Wes Osborne is so independent that he even got to choose where he was born. “They call it a line house. I was born where half the House was in Norwell and half was in Hanover (now a bank.) I got to choose my town when I went to school.”
This started a lifetime of dedication and service to his hometown. Except for his period of Coast Guard service during World War II, he has spent most of his 96-years here on the South Shore. When it came to Home Care, Palliative Care and now Hospice, Wes knew that he wanted to be home with his family in Norwell.
Wes built that home with his bare hands after his father sold him part of the 100-acre family farm. He modestly notes that he had some help with the plumbing and electrical. When he married his school teacher wife, Barbara, in 1953, she encouraged him to build a well after going into town with buckets got to be too much. “We still don’t have a computer, but the kids made us get a phone,” she says.
Home is important to Barbara and Wes. Wes says that he expects his custom carpentry home will be here “much longer than the new ones now that they make out of woodchips.” Their beautiful property includes a gorgeous barn, built by son Gary. Gary lives right next door to his parents and manages a tree farm. The front lawn boasts a stunning pink dogwood tree at the end of a forest-lined driveway.
It is no surprise that Wes loves being in the woods. Since 1949, he was the Tree Warden for the Town of Norwell. He started out with just a few tools. By the time he retired as Director of Lands and Natural Resources, in 1984, he was managing a staff of people. He remembers a time when Elm trees graced much of Norwell before the devastating Dutch Elm Disease epidemic. He and his team were responsible for the sad task of taking down diseased trees. He said only a tree or two still exist in Norwell today.
When he needed Home Care, Wes turned to NVNA and Hospice, a non-profit organization that started in Norwell, in 1920, just three years before he was born. As his journey progressed, Wes’ nurses shared with him and Barbara information about Hospice. The Osborne’s held a family meeting with their two children and discussed their options. The family decided to stay with their NVNA and Hospice caregivers. Daughter Gail, an educator just like her Mom, says “the best thing (about Hospice) is that whatever he needs, he gets it right away.”
Nurse Jo-Anne Calabro enjoys visiting Wes and his family. Jo takes his vital signs and asks about his symptoms and how he is sleeping. “He is such an interesting person and always asks good questions,” said Calabro. “I am honored to spend time with Wes and hear about his stories. He has a great sense of humor.”
Hospice is about more than medical care, it is about deciding how and where you want to get your care. We are happy to serve the Osborne family, our Norwell neighbors. Thank you to Wes for trusting us to honor his independent spirit.