“From the Badge to the Bible,” San Juan Capistrano Chaplain Honored with Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Caregiver Award

Bereavement coordinator, volunteer police chaplain and dedicated Alzheimer’s Association activist Reverend Gary Tucker recognized for community work.

San Juan Capistrano, CA, August 25, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Reverend Gary Tucker, former Santa Ana police officer who has since dedicated his career to helping patients and families through his work as a bereavement coordinator and Alzheimer’s activist, has been announced as the August recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Caregiver Award.

Fairhaven, an Orange County mortuary and memorial park with locations in Santa Ana and Mission Viejo, announced the recognition program in early 2012 to pay tribute to local people who have had an indelible impact on both their community and the individuals they serve.

“Gary helps many people through his work as a bereavement coordinator and chaplain, and his dedication goes far beyond into his personal life, as can be seen by Gary’s extensive involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Marla Noel, President of Fairhaven. “What began as an avenue to better understand patients has blossomed into a deep commitment to serving the organization’s cause and helping those suffering from the disease. His commitment to both his work and volunteer engagements is truly inspirational.”

After an injury took Tucker off the police force, he opted to take a spiritual avenue toward helping others, enrolling in the graduate program for Ministerial Theology at Evangelical Church Alliance’s Bible Institute. According to Tucker, he went “from the badge to the Bible,” and has now been serving families and patients as a bereavement coordinator and hospice chaplain for more than a decade.

In addition to his work at Odyssey Hospice, the San Juan Capistrano resident serves as a volunteer chaplain for the Santa Ana Police Department, serves on the Board for the Alzheimer’s Association Orange County chapter, holds a chair position for the Advocacy Committee, and was recently appointed as chair for the organization’s California Council. In this role, Tucker helps drive the vehicle for California chapters to advance statewide public policy issues that demonstrate a direct, positive link to people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

“When I first transitioned into hospice care, I knew the least about Alzheimer’s disease, and was motivated to learn about it to better understand the patients and families’ journeys,” said Tucker. “That path of discovery awakened in me a passion to help people affected by the disease and led me to be an ardent supporter and activist of the Alzheimer’s Association.”

Tucker will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Caregiver Awards banquet on November 1 at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet will coincide with National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and will honor a year’s worth of achievements among the local caregiver community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation to the Orange County Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Scholarship Fund on behalf Tucker.

About Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Caregiver Award

Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Caregiver Award pays tribute to Orange County caregivers whose kindness and dedication to serving others is inspirational. These courageous individuals go above and beyond their job description to serve with the utmost care and compassion. Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Caregiver Award winners come from many fields including private care, hospice, social work, counseling, assisted living, nursing, therapy and volunteer work.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, visit Fairhaven’s website: http://www.fairhavenmemorial.com/community/oliver-halsell-caregiver-award or email CaregiverAwards@FairhavenMemorial.com.

About Fairhaven

Founded in 1911 by Oliver Halsell to provide a peaceful and comforting place for families to honor their loved ones, Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary is Orange County’s most beautiful independently owned and operated full-service mortuary, crematory and cemetery. With the memorial park and mortuary in Central Orange County and an elegantly appointed mortuary in South Orange County, Fairhaven offers a wide range of pre-need and at-need services provided with care and compassion. Fairhaven is dedicated to celebrating the individual, providing services that are as unique and wide-ranging as the people they celebrate. Additional information is available at www.fairhavenmemorial.com.
Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary
Jessica Fix