Taylor Spigler-James served as a nurse at Hospice of the Panhandle’s Inpatient Facility, until she passed away on June 13. Taylor was an animal and nature lover. Staff members are collecting items for the Berkeley County Humane Society, and a Hospice of the Panhandle Nursing Scholarship has been set up at the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. The first scholarship, to be distributed in Spring 2022, will be given in her memory.

By Maria Lorensen, Development Director

Taylor Spigler-James served as a nurse at Hospice of the Panhandle’s Inpatient Facility, until she passed away on June 13. Taylor was an animal and nature lover. Staff members are collecting items for the Berkeley County Humane Society, and a Hospice of the Panhandle Nursing Scholarship has been set up at the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. The first scholarship, to be distributed in Spring 2022, will be given in her memory.

A gentle, kind soul, Taylor James loved her work as a nurse at Hospice of the Panhandle. And she loved her husband, Logan, her 2-year-old daughter, Olivia, her parents, other family members and friends, and really all living creatures.

Taylor’s life was cut short tragically after she was killed in a car accident on her way home from working a shift at Hospice of the Panhandle’s Inpatient Facility on June 13. She had been a Hospice nurse for three years.

To recognize Taylor’s life and service to the agency, Hospice hosted a dedication one month from her passing, on July 13, at the back of the inpatient facility.

“Thank you for joining together today along with Taylor’s family to remember and honor her. We were fortunate to have had her as part of our Hospice family. We cannot count the number of lives she touched through her dedication and compassion to her patients, their families and her coworkers,” a program note read.

Though the day was sweltering, staff, family and Board members gathered as CEO Margaret Cogswell spoke about Taylor’s commitment to patients and families who she served, her love of family, and her love of nature and all creatures great and small – ranging from stink bugs to turtles to rabbits to dogs. Taylor’s work family wanted to honor her life and dedicated a series of three birdbaths placed outside the IPF in her memory.

“We know Taylor would have loved this – a place where people could stop for a moment, look out the window and see the birds enjoying a splash on a hot summer day,” Cogswell said.

Additionally, fellow staff members created a memory book sharing the love they felt and presented it to her family that day. Staff also set up an annual donation drive each August for the Berkeley County Humane Society, dubbing it “Waggin’ Tails for Taylor.” The Humane Society’s mission was another one of Taylor’s passions. Items such as multipurpose cleaners, canned dog and cat food, paper towels and small cat toys, bleach and liquid detergent, can be dropped off in the inpatient facility conference room, for those from the community who would like to donate.

Cogswell also announced the establishment of a nursing scholarship through the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation.

One month after her death, a dedication was held in her memory where a birdbath was placed outside Hospice’s Inpatient Facility.

“We know that nursing is at the core of our mission here at Hospice of the Panhandle,” she said. “The profession made a huge impact on Taylor, and she made a huge impact on those she served who were under our care.”

The first scholarship, which will be given in Taylor’s memory, will be awarded in the spring of 2022.

“We are so pleased that Hospice of the Panhandle is establishing this scholarship,” said EWVCF Executive Director Michael Whalton. “What a lovely way to honor Taylor and all of the dedicated hospice nurses.”

Any person who is enrolled or will be enrolling in a nursing program can apply for the scholarship – whether he or she is just beginning a program, or looking to further his or her education. The Community Foundation will announce when those interested can apply. Donations to the Hospice of the Panhandle Nursing Scholarship Fund can be made by check, payable to the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, 229 E. Martin Street, Suite 4, Martinsburg, WV 25401. Please write Hospice Nursing Scholarship Fund in the memo.

For more information on these ways to remember Taylor James, contact Hospice of the Panhandle at (304) 264-0406.