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Bagpiper brings music of home to nursing home resident

Bernadette Greenfield (center) is flanked by her daughter-in-law Ann sPatrick as she is serenaded by bagpiper Friday Sunny Hill Nursing

Bernadette Greenfield (center) is flanked by her daughter-in-law, Ann, and son, Patrick, as she is serenaded by a bagpiper on Friday at Sunny Hill Nursing Home in Joliet. | Photo courtesy of Will County Executive Larry Walsh’s office

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Updated: April 18, 2014 6:10AM



When a bagpiper showed up Friday at Sunny Hill Nursing Home in Joliet and began playing for a former Chicago Ridge woman now in hospice care, the look on her face said the music reminded her of her native land, according to a press release from Will County.

Bernadette Greenfield was flanked by her son, Patrick Greenfield, and his wife, Ann, as Kevin Bennett played “42nd Highlanders” and “God Bless America” for her, the release said.

Greenfield, 80, came to the United States from Ireland when she was 19, living in New York for four years before moving to Illinois. Most recently she lived in Chicago Ridge before moving to the county-owned nursing home in November 2012.

Sunny Hill activity director Danette Krieger said when she asked Bennett to play for residents as an early St. Patrick’s Day treat, staff members remembered that Greenfield came from Ireland, the release said. Krieger asked her family if they thought their mother would enjoy it if he came to her room since she was unable to go to the cafeteria to enjoy the performance there.

Her family was excited at the prospect, according to the release.

“So we whispered in her ear that a bagpiper was coming,” Krieger said.

“We always used to take her to hear the bagpipes and see the Irish dancers,” her daughter, Kathy McFarland, of Chicago Ridge, said in the release.

Bennett introduced himself to Greenfield and then returned to the hallway to play because it would have been too loud in the room, the release said.

Greenfield also has another son, Richard Greenfield, of Orland Park, and nine grandchildren.

Staff report



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