MESA, Ariz. (June 19, 2019)– It might be tough for 90-year-old Ruth Wootten to get much done on her last shift at Banner Gateway Medical Center on Monday, since the lifelong hospital volunteer will be too busy getting hugs.
Ruth has consistently volunteered for nearly 57 years, most recently at the Information Desk where she helps visitors with a smile. She has decided to finish volunteering since she’s no longer comfortable driving, but her mind is “still sharp as a tack,” said Volunteer Services Director Kathy Williams.
Her final shift will be from noon to 4 p.m. The best times to interview her and take Broll footage will be from about noon to 2 p.m., but we can make arrangements for later in her shift. Hospital staff will decorate her chair and surprise her with a few gifts and festivities throughout the day.
Ruth, who lives in Tempe, started volunteering at Mesa Lutheran Hospital in 1962, helping to clean bathrooms, do laundry and make beds, and she was still there lending a hand when the hospital, by then named Banner Mesa Medical Center, closed 45 years later. Her husband, Bill, volunteered alongside her for a few years until he passed away.
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