100-year-old volunteer still focused on serving others - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

100-year-old volunteer still focused on serving others

By LaKecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) - She is a happy, helpful, 100 year old. For nearly 40 years, Kate Sledge has volunteered at what used to be Henderson Memorial Hospital but now is ETMC Henderson.

It's hard to believe that 100 looks and moves as good as Sledge. It's her personality that keeps smiles on patients' faces, and her giving, kind-hearted spirit.

"It's a part of my life and I enjoy it, I enjoy what I do and I enjoy being with the people," said Sledge.

In her nearly 40 years of walking the hospital halls as a volunteer, Sledge's labor of love has never stopped.

"Most folks don't have careers that long and it's all volunteer work so she still comes every Monday!" said Terry Deornellis, her nephew.

"When you come in in the morning, she hugs you and says I love you!" said Melba Kelsey, a 13-year volunteer.

"I think it's done more for me than I have for them maybe," said Sledge. "It's kept me going."

Just last year at 99 she stopped driving.

"I decided that I was young enough to stop," laughed Sledge.

But, every week she manages to show up to volunteer. Some of her patients have even had a crush on her.

"Well, I tried to never give them the idea that I wanted to look at them," said Sledge.

For Sledge, it is not about getting a date, but meeting people at their needs.

"I give the Lord credit for that," she said.

Sledge started volunteering at the hospital in 1972 after her husband died. She says she wanted to make her life worth while and she has been faithfully volunteering ever since then.

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