Doug Knese Honored As Community Hero With New Furnace

Doug Knese Honored As Community Hero With New Furnace

A very special hospice employee in St. Cloud received the gift of a brand new furnace for being recognized as a Community Hero by his employer, Finken Companies and Bryant. Doug Knese, house manager for Quiet Oaks Hospice House in St. Augusta, MN, was nominated by Quiet Oaks Executive Director Linda Allen, to receive the Finken Companies & Bryant Community Hero Award, which includes a brand new two-stage Bryant furnace, installed by Finken just in time for the Christmas season.

Linda said Doug is a Community Hero because of the respect and kindness he shows to every hospice resident.

“It’s inspiring to witness him work,” Linda added. “He is tireless, and always goes above and beyond . . . his genuine love for his work is evident at a very intimate level as he cares for our residents and their families during an incredibly fragile time.”

Doug began his role of House Manager at Quiet Oaks Hospice House in 2014, after serving for several months as a personal caregiver for one of the residents. During his time as the resident’s caregiver he had the opportunity to build relationships with other Quiet Oaks residents, families, staff and volunteers. In Doug’s position as House Manager, he utilizes previous experience in maintenance, repair, and construction to continue to maintain the “home-like” feel of Quiet Oaks.

As a testament to Doug’s worthiness as our Community Hero, he has chosen to donate his prize to Quiet Oaks. “It’s a perfect fit, because the furnace we have in the main part of the house is 23 years old!” Doug noted. “I figure it can benefit so many more people here.”

Doug is always giving like this. He makes a point to be present for each resident, assisting them in wrapping up their work here on Earth. Given the nature of hospice care, sometimes these tender relationships last only a few hours or days, and sometimes they last for months. But they are forever in Doug’s heart.

Doug was surprised to hear he had won the Community Hero award, but not surprised about Linda’s nomination of him. “She has such a warm heart . . . she cares about people,” Doug said.

Finken Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in St. Joseph, joined forces with national furnace manufacturer, Bryant, and Minneapolis-based distributor, Auer Steel, to give away a brand new Bryant furnace to a deserving local hero. The Bryant Community Heroes program honors ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their community. A qualifying hero is anyone who demonstrates how a person with passion and determination can use his or her life to make a difference in their community.

“We are honored as a company to have the opportunity to take part in such an important, thoughtful program,” said Tom Finken, owner and president of Finken Companies which includes Finken Plumbing, Heating and Cooling and Finken Water Treatment. “We are so happy to do this for Doug and everyone who benefits from the care at Quiet Oaks Hospice House. For all Doug and the rest of the Quiet Oaks team do for others, we’re happy to be able to do this for them.”