Beverly Tuomala, RN, President
Nurse, Trinity Hospice
Beverly comes to us with 30+ years of nursing experience. She joined Trinity Hospice as an RN Case Manager after working many years in ICU/Cardiac nursing. She knew from an early age that she wanted to grow up and be a hospice nurse. Beverly ensures that her patients receive compassionate, loving care at the end of life. She believes in the team approach – everyone brings something to the table. She loves teaching and sharing her knowledge – the more we know, the better we’ll all be.
Beverly has brought many Guests to ABODE and has experienced firsthand what we do. Beverly chairs the Education Committee.
Kathryn Eggerss, RN, Vice President
Clinical Nurse Supervisor, Magenta Health, H-E-B
Kathryn has been a registered nurse for more than 25 years with 20 years in the oncology field. She was drawn to this specialty area as a 14-year-old volunteer at Northeast Baptist Hospital. That experience helped to her realize her passion of caring for others, especially those facing the challenges of a life-changing diagnosis.
After graduating from UTSA with a BS in Biology and completing the nursing program at the Baptist Health System School of Health Professions, Kathryn began working at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center and spent the next 15 years caring for patients in both clinical and administrative roles.
Now working with H-E-B and the Magenta clinics, Kathryn continues to help navigate patients along their healthcare journeys. Her skills and experience lend themselves perfectly to ABODE’s mission and caring for our Guests.
Charlie Watts, CFP®, LUTCF®, Treasurer
Born and raised in San Antonio, Charlie has been a financial advisor for more than a decade, focusing on comprehensive financial strategies to help his clients.
Charlie grew up playing soccer, but has always enjoyed the structure and beauty found in woodworking. He and his wife, Lee Anne, have two daughters in college. They enjoy preparing them emotionally and financially for adulthood, positioning them to be upstanding, contributing members of society when they are on their own.
Charlie is an integral part of the large projects that ABODE undertakes and is especially helpful in our short- and long-term strategies.
Carol Bertsch, Secretary
Attorney, Law Offices of Carol Bertsch
Carol is an advocate for seniors in our community. She holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. In 1996, Carol started her elder law practice in San Antonio to assists seniors and people with special needs – and their families – as they plan for the challenges surrounding aging. In 2012, she became a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) after completing rigorous testing and demonstrating her practice’s focus on elder and disability law. To maintain her CELA, Carol continues to specialize in elder law and completes continuing education credits for advanced practitioners.
When Carol’s not working, she’s trying new restaurants with her husband and visiting her mom and her siblings. She’s also a mentor for the THRU Project.
Peg Armstrong, LPC
Grief and Bereavement Psychotherapist
Peg was drawn to ABODE’s mission 10 years ago because she knows one can live their dying and even befriend mortality – and that the process of dying is natural, safe and not a medical event. She wanted to be involved with walking home those at the end of life – a walk that can be contemplative, spiritual, natural, comfortable and dignified. Peg brings 40 years of experience working with grieving families to the board and has seen natural dying up close by volunteering at Mother Teresa’s Center for Dying in India. Peg serves on the Fundraising Committee.
Lynnell spent her professional life in journalism, teaching at San Antonio College and later serving as editorial page editor at the San Antonio Light and then the San Antonio Express-News. She also wrote a column on local politics for many years.
With the help of hospice, Lynnell cared for her dying father the last six weeks of his life and found the experience to be a great blessing in her life. She also walked with her husband through his final extended illness and death. Lynnell has watched ABODE grow and provide amazing care since she first heard Ed Sasek, founder, speak of his dream before its creation. More recently, she has become involved, participating in many programs and events that ABODE provides.
President, Alamo Area Home Care Council
Growing up in Gulfport, Miss., Justin comes from a large family where he’s the youngest of five siblings. He graduated from University of Southern Mississippi in 2005 where he played football, and from William Carey University in 2009 with a degree in Operations Management. Justin’s passions in life are to help others and to give back to his community.
Justin was drawn to ABODE while President of the Alamo Area Home Care Council. “I saw the amazing service that ABODE provides to Guests and their families, and I’m happy to be a part of that,” Justin says. “In addition, ABODE’s robust Education programs help so many people prepare for end of life – and to lessen their fears around death and dying.”
Richard Ferguson, MD
Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Dr. Ferguson arrived in San Antonio with his new bride to begin his medical training and never left. He discovered early that his major role was to be in relationship with his patients who, to a person, simply aged and died. His emphasis quickly changed and he became interested in assisting patients and physicians in becoming more willing to acknowledge the reality of life with its natural and inevitable end.
Dr. Ferguson was the medical director at the creation of one of the early fellowships in hospice and palliative medicine at the San Antonio VA hospital and has been the medical director of several hospices in the city. He has lectured widely on end of life and medical ethics. His career has been animated by facilitating deeper understanding and acceptance of the end of life. ABODE has, from its earliest beginnings, generated a keen interest.
Corporate General Counsel, Cornerstone Home Lending
Several years ago, Karen’s grandmother spent her final days in the loving and amazing care of Houston Hospice. The kindness, generous spirit and compassion of the employees and volunteers led Karen to volunteer there for several years.
After moving to San Antonio, Karen was introduced to ABODE by Peg Armstrong. Although work and family commitments limited her volunteer time, she was drawn to the mission of ABODE to, among others, provide each Guest with a dignified, compassionate and caring end-of-life experience.
In 2017, Karen completed a course of study in Aging and Applied Thanatology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School. She has used this education, her training and experience gained as a hospice volunteer and her over 35 years of legal counsel skills to help friends and family navigate through various legal issues and experience a dignified and peaceful end-of-life transition.
Nancy F. May
CEO, San Antonio Humane Society
After spending 30+ years in the banking industry, Nancy retired and joined the San Antonio Humane Society as CEO in 2011. She’s still going strong – honoring her love for people and animals.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Nancy has been involved in the nonprofit world for many years, serving on many different boards in many different capacities.
Nancy’s love for people drew her to the mission of ABODE. Nancy recognizes that the transition of life can be a beautiful one. She loves that ABODE gives Guests and their families and friends the blessing of making that transition a truly beautiful one – one with dignity, comfort and spirituality.
Social Worker, Embrace Hospice
Rigo is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), a former hospital case manager, and for the past six years, a hospice care consultant with Embrace Hospice. Through the years, Rigo has met with many family members who have experienced caregiver fatigue, recognized they were no longer able to care for their loved ones at home and made the difficult decision of seeking an alternate living situation for them. Rigo’s years of experience in the healthcare system and in the community have allowed him to establish solid relationships with various placement entities – nursing homes, assisted living facilities, personal care homes and, of course, ABODE, to better assist the families he serves.
Lynn Blanco Pérez
The Parting Planner, Social Advocate & Aspiring Podcaster
As a longtime community leader in San Antonio and our surrounding area, Roxanna enjoys bringing sustainable practices and consistencies to organizations to help forward their mission. Drawn to ABODE by her son’s Eagle Scout project (Javier built our beautiful meditation labyrinth with the help of his Boy Scout troop), Roxanna helps ABODE set strategy and vision. Roxanna chairs the Key Assets Committee.
Litigation Partner, Jackson Walker
As Litigation Partner for Jackson Walker, Robert works on resolving commercial disputes and defending companies and individuals from government enforcement actions. Drawn to ABODE by his son’s Eagle Scout project (Javier built our beautiful meditation labyrinth with the help of his Boy Scout troop), Robert helps ABODE set strategy and vision – especially with an eye toward ABODE’s growth in the future. Robert chairs the Fundraising Committee.
Susan Shown Todd
Real Estate Entrepreneur
Susan recalls her grandmother helping her understand the natural process of death, even saying she needed to “focus” because it was her time.
Susan’s friend Kris Bird introduced her to the concept of ABODE – and immediately she wanted to learn more and participate in ABODE’s mission. The idea of providing a beautiful and loving environment for people at the end of life is something dear to her heart.
Our Advisory Board
Rev. Judith Rhodes
Jane Marie Young