Jefferson Award Winner, Judy Gates - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Jefferson Award Winner, Judy Gates

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Coon Valley, WI (WXOW) - -

These hands have touched the lives of so many especially those at the end of their life.

"They've gone through all the stages of death because a lot of them that we get are at the end stage. You know as a hospice volunteer to sit with them, you know they're at peace. They're at peace with life and they're at peace with death," said this month's Jefferson Award winner, Judy Gates.

It takes a special person to sit at a dying person's bedside especially when they're not even family but Judy has been doing this for 25 years.

"It's such a rewarding gift you can give to somebody."

This extraordinary need to give didn't come about in retirement, Judy says it's always been there.

"My mother always said be remembered for what you do in this world not for what you didn't do," said Gates.

Judy organized a knitting group to make hats for babies at Vernon Memorial Hospital. 
"I started about 10-15 years ago. A lady who had been making the hats put an ad in the paper and so I've been making hats ever since," said Gates.

Gates' friends say she is good at everything she does...especially making everyone feel comfortable and for her wise words.

"Every down hill has an up to it. You know - you keep on. Life is fantastic. One door closes, another opens. There's just so much to do in this world gotta do it while you can," said Gates. 

The knitting group is open to anyone wanting to help out and learn how to knit.  They meet every Tuesday at the Coon Valley Library.  


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