving others.
“Whenever there was a need, he was the first to volunteer without any hesitation,” said Shannon.
Jim served in the army from 1966 to 1968, after the Army he spent 35-years as a mail carrier but it’s what he did during the last four year’s of his life that impacted the lives of so many.
"He would spend time with patients who were towards the end of their life," said Shannon.
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Jim was a volunteer at Sharon Richardson Community Hospice. It’s there where he served as a 'No One Dies Alone' volunteer and took part in the 'We Honor Veterans' program, participating in more than 150 pinning ceremonies.
“It’s a ceremony that honors veterans in their last days and hours with their families,” said Eric Tetzkaff, Administrator of Sharon Richardson Community Hospice.
Eric said Jim was the type of volunteer who always greeted people with a smile and was willing to selflessly give.
“Jim never said no. I think Jim really put other people first and it was very special,” said Eric.
Shannon said she is extremely proud of her father’s service and his ability to make others feel at ease during their final days.
“My brother, sister and I are all very proud,” said Shannon.
It’s the willingness to put others first that Jim will be remembered for and although COVID-19 took the Veteran too soon, loved ones and friends say there is so much we can learn from the life he lived.
“He always greeted people with a smile and it was welcoming and non-judgmental,” said Eric.
“You don’t know how quickly things can change so love those around you and let them know how you feel about them don’t leave anything unsaid,” said Shannon.