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Cliff’s Closet: In Memory of DKH Volunteer, Cliff Buttermark


Staff at Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) were deeply saddened by the passing of longtime volunteer and dear friend, Cliff Buttermark, 98, on September 26. Cliff was a valued member of the DKH volunteer family for 12 years.

According to Janet Johnson, Coordinator for Pastoral Care & Volunteer Services, “During Cliff’s time volunteering at DKH, he managed the assembly of blank patient charts for later use by many departments of the hospital, including Ambulatory Care Unit, Diagnostic Imaging, Pre-Admission Testing, Sleep Study and others. He and his crew of students from local programs assembled between 12,000 and 16,000 charts a year. He will be missed by many.”

In honor of Cliff’s memory, the Facilities team at DKH have chosen to recognize his many contributions to the hospital and community with a plaque that was installed on the door of a closet where Cliff spent much of his volunteer time building shelves and meticulously organizing paperwork for thousands of patient charts. Now known as “Cliff’s Closet,” it is a place where his legacy will live on at Day Kimball.

Bruce LaBelle of DKH's Facilities department recalls Cliff with fondness. He said, "Cliff was a man from the “Greatest generation.” One could tell the minute you saw him. He took pride in a polished appearance and always wore a pressed, white shirt with a tie and clasp, and well pressed slacks. He had a twinkle in his eye when you met him and always wanted to know how you were doing."

LaBelle continued, "I would spend time with Cliff talking about World War II and his contributions to the war effort. He shared with me some bulletins from his time with the New York Police Force. It was interesting to hear about the way things were back then. The Facilities Team surely misses him walking by and saying, “Hello fellas….how’s it going!”"

In addition to providing more than a decade of service through his volunteer efforts at DKH, Cliff also gave back to the community in a number of other ways, including servings as the Secretary of the Republican Town Committee, Justice of the Peace, Secretary of the Pomfret Lions Club, Board of Deacons and Treasurer of Pomfret Congregational Church. Cliff was also a recipient of “A Friend of the Chaplaincy,” an award presented to individuals who have shown exemplary leadership in the Day Kimball Hospital Chaplaincy program.

The dedication of this plaque in Cliff’s memory serves as a reminder of the countless contributions of all of our volunteers, whose kindness, generosity, dedication, and service to the patients, staff and community is truly remarkable. At Day Kimball Healthcare, volunteers are an essential part of our healthcare system. Their caring and generous spirits make a difference everyday – one person at a time.

Top: Cliff Buttermark, DKH Volunteer
Bottom: Janet Johnson, Coordinator for Pastoral Care & Volunteer Services at DKH, with Bruce LaBelle and Paul Gallerani of Facilities at “Cliff’s Closet,” in memory of Cliff Buttermark

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