Hannibal News

Hospice patient's wish comes true

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 27, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Mar. 27, 2019 9:49 am

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Judy Stanton sat and listened, holding a bouquet of flowers oh so gently against her chest.

A smile never left her face.

Stanton, in hospice care at Luther Manor, had told caretakers her final wish was to somehow hear a barbershop quartet.

On Tuesday evening, that wish came true. Ironically, it served as a birthday present, too. Stanton turns 78 this week.

Relative Harmony, a four-man ensemble from Macomb, Ill., entertained Stanton while a collection of relatives, fellow residents and Luther Manor workers and officials watched and listened in the background.

There was a hardly a dry eye in the house.

"I have always wanted to hear barbershop quartet music," Stanton said. "The harmony is amazing. I can't believe the skill it takes."

Desiree Detwiler, a nurse at the care center, has enjoyed Stanton's personality -- which includes a humorous dash of senior sassiness -- since the day she arrived about six months ago.

"We love her," Detweiler said. "She loves to play on her phone, watch animals, crochet, knit ... and talk."

Stanton admits to a wide range of passions.

"There are very few things I'm not interested in," said Stanton, who has lived in Hannibal for 23 years after moving from San Bernardino, Calif.

The move from the West Coast came after she had retired from PepsiCo International.

"I woke up one morning and decided I was moving to Hannibal, Mo.," Stanton said.

At that time, she had never been to Hannibal, but for some unknown reason felt drawn to Mark Twain's hometown and the land of Tom and Becky.

"I have always loved the history of this area, and the sense of community," Stanton said.

Relative Harmony entertained Stanton with such songs as "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," "My Wild Irish Rose" and "Take My Hand, Precious Lord."

Kayla Prewitt, who has been Stanton's caseworker for Community Loving Care Hospice, arranged for the quartet to sing.

After hearing of Stanton's request, Prewitt found the group on Facebook and contacted its members. Within a 24-hour span, a Tuesday night date was arranged.

"They said they'd be happy to come," Prewitt said.

Allison Barnard is activities director at Luther Manor, and was not surprised that Stanton enjoyed teasing members of the quartet.

"She's a spitfire, a little firecracker," Barnard said.

Stanton has never had any second thoughts about her move East.

"I have always felt like Hannibal was home," she said.







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