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Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital names flower shop in honor of long-time volunteer

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Janet Christenbury

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital will honor one of its long-time volunteers by naming the hospital's in-house flower shop after her. 

Marguerite Oberg, now 91-years-old, retired from the hospital flower shop last month, after 40 years of volunteer service. She began volunteering at Saint Joseph's in 1973 when the hospital was originally located in downtown Atlanta. She established its first flower shop and has served as its volunteer director ever since. 

"Because of her years of dedication and service to the hospital, naming the flower shop after Marguerite is a special way we can honor her work and her commitment to the hospital, its patients, and staff," says Marcia Schwefler, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital Auxiliary President. 

On Thursday, Oct. 10, a ceremony was held to name the shop, filled with the fragrance of roses and lilies, the Marguerite Oberg Flower Shop. Oberg and her family members were in attendance at the event, as were many hospital employees and auxiliary staff. 

"I loved my work at the hospital flower shop for the 40 years I was there and am touched the shop has been named after me," says Oberg. "It takes a team of dedicated ladies to produce the amount of flower arrangements we did for all those years, and we made a great team. The hospital was always so gracious to create a nice working space for us."

The flower shop at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, located inside of the gift shop, is the only flower shop in the Southeast that continues to make its own arrangements in-house. Most hospitals contract with a flower service and have ready-made arrangements brought in. The shop also makes all of the flower arrangements for hospital events, receptions, weddings and funerals. 

For years, Oberg ordered the hospital's flowers and picked them up each week from Hall's, a downtown wholesaler, and then worked with the many other volunteers in the flower shop to create beautiful arrangements. 

Oberg, who also served as auxiliary president, dedicated her work to hospital volunteering after a serious illness. She survived after being hospitalized for 19 days with appendix complications. When Oberg recovered, she knew she wanted to volunteer her time in a hospital. 

"Marguerite Oberg personifies virtue, service and generosity," says Sister Valentina Sheridan, director of Mission Integration at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital. "Volunteers throughout the years have been continually inspired by her leadership and example. Marguerite's special gift for arranging flowers has been a particular blessing to patients, families, and staff, and Saint Joseph's Hospital has been richly blessed by Marguerite's financial gifts, commitment of time and abundant energy."

A special plaque notating "The Marguerite Oberg Flower Shop" now hangs at the entrance of the shop.

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