Meet Your Neighbor: Carolyn Richel, Hospice of the Valley community liaison

Carolyn Richel

Name: Carolyn Richel

Age: 73 and holding

Town/neighborhood: I live in east Mesa but my role as community liaison for Hospice of the Valley takes me all around Maricopa and Pinal counties.

When and why I moved here: My husband and I have been here since 2005 when we came here to help take care of our son who had congestive heart failure complicated by Valley Fever.

What I like most about living here: The nearness of family and the awesome weather (we came from the Buffalo, New York area) and I prefer to be too hot rather than too cold.

What I do: Interact with community residents, organizations and groups to help them be aware of the marvelous services that are available through Hospice of the Valley. I also schedule talks in the community at no cost or obligation for groups and organizations on topics that are pertinent to all adults.

What I like most about what I do: Meeting new people while continuing to connect with those I already know. Having the ability to assist families with making wise decisions regarding their loved ones who are facing life’s most challenging journey.

Changes I’d like to see in this area: Traffic issues are a major issue with many drivers. Connecting more of the smaller communities such as Coolidge and Florence with a shorter commute to the necessities of life.

Favorite community cause & why: I have two. Of course HOV is near and dear to my heart but I also am a huge proponent of Walk A Mile In My Shoes that collects gently loved shoes for local residents who have no shoes.

My family: My husband, Frank; daughter, Jennifer and her husband, Chris; and our two adorable grandchildren, Joshua, 11 and Emily, 9. We are also blessed with another son, Marc, his wife, Melissa and our other two grandchildren, Victoria, 20 and Sebastian, 16. They still live in western New York but we visit often. Our son, Christopher, passed away from heart disease this past April.

My interests and hobbies: I love being a nana and am so lucky that our two youngest grandchildren live only a mile away. I also enjoy listening to audiobooks as I travel around the counties. Cooking in my new instant pot has also been a fun adventure for me.

The trait(s) I admire in others: Honesty, integrity and an open mind. There is so much to learn if only people would make the effort to keep an open mind and heart.

People who inspired me (and how): There are so many, it is difficult to pinpoint just a few. My family who brought me up to be kind and generous, my HOV family who care about and support me in so many ways.

My guiding philosophy: Do what is right, think yes, see to it that the customer is always cared for as if they were your own loved one.


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