Our Staff
All ABODE staff members speak English and Spanish, except for the executive director. But she’s learning as fast as she can!
Mary Thorsby

Mary Thorsby

Executive Director

Mary is a longtime community builder and connector who has spent more than 20 years working with and advising entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits. Mary produced our Summer 2019 Omega Home Network National Conference here in San Antonio. She became so drawn to ABODE that when the ED position opened, she jumped at the chance to contribute her skills, talents and passion to our organization. “Our staff and volunteers have the most beautiful ability to make our Guests feel welcomed, valued and celebrated,” Mary says. “What a wonderful way to touch people’s lives at the very end of their lives – it’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever experienced.”

Sarah Aguirre

Sarah Aguirre

End-of-Life Navigator

Sarah’s creative spirit shines through as she comes up with all sorts of special touches our Guests enjoy. Inspired by her mother’s career in hospice, Sarah has found her own calling in creating spiritual connections with our Guests and truly helping them at end of life. “We had one Guest, in particular, who I heard crying one night,” Sarah recalls. “I went to sit with her and we began talking about faith. I knew it was a topic that she had really struggled with, and by the end of our visit, I knew she’d found her peace. That experience was so special. It made me love my job even more.”

Claudia Baca

Claudia Baca

End-of-Life Navigator

Claudia shares her calm, gentle and contemplative approach to care during our overnight shifts – typically the time most Guests pass away. She’s there to hold their hand and offer words of love and compassion and she walks them home. Claudia has been caring for people at end of life since she was 14 years old. “I was born to do this – I know I was,” Claudia says. “My experience all came together when my husband got sick last year. I knew what to do, and I was able to give him the love and care he needed most in his final days.”

Adriana Garza

Adriana Garza

Volunteer Coordinator + Administrative Assistant

Adriana moved to San Antonio from Mexico City 11 years ago. A former volunteer chaplain at University Hospital, Adriana came to ABODE to help in the office. She also coordinates our volunteer program and regularly connects with our Guests. “Being at the bedside of our Guests and their families, supporting, teaching and just being with them ‘where they are’ is the most rewarding work anyone could have,” Adriana says. “I’ve learned not to fear death and to be grateful for each day that we get to be alive.”

Diana Mendez

Diana Mendez

End-of-Life Navigator

Diana has devoted the past 20 years to helping people with mental health, learning and medical challenges, abuse, addictions, homelessness, legal issues and rehabilitation. She never thought she’d work in the end-of-life field, but after her parents died unexpectedly, she felt a calling to it. At ABODE, Diana is known for guiding our Guests through the questions and thought processes they tend to experience, helping them to find the answers they’re looking for and achieve the dignity they deserve. “I have always been a helper,” Diana says. “I like for our Guests to know that they’re ‘driving the bus.’ I’m here to help guide them along the way.”

John Vinson

John Vinson

End-of-Life Navigator

John has been with ABODE since the beginning. His love and attentive care for our Guests is a living example of our mission, vision and values. Some of John’s empathy for hospice patients and their families comes from his personal experience of caring for his first wife who died over 20 years ago from cancer, leaving John a grieving widower with their children – the youngest a six-month-old infant. John has dedicated more than 35 years of his life serving others globally through mission and non-profit work. His experience with caring for people in medically fragile situations as well as at the end of their lives since the mid-1980s has helped to shape him into a valuable asset to our team at ABODE.

Photos by Lynn Perez, The Parting Planner