The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

October 11, 2013

Our Town: PRMC Sunshine Guild honors retiring member

PALESTINE — The Sunshine Guild volunteer members of Palestine Regional Medical Center recently honored longtime volunteer Helen Lightfoot with a cake for her 98th birthday.

Lightfoot is the oldest living member of the Sunshine Guild and is retiring from the volunteer program after 33 years of service.

Born Oct. 27, 1915 in Pennsylvania, Lightfoot has lived an active and interesting life. In 1942, at the beginning of the United States’ involvement in World War II, Lightfoot enlisted in the WAC’s and served in the Phillipines. Her station was on one hill and General Douglas MacArthur was stationed on the adjacent hill. They could look down into the valley and watch the planes land and take off on their missions.

According to Helen, many more planes took off than came back.

However, she met her husband during this time on a blind date to an ice cream party at the USO. He later told their grandchildren that she chased him around the banana trees until she caught him. They married and had three children.

Upon arriving in Palestine after the war, Lightfoot sought and found employment at the Abstract Company at the courthouse until she retired in 1978.

After a couple of years of being a “housewife,” she became bored and in 1980 she joined the Gray Ladies at the old Memorial Hospital. The Gray Ladies later merged with the Sunshine Guild and members worked on both the Palestine Regional Medical Center and Palestine Rehabilitation campuses.

Lightfoot has watched the hospital grow and seen the many services they are now able to provide to the community.

Lightfoot is now living at the Dogwood Trails Assisted Living Facility but was at home until this year and was driving her own car until last month. She recently flew to Florida to attend the wedding of her granddaughter.

“Helen may have retired from the Sunshine Guild, but she definitely hasn't retired from life!” a Sunshine Guild news release said.

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