Making Philanthropy a Family Tradition

Longtime BBH supporters Fran and Judith Gough

The first time Judith Gough walked through the doors of Bailey-Boushay House (BBH), she tried to push away her feelings of uncertainty and sadness to find hope and comfort. At the door, she was met by the chaplain who eased her worries when he told her, “This is a good place.”

It was 1992, and Judith’s brother Pat was living with Judith, her husband Fran and their children. Pat had AIDS and his disease had advanced beyond the couple’s ability to care for him in their home.

“Having Pat at home was such a gift. I wanted to spend every moment I could with him and make him feel loved. I wanted my kids to know their uncle and for him to have his nieces in his heart during his most difficult times,” Judith says. “But eventually, he needed the expertise of 24-hour nursing care. That’s when we found Bailey-Boushay House.”

Judith says the moment she stepped into Bailey-Boushay House, the atmosphere and people brought her family a sense of safety, acceptance and calm. They knew BBH would be Pat’s next home.

“This was Bailey-Boushay’s first year and it was incredible to see this place that was already filled with so much promise and comfort. The nurses and staff were decades ahead of the rest of the world, showing every HIV/AIDS patient dignity and acceptance. We were amazed,” Judith says.

Pat moved into BBH in September and in just three months lost his fight with AIDS. For the next few years, this would be the story of dozens of BBH residents, quietly moving into hospice care for their final months.

Just before he passed, Judith asked Pat what he would like to do with his estate. He talked about giving it to various organizations and was excited when Judith proposed making an estate gift to BBH.

“Being able to write the check and give some of Pat’s money back to Bailey-Boushay after he passed was such an honor. It was a beautiful way for our family to help say thank you,” Judith says.

Soon after Pat died, Judith wanted to be back. She wanted to feel close to Pat. She needed to give back to the community that gave her brother and their family so much support.

When Judith began volunteering, she was driving around town, picking up clients and driving them to appointments and running errands for the staff.  Eventually, she moved upstairs to the skilled nursing floor where she worked as a unit coordinator, answering phones, call lights and greeting visitors.

Not long after she began volunteering, Fran joined her. Over the years, the two did just about every volunteer job at BBH. Helping in the kitchen, running activities and serving on event committees.

In 2006, Judith joined the board. Over the next eight years, she held many leadership roles, including serving as board president.

“There was an ownership that we all took on to do the best we could to help more people who needed Bailey-Boushay’s services and support,” Judith says. “It’s gratifying to see that commitment of service continue with each new board member.”

Throughout her and Fran’s years volunteering, Judith says giving back to BBH filled them with joy and hope.

“Once we crossed through the doors, we felt like we were in a sacred space. The staff and volunteers join clients on their journey with respect and acceptance,” she says. “Some people think that it must be a sorrowful place and are surprised to hear the laughter and joy that fill this place called a house, that’s more accurately a home.”

Although Judith and Fran moved out of the city in 2014, and were no longer able to volunteer, the two stayed connected to BBH in every way they could, attending events and making annual gifts. When Fran passed away in the fall of 2021, Judith wanted to continue his legacy of giving and asked that friends and family make gifts in his honor to BBH.

“Fran loved building relationships with residents. They were his friends. I now give and will serve BBH in honor of Pat and Fran,” Judith says. “For our family, Bailey-Boushay is family.”