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Busy Lives Keep UVMC Volunteers Young

Nonagenarians Steve Raynes and Catherine Bohm attribute their longevity, in part, to staying active including volunteering at Upper Valley Medical Center.

Volunteer RaynesAt 99, Troy resident Raynes volunteers two days a week for four hours each.
He helps at the escort desk, collates patient paper work and assists in central supply by marking materials as they are delivered. As staff uses the supplies, the marking tags he applies help trace what is used for each patient during the hospital visit.
“I like to stay busy. I tire out quite rapidly, sure, but that goes with the territory,” Raynes said with a smile.

A West Virginia native and retired pharmacist, he has been volunteering at UVMC for seven years. Friends, who were volunteers already, suggested Raynes consider volunteering after he moved from Dayton to Troy in 2001.
“They suggested we check this out and I might want to become a part of it because I didn’t have any special hobbies, like golf,” he said. “We (Raynes and the then-volunteer coordinator) worked out a deal where my talents could be used to their advantage and would be suitable to me.”
Volunteer BohmBorn and raised in Miami County, Catherine Bohm, 96, also learned about hospital volunteer opportunities from a friend. A woman she rode to work with volunteered at Stouder Memorial Hospital, and suggested Bohm give it a try.
After retiring in 1983, Bohm, too, headed to Stouder to volunteer and transferred her services to Upper Valley Medical Center when it opened in 1998.  “Here I am,” she said recently as she prepared for a shift at the hospital gift shop.
As a child, Bohm rode a streetcar from her township home south of Piqua to a city school until a one-room schoolhouse was built in the rural area.
A 1931 graduate of Piqua High School, she moved to the Troy area to live with an aunt during the Depression. She worked at the dime store on the Troy Public Square before taking a job in mailing, filing and customer service in 1963 at Hobart Brothers Co.

Her husband, Clayton Bohm, is deceased.
A volunteer for 25 years, Bohm doesn’t volunteer a set number of hours each week. She likes visiting with those who stop by the gift shop, including former co-workers at Hobart Brothers.

“The people make it interesting. I like dealing with most of the people,” she said. “You see so many different people.”  

Keeping active is among her secrets to a long life. “Just keep busy. Have something to do tomorrow. That changes the attitude,” Bohm said, adding she is proud she’s lived 96 years.

“Sometimes you get a little too much to do, but you work out of it,” she said of her schedule.

Raynes moved with his family to Columbus as a child. He was 15 and working as a barber’s apprentice when a customer with a drug store told them he was hiring a delivery boy for a bit more money. The barber nudged Raynes toward the job, saying he might be a good delivery boy.

Raynes became interested in pharmacy and studied the science at Ohio State University.

Following college he worked for the Columbus pharmacist about six years before moving to Dayton, where he worked at Gallaher Drug Co. He later joined Fidelity Medical Supply working as a pharmacist plus serving as buyer for the Fidelity stores in Dayton.

On retiring, he worked with his younger brother, Clayton at Clayton’s independent pharmacy in Dayton.

He and his wife, Polly, who died in 2002, had four children.

Raynes didn’t point to a single reason for his longevity.

“I’m just lucky, I guess,” he said. Longevity is no stranger to his mother’s side of the family, with many living in into their 80s and 90s. His mother died the day before her 100th birthday.

Raynes said volunteering at Upper Valley Medical Center is a pleasure.

“The people here are fantastic. It is the friendliest group you can talk to. They bend over backward to help,” he said.

UVMC currently has 186 active volunteers working in various functions throughout the hospital, said Robin Fisher, manager, volunteer services.

Anyone interested in volunteering through UVMC can contact either Fisher at (937) 440-4995 or Lori Skinner at (937) 440-4994 for further information. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old.