Lehigh Valley

Local man helps hospice families

Local man helps hospice families

UPPER SAUCON TWP., Pa. - When a loved one is in hospice care, it's hard for family members to leave their side.

One local man is trying to make sure precious moments aren't lost by serving up some comfort.

Every Thursday Bob Agentis has a lunch date.

The meal is always different but the place remains the same.

"We call it Judie's table," said Agentis.

When Lori Bitner and her sister take a break from reading to their mother, they will walk down the hall and be Judie's guests at the St. Luke's Hospice House in Upper Saucon Township.

"Judie was like that if you came into our house. She was always putting out food, you know sharing it with everybody," said Agentis.

Judie is Agentis' wife, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2013.

Since then he created the Judith Adele Agentis Charitable Foundation to fund early cancer screenings and bring nearly 40 area restaurants together to provide meals for hospice families.

"To give them some comfort in knowing that they can spend time here with their family without having to leave and having to walk away in those precious moments," said Agentis.

"I spent the night here last night to be close to my mom. I slept on the couch," said Bitner.

Bitner says it's a blessing during a very tough time.

"A lunch doesn't sound like much but I think it is a big deal when you are dealing with this," said Bitner.

It's a kindness that's earned Agentis the Heart of Hospice Award from the Pennsylvania Hospice Network.

Linda Moller, St. Luke's Director of Hospice says the end of life is a journey and the Hospice House is thankful Agentis has become part of its family.

"He brings you know warmth and all of those things you think about the coziness and the security that is around food and it's very special," said Moller.

But Agentis will tell you he is just doing what Judie would do.

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