Seven Decades of Helping Others Drives SMC Alum (Winnie Corn)

Seven Decades of Helping Others Drives SMC Alum

By Mary Hurston Zuelke

This article appeared originally in the fall 2021 issue of Frontiers Magazine

Winnie Corn standing in her garden

Winifred “Winnie” Seifert Corn ’47 is a caregiver for people when they need it the most.

She has been volunteering in the healthcare field for more than 72 years – 34 of which have been in hospice.

“I have a passion for helping sick and dying people. I was a born nurse, but I never got the chance to be one,” Corn said when asked what drew her to volunteering.

Corn attended what was then Spartanburg Junior College (SJC) from 1945 to 1947, earning a degree in liberal arts. SJC was the ideal fit for her for the same reasons students choose the College today – its location and affordable price.

When she graduated, she wanted to go to nursing school but didn’t have a way to pay for it; instead, she found other ways to live out her calling as a nurse through volunteer work.

She’s volunteered with the Red Cross, Mary Black Hospital, and Spartanburg Regional Hospital. Particularly drawn to home patients and Alzheimer’s patients, Corn has earned Home Volunteer of the Year from Spartanburg Regional several times.

Reflecting back on her experience as a volunteer, Corn recalls an early conversation she had with a young hospice patient that deeply impacted her. She remembers feeling connected to the young man as if he were her son and knowing that she was made to do this work. Over the last decades, Corn has continued to care for her patients as if they were her family.

It’s easy to see why Corn connected with the young man that day, along with so many others on her journey as a hospice volunteer – spend a few minutes with her, and she will make you feel like you’re family too. Corn’s volunteer work was put on hold during the pandemic, but she plans to continue again, caring for people when they need it the most.

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