Wendy Schmitz, MD, HMD, FAAHPM, Earns Fellow Status from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Wendy Schmitz, MD, HMD, FAAHPM, of Dayton, Ohio, recently earned the designation Fellow of the…
“Try to do anything you want to do while your health is good,” recommends R. Noah Berry. “Don’t put it off.”
Noah has taken his own advice, and while he is a hospice patient now at the age of 93, his life is full of amazing memories, imaginative inventions, and creative expression.
Noah, born and raised in Indiana, milked cows before going to school and started his first job as a paperboy at age 9. He has worked ever since, including as an electrical contractor for 54 years. “When I started, I was the youngest licensed electrical contractor in Richmond, Indiana,” he says. “And when I retired, I was the oldest.”
In his early 50’s, Noah discovered a passion for motorcycles and riding. He has visited 49 of the United States (including Alaska) on his bike, as well as every province in Canada, and much of Mexico. “I’m amazed at the people who travel to Europe, but haven’t seen all of the United States,” he says. “I’ve seen parts of Wyoming that are so desolate it’s hard to know how people can survive there, and so quiet it makes your ears hurt.” He has traveled through the Rockies and the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway multiple times, and estimates he’s ridden a quarter of a million miles on his motorcycle without a wreck.
He can share some of the scenery he’s enjoyed because he is a photographer who documents his travels. Now in an independent living environment, he came up with an ingenious way to display photos without nail marks. “I used a stud finder and then attach photos to the wall with a magnet,” he explains. He also created an “extender” that allows him to place photos higher on the wall than he can physically reach. “If it has to be done, I can figure out a way to do it,” he says. “If I come up with a question, I’m gonna find an answer to it.”*
Noah also has all the lights in his apartment connected to a remote control so he never has to fumble in the dark to find something. He’s become a practiced wood carver who creates and paints animals. He works with clay and installs lights in the model car and on the nose of the reindeer he created. Even as his health wanes, Noah makes every moment count – always engaged, always creating, always curious – and always an inspiration to those who meet him.
*To see some of Noah’s photos, please visit Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton on Instagram.