Ocalan Ed Hall made a significant donation in honor of his mother, for whom Hospice of Marion County’s new Grace Davis Hall House is named.
Ed Hall, left, the largest donor for the new Hospice of Marion County Hospice House, talks about a painting by Pat Donatelli, which was hanging in the den of his late mother’s home, as he talks with Matt Kilgroe, Billy Allen and Cindy Moody, the Hospice Charitable Gifts Officer, left to right, in the new Grace Davis Hall Hospice House named for Hall’s mother, before the ribbon cutting ceremony on Southeast 62nd Street in Ocala on Thursday, April 27, 2023. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2023.
Grace Davis Hall was a World War II veteran of the Woman’s Army Corps, 30-year employee with Publix Super Markets and a dedicated volunteer with her church and hospice organizations.
She was involved in giving hospice care through her church, First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, and her passion for end-of-life care led her son, Ed Hall of Ocala, to make a donation to Hospice of Marion County to help build the Grace Davis Hall House, a state-of-the-art facility that will accommodate hospice patients and their families.
The new facility is located on the HMC Helen “Mimi” Walker Campus at 2893 S.W. 62nd St. in Ocala, adjacent to Estelle’s House and the Monarch Center for Hope and Healing. Ground was broken for the new building in February 2022. The building was opened and dedicated on April 27.
“She would’ve said, ‘Wow,’ about the house,” Ed Hall said.A portrait of his mother hangs near the front door of the new building, with a plaque that reads in part: “I got on the bus to school and you got on the bus to work and that made all the difference, In Loving Memory, Ed.” Another portrait of Grace in her Army uniform hangs on an interior wall with a plaque that reads: “The Greatest Generation.”
Several members of Grace’s family traveled to Ocala for the opening of the namesake house. Her sister, Jo Glymph, said Grace was a “wonderful” lady. Glymph’s son and Grace’s nephew, the Rev. Joe Glymph, was among a group of family members from the Pinellas County area and at least two other states at the opening. He said his aunt was an exercise enthusiast as well as a hospice volunteer.
The 13,600-square-foot Grace Davis Hall House has eight, 400-square-foot rooms—more than double the size of the rooms in Estelle’s House. In the new hospice house, six of the rooms have attached screened lanais. The bathrooms have walk-in showers. It is equipped with a commercial level kitchen and features specially chosen decor and furnishings.
HMC CEO Rick Bourne called the end-of-life care facility “warm and homelike.”
“This facility is state-of-the-art (and) one of the few (like it) in Florida, if not the U.S.,” Bourne said, adding that the donor specified that the new facility be state-of-the-art.
“We already owned the land and its location was perfect since Estelle’s patient rooms were very small and had a limited area for families. We could enhance both the patient and family experience in a new facility,” he stated.Cindy Moody, HMC Charitable Gifts Officer, said she chose colors that are “natural and light” for the interior decor in Grace Davis Hall House. She said she wanted a serene, calming influence for visiting families as compared to an institutional type setting.
Bruce Chancellor, HMC Facilities Director, said each room in the new house has specialized environment equipment with HEPA filtered fans and monitors to keep the air in each room compartmentalized and changed 12 times per hour. Cleanliness levels are similar to an operating room.
After patients are transferred to Grace Davis Hall House from Estelle’s House, HMC will continue to have three hospice houses with 40 patient beds. Estelle’s House will be converted to a multi-purpose facility and training center over the upcoming year, according to HMC officials.
“Our main administration building needed more space and leadership realized we could convert Estelle’s (House) to a multi-purpose center to expand our educational opportunities for staff and the community,” Bourne stated.
Patients with a diagnosis of six months or less to live are eligible for hospice care, HMC Director of Communications Brynett Gamba said.
Treatment may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, but HMC doesn’t turn patients away, she said. HMC has thrift stores and private donors to help with costs, Gamba added.
Ed Hall was a college basketball coach for 23 years and led Old Dominion college to a Division II NCAA National Championship in 1975. He has taught at Vanguard High School for 21 years. His ties to the family of HMC Planned Giving Director Beth McCall, through basketball coaching, led to the donation toward the house.
Donor-sponsored rooms in the new house include the Curtis and Margaret Thompson Room by Five Daughters and Morgan’s Room, In Memory of Cathy D. Perry.
In the foyer of the new Grace Davis Hall House hangs a pastel painting of a sailboat by artist Patrick Donatello, donated by Ed Hall. He said it had hung in his mother’s Florida room for 25 years and could be interpreted as ending or starting a journey.
To learn more about Hospice of Marion County, go to hospiceofmarion.com