Robert “Bob” Black, 93, was born and raised in Chicago, Ill. and enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Returning home after serving three years, one in China, Black attended Colorado School of Mines and began an extensive career in oil and gas. Black worked “in the field” for Humble Oil, living in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, California and Australia. He retired in the early 1990s and subsequently began volunteering for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and the Berkley Circle Civic Association.
Black moved to Kingwood in 2011 after his wife, Peggy, died to be closer to family. He has five children, six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He has been volunteering at Kingwood Medical Center (KMC) since 2012.
Each week you will find Black in KMC’s day surgery, where he meets patients and family members and keeps them informed as to the status of their loved one’s procedure. He provides a welcoming face and a good ear for families who are going through anxious times. In the afternoon, Black works at the visitor information desk in the west entrance.
“I like meeting new people and I’m lucky to be in good health,” said Black. After having a stroke three years ago, he spent five days in KMC. He has completely recovered and said,“Every day I say a prayer and give thanks for my health. I am grateful that I can support others.”
Volunteering leaves an impact not only on KMC and patients, but also on the volunteers. If you ask volunteers to name their favorite or most rewarding part of working at the hospital, they pause, take a moment to think and then ― with a big smile ― tell their story.
“Most volunteers say there is nothing better than knowing they have helped someone in need. It doesn’t matter if a volunteer commits to an hour or four hours; it makes a difference to the ones who are being helped,” said Jim Wall, director of imaging services and volunteer services.