Regina Dominican is proud to present the Alumnae Medal for Service to Barbara Kinateder Hoffman’64.
The definition of a “Caregiver”: Caregivers are responsible for the physical care and emotional support of someone who can no longer care for themselves due to illness, injury, or disability. This is the definition of Barbara’s life, according to her high school classmate Lila Dohm Schauwecker ’64. “We were fun-loving teenagers. We both married young and looked forward to being wives and mothers. Little did Barbara know that her future would hold a lifetime of caregiving.” Lila’s nomination of her friend describes a life of service. Below are excerpts from her nomination letter.
Barbara has lived the life of service.
Barbara has lived the life of service to others with strength, joy, and love of family. Barbara lost both her parents when they were in their 40’s. Her first caregiver duties started with her mother’s cancer diagnosis. At that time Barbara had two young children of her own. Upon her mother’s passing, Barbara and her husband knew that they were the perfect family to raise her 12-year-old brother, Bobby. She became the physical and emotional support of her young brother.
Her next caregiving duties were far more intense and life-changing. Her husband, in his early 40’s, experienced massive strokes and heart attacks. After the initial shock, Barbara researched and followed up on any treatment, physical therapy, and speech therapy that would help her severely disabled husband to lead a meaningful life. Her husband is in his mid 70’s now and can look back on a life that included vacations, family dinners, a part-time job, all orchestrated by a “caregiving” wife.
Through tough times Barbara always finds the sunny side of life.
But for Barbara, that was not enough. She wanted to share her findings with other stroke victims and their caregivers. She started a “stroke group” where couples could get together, share experiences and socialize. She even put together a “stroke” newsletter. She managed all of this while working full-time to raise her children, see them through Catholic high schools, and college educations. She experienced health problems of her own but always found the sunny side of life. Barbara also spent considerable time looking in on and helping to care for her elderly grandmother and caring for her elderly Mother-in-law through her cancer and dementia.
Today, because of the tragedy of the opiate epidemic, Barbara is raising her 11-year-old granddaughter. Always looking on the sunny side of life, she shares with friends how much joy her granddaughter brings into the house. Lila adds that “Barbara is very active in the 1964 Regina Reunion committee, volunteering at the local hospital, and the driving force of our Travel group.”
“Barbara Hoffman was not called upon in her lifetime to conquer new worlds or discover profound unknowns. No, as she came to discover, her role is not to experience life in a few great deeds but in thousands of little ones. Living each day as fully as possible. The true, Catholic daughter, wife, mother, and friend.”
Barbara will receive her award at the Alumnae Reunion Mass on October 3, 202o.