Employers often demand a lot of extra time and travel away from home. Even in a worthy cause the time away from family can be troubling. Job opportunities often do not necessarily fit with God’s plan for a person’s life. Sometimes, however, the perfect candidate comes along at just the right time to fulfill the candidate’s plans and the employer’s needs. Hospice of Wichita Falls needed a person to spearhead a $15 million capital campaign for a new 24 bed free-standing inpatient care facility of over 38,000 square feet to be located at the old Sea Blue Pool site on Cypress Avenue. The current 12 bed facility does not meet needs.
The job history and talents of Jake Truette, now Director of Development at Hospice of Wichita Falls, turned out to be a perfect match for the fund raising campaign. The position gave him more time with his family and gave North Texas a person with the unique talents needed to accomplish the important palliative care mission of Hospice of WF. He was hired in the spring of 2017 as Capital Campaign Manager. As of today, the $15 million dollar goal has been met with construction soon to begin. Truette will be involved in the construction stage as well as the much needed and expanding future mission of Hospice of WF.
Focusing on a hospice patient’s wishes and needs while providing comfort and care is at the heart of Truette’s passion for the work. When asked if he was answering God’s call at Hospice of WF he responded, “I think so, just because I enjoy people; I enjoy hearing people’s stories and I like talking to people. I like having the interaction and being relational. And to me because of being a Christian, I feel like we’re all here to love one another and our charge is to help each other. Do it in a way Christ set the example for.” He went on to explain, “It’s been enlightening to me to see the impact we (the 215 staff members of Hospice of WF) have on so many people. I’ll be at Market Street with my name badge on and people will come up unsolicited and tell me you all cared for my mother, father, brother, you name it and they share their story. It’s really special to feel involved in and be a part of an organization that has that kind of impact.”
Truette’s role in completing this project will insure the services started 34 years ago in 1985 will be available to more people for the next 34 years to come and beyond. Hospice of WF took in a first patient in 1985. They started in a 2 bedroom house on Kemp Street later moving to the main campus on John
son Rd in the early 90’s then to the existing patient center opening in 1997. In Truette’s words, “It’s an amazing history.”
After studying at Midwestern State University he had an opportunity to get involved in a steel company. In his words, “God’s path was a little different.” In the summer of 2010 he accepted a position with the American Cancer Society. For almost 8 years he organized and oversaw Relay for Life events that included local events in the Wichita Falls, Lubbock, and Amarillo regions.
He said of his time with American Cancer, “I oversaw staff that worked with different communities and worked with volunteers in those communities to help raise funds and awareness. I gained a lot of experience in working with the volunteer aspect, the nonprofit work, and just understanding how non-profits benefited the medical community.” He was no stranger to non-profit organizations since his dad, Barry Truette, spent 41 years in the non-profit sector with WF Boys and Girls Clubs. Barry and Truette’s mother, Debbie, are Archer County residents.
Truette’s Archer City connection goes way back. He and his parents moved to Archer City the summer before his second grade year. His second grade teacher was Pat Buerger, recently deceased. He said of her, “Mrs. Buerger had a huge impact on me as one of her small fries. Being able to make the friends that I did and still keep in contact with today is something that is really special.” One of those special friends was Chad Crowley, another of Mrs. Buerger’s “small fries,” who recommended and pointed out the Hospice of WF opportunity.
In 2002 Truette married his
high school sweetheart, Tiarra O’Dell, in the First Baptist Church of Archer City. They currently attend First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls. After graduation in 1999, Tiarra spent a couple of years at Texas A&M later returning to Midwestern State University to graduate with a degree in Education. They live in Archer City with their twin boys, Seth and Reed. Tiarra has been teaching at Archer City Independent School District for the past 7 years. With a heart for education she has been teaching for over 16 years. The twins attend Archer Elementary School where they are honor roll students and where Tiarra will be a first grade teacher this fall. Her parents, Terry and Donna O’Dell, are also Archer County residents having moved to Archer City in 1996.
He summed things up in this way, “As a father and a husband to me it’s a great ministry to my family of how to work for an organization that isn’t just about myself, but really doing good, doing the right things, and seeing how that impacts other people in the community.” His humble response to his role in the amazing success of the Hospice of Wichita Falls fund drive was, “It’s not anything I did, I think it’s just an organization that speaks to the quality of care provided, and it has been here since 1985, it’s a part of the community and people stepped up and showed that with their support.” From one of Mrs. Buerger’s “small fries” to Director of Development, Jake Truette has been true to the call of service to others.