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Vin and Noreen Smith

The True Comfort of Whole-Hearted Care

He was so well taken care of. I can't say enough about how gracious and wonderful everyone was to us. It's truly their vocation, not their job.

Noreen Smith

Our Commitment to Each Family’s Story

Because of you, BJC Hospice provides holistic supportive care that celebrates the dignity of each and every guest while honoring the unique journeys that brought them to hospice. Each year, more than 3,500 families find connection and closure while acknowledging the richness of a full life. Thank you for believing in this mission.

Every gift is meaningful because it comes from the heart, whether to honor a life well lived or to ensure the future of compassionate care. We share in these goals at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and we are proud to support the specialized care that enables BJC Hospice to address far more than just medical needs. We honor our part in each family’s story as the philanthropic arm of BJC Hospice, and we thank you for your generosity.

Vincent (known affectionately as Vin) and Noreen Smith entered BJC Hospice at Evelyn’s House within days of a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment that revealed an aggressive tumor. For Noreen, Vin’s week in hospice care was not about loss, but joy and remembrance.

We are grateful to have been a part of their story.

The True Comfort of Whole-Hearted Care

So often the simplest pleasures in life run the deepest.

For Vin, it was the quest for good Italian food, live Irish music, and any stranger to brag to about their daughter, Jennifer. Noreen jokes that she never spoke to anyone because Vin was the talker—and after 56 years of marriage, even his sleep was loud. When a routine MRI led them to the neurology unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the room was silent as she tried to process Vin’s sudden glioblastoma diagnosis.

Hospice care was a natural choice for Noreen. She and Vin watched Evelyn’s House being built years ago during their daily walks, and that familiarity was solidified by the glowing reviews she read. Despite exhaustive research, she had no idea what to expect. Her mother had “lingered” for three years in an assisted living facility, and she did not want this for Vin. Being able to fully trust in Vin’s care was her top priority.

“Everything was new to me,” said Noreen about Evelyn’s House. “I’d never been in hospice, but I didn’t expect what I got. It was a home, a loving home to meet people’s final needs. That’s how I felt it was, from the moment I walked in.”

In Vin’s seven days at Evelyn’s House, Noreen was moved by the kindness and gentle comfort that she and Vin both received from the team of caregivers. By the third day, Noreen knew that this was the mission she wanted to support, among the dozens that she and Vin had discussed over the years. As Vin became increasingly unresponsive, the music therapist, Kimber McNaughton, visited to play some traditional Irish ballads—and though his interaction was limited, Vin joined her in the chorus.

The music therapy room at Evelyn’s House now bears his name as Noreen’s tribute to the special moment that connected them in Vin’s final days. Though she had hoped they would have more time together, that shared moment of music transcended anything words could express, now a beautiful memory that still moves her to tears.

At a time of incredible vulnerability, BJC Hospice is proud to help make the most of these moments while striving to provide supportive care that is centered on quality of life.