Nan Holden’s special gift to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills

Published 4:29 pm Monday, March 5, 2012

Nan Holden, right, enjoys a laugh with HoCF CEO Jean Eckert. (photo submitted by Darlene Cah)

31 years and counting…
You could say that Nan Holden is a career volunteer. In 1981 Hospice of the Carolina Foothills opened its doors to patients facing grave or terminal illness, and Holden, newly arrived with her husband, Herb, from the northern climes of Chappaqua, N.Y., was among the first to volunteer her time as a companion. Today, at age 88, she’s still at it.
“We moved here temporarily 31 years ago,” she said, referring to the house, which is decorated in a quaint country style with family photos, fox hunting paintings and other equestrian artifacts. The couple had planned to move to another area golf community, but it fell through. In those days, she was also one of the founding members of the Foothills Equestrian Trails Association and hunted as a hilltopper with the Tryon Hounds.
“I went from horses to Hospice,” she says.
Though Holden held a job as a secretary after graduating from boarding school, she left the nine-to-five world to marry and raise a family. Back then she was a Girl Scout leader and gave her time in other capacities where she felt obligated. Hospice was different. It was something she could do on her own because she wanted to. When she heard about the first training course, she signed up. She’s always been a patient care volunteer.
“People ask me what I do. I don’t do anything,” Holden said.