Long-Time Children’s Inn Volunteer Bochanis Mourned
Mary Bochanis, who was one of the longest-serving volunteers at the Children’s Inn at NIH, passed away Mar. 7 at age 94. She was a volunteer at the inn when it opened in 1990 and served there in weekly shifts for 28 years. She was also the longest-tenured volunteer with the American Red Cross, serving for more than 74 years at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Bochanis met her late husband Charles “Gus” Bochanis at Walter Reed while he was recovering from losing a limb in World War II. She met him during her volunteer rounds, offering blankets and books.
A Greek immigrant, Bochanis went to medical appointments with inn families from Greece. NICHD’s scientific director Dr. Constantine Stratakis had the opportunity recently to thank her at the inn.
“It is so important for our patients to have somebody who not only understands their language,” Stratakis said, “but who also makes them feel so comforted and welcome.”
Bochanis had a strong faith and belief in serving others, said Laura King, inn senior director of community engagement. “Her grace, sense of humor and ability to show love and compassion to everyone she met will be deeply missed at the Inn.”—Meredith Daly