Pagosa Mountain Hospital gains another art sponsor

Longtime residents Don and Elaine Lundergan, have stepped forward to sponsor Linda Pampinella’s photograph “Setting Sun on the Monuments” at the Pagosa Mountain Hospital art show.

The Lundergans were invited to the recent donor tribute ceremony at the hospital that preceded the art exhibition.

We sat down for an interview recently to talk about the art project, as well as the hospital facility.

“We can’t say enough about the efforts of many individuals who made this hospital happen here in Pagosa. Particularly the persistent efforts of Pam Hopkins who gave countless hours, days, and years of her life to push the project forward,” stated Don.

“After taking part in the donor dedication ceremony, we moved into the hospital and was struck by Pampinella’s photo. It is striking. We love the image, the framing of it, and everything about it,” Elaine Lundergan added.

Indeed the orange blaze of color lighting up the cliffs is striking, the lighting perfectly capturing the magnificent geological formation.

The Lundergans are regular helpers at Pagosa Mountain Hospital, in a new volunteer program. “We are part of this new group of volunteers. This week we helped with some urgent mailings. Our group gives time to whatever job at hand needs us. We love it.”

Both Don and Elaine are very enthusiastic about their appreciation for the facility, and are happy to give their time to making it a success.

“This critical care facility was an absolute necessity,” stated Don. “We have many older friends who moved away from Pagosa simply because there was no nearby hospital. As people get older they feel the need for such a facility.”

The Lundergans moved to Pagosa Springs more than 10 years ago from Albuquerque. “The city was growing way too fast and too big. We didn’t like it anymore and decided to move to Pagosa for a better way of life,” said Don. “We had been visiting Pagosa for years in our timeshare, and finally decided to make it our home. We absolutely love it here and feel very fortunate.”

The hospital art committee also feels fortunate to have the Lundergans here, and are grateful for their support. Don Lundergan is a WWII veteran who was stationed in the Marianas Islands near Guam during the war. He was responsible for constructing various facilities for the Pacific headquarters unit during the final year of the war. When he returned to the States he gained an advanced degree in both mathematics and physics, and ended up working for the Sandia National Laboratory. And that is where he and Elaine met.

Don explained, “I was promoted to a division head in the company, which meant that I would be assigned a new secretary to work with. I really wanted to choose someone whom I knew in the company to work with in my new job. Elaine was already in place in that division, and she too resented having a new boss sent over. At first we mutually resented each other, but as you can see, things worked out.” Both Lundergans laugh at this story. They’ve been married for 37 years and counting. The chemistry and mutual love between them is obvious.

Their colorful history together continues beyond their initial meeting. “We were married in Athens, Greece, because we couldn’t find a witch doctor in the heart of Africa to do it,” Elaine explained.

This adventurous couple’s anniversary falls on April Fool’s day, due to a last minute delay on the minister’s part. “You can’t likely forget that date,” said Don, laughing. Their good humor, sense of wonder and appreciation, and their desire to give back to Pagosa make the Lundergans a fantastic addition to the community.

The Pagosa Mountain Hospital Art Committee is deeply grateful for their gift. Sponsorships like the Lundergans’ are tax deductible, and sponsors receive recognition in The PREVIEW, as well as having their names displayed on a permanent brass plaque placed next to the donated art piece.

Anyone interested in sponsorships may contact art committee chair Kathleen Steventon, 731-3029, or treegirl@centurytel.net.

The current hospital art show will be exhibited through Nov. 18, and all the artwork on view is available for sponsorship.