Love of crib sparks donation to palliative care room

Raymond Tress is described by his family as a hard working, stubborn, caring man, who had an undeniable love for crib.

Near the end of his full life, he spent his remaining days in the palliative care unit at the Golden and District Hospital, surrounded by family. During his time there, he played crib a lot with those who were visiting him, and his wife Helen Tress stayed by his side in the palliative care room until his final days.

In his home, he had a giant crib board that sat on legs as big as a table. The crib pieces were as big as your fingers, describes his family.

This is why the family has donated a hand-made crib table to the palliative care unit, for anyone to use during their stay at the hospital.

Instead of purchasing a traditional Christmas gift for their boss, employees of G. Tress Contracting bought their boss two gifts this year. They sponsored a child in Honduras to go to school, and they purchased the crib board to donate to the palliative care unit. The TV tray style table was built locally, and engraved by Susan Leigan, Raymond’s daughter, at Kicking Horse Embroidery.

“We spent a lot of time in the palliative care room when he was fighting cancer, and they didn’t have a crib board, so we went out and bought a crib board, but we didn’t want to leave that one there because that was the one we played with him,” Leigan said. “We spent many hours playing crib. That was in November. We wanted to do something nice for the palliative care room because they did so much. It was wonderful. The nurses and doctors helped us so much.”

In the palliative care room, there is a bed, a TV, a few amenities, and a couch that folds out into a bed. Helen slept in the room with her husband until the very end.

“I stayed right there. I slept on the chesterfield there. That was for a while, it must have been three months,” she recounted.

One of the benefits to living in a small town, the family said, is that everyone cares so deeply for each other. In the case of the Tress family, they have spent a lot of time at the local hospital because their family is so large. Helen says she has known many of the nurses at the hospital since they were young, and now her granddaughter Karmela Tress is a nurse there as well.

“He lived here all his life, so he knew everybody, and then some,” Helen said of her late husband. “It was better for me, because I knew some of these nurses from the time they were born. They just treated me wonderfully, just fantastic.”

The Tress family was happy to give something back to the hospital as a way of saying thanks for all of the love and dedication from the staff that works there. When Raymond passed away, the sadness was felt not only from the family, but from the hospital staff as well.

Raymond was a logger in Golden, and is remembered in a loving way by his family as hard working, stubborn, and passionate about everyone. In the last few years, he collected antiques, tractors, and old farm machinery. He continued to work hard, helping his family sharpen chains, which he did right up until he wasn’t able to any more. At home, he taught his entire family to play crib, a game they loved and played together often.

Now, a crib board resides in the palliative care room for anyone to learn and play, and enjoy with their families while staying at the Golden and District Hospital. A short description about Raymond is engraved on the back.

His legacy and love of the game will continue on even after his passing.

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