Back in 1995, the staff at CHP Home Care & Hospice noticed the need to fulfill wishes for adults in its hospice program who had limited time remaining in their lives. The idea was expanded to include individuals from throughout the state of Ohio, and the Angel Foundation was established.

Over its 28 years, the Angel Foundation has fulfilled wishes for hundreds of terminally ill patients, most of whom are from our area. What makes the Angel Foundation unique is that its wishes are granted exclusively to adults.

Firefighter to 911 Memorial

Brian Stahl and family in New York City

In October, the CHP Angel Foundation fulfilled a wish for Brian Stahl, a retired firefighter with 23 years of service to the Van Wert Fire Department. Stahl, his wife, Sandi, and their daughter and her boyfriend completed a four-trip to New York City to visit Ground Zero, One World Tower, and the 911 Memorial and Museum.

After retiring from the fire department, Stahl moved to Tennessee for a time and became a United Methodist minister. He became active in mission-oriented volunteering, continuing to help those in need. The family moved back to the area and settled in Payne.

He treasured the brotherhood of firefighters and he remained close with many of his fellow firefighters. He was a member of the International Association of Firefighters.

So, it was fitting that his wish included a tribute to the profession to which he dedicated most of his life.

Stahl succumbed to colon cancer on Nov. 29 at the CHP Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center at the age of 60.

Final Flight for Navy Veteran

John Thompson with his friend and former flight instructor, Barry Behnfeldt.

In December, the Angel Foundation completed a wish this week for John Thompson, a U.S. Navy veteran and a former pilot. His friend and former flight instructor, Barry Behnfeldt, had the idea to take John on one last flight and asked CHP Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center staff if they could help him make it happen.

Chief Bill Wilkins, Lt. Craig Vogel, firefighters Tod Liffick, and Tyler Flory from the Defiance Fire Department, and CHP Hospice nurse, Patty Bussing assisted.

The Angel Foundation is a 501c3, nonprofit organization affiliated with CHP that receives support from the United Way of Van Wert County for administrative costs. Wishes are funded solely by donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations and are needed to continue this program. Give online at