Retired Lutheran pastor Ben Schumacher attended his last meeting of hospital chaplains on Tuesday, as he and his wife, Elaine, are preparing to move out of the area. Schumacher, who served many years as a volunteer chaplain and touched many lives with his "sweet spirit of love and grace," was recognized with a card and framed certificate of appreciation at the meeting.

Members of the hospital staff were eager to share their testimonials on what Schumacher meant to them and the hospital, including Ron in housekeeping, who said, "Ben always comes in to the hospital with a loving smile. He is one of the friendliest and warmest people I've met."

"He faithfully rounded and ministered to patients throughout the hospital, volunteered to come in on call for emergencies and played beautiful keyboard music for patients and staff regularly," said Amy in care management. "He has a peaceful and calming presence with the patients, their families and the staff."

A former chaplain supervisor shared the hospital employees' sentiments, saying, "Ben Schumacher [is] a man I greatly admire and respect. Through our years of chaplaincy, we have formed a deep bond of Christian brotherhood. . .I can see Ben making his 'rounds' to patients and coworkers alike, showing the same compassion and comfort to all."