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Kristine McComis embodied the many attributes and values for which we at the Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center aspire as individuals and as an organization. She was honest and humble; respected and trusted; kind and compassionate; collegial and professional; and gracious and gentle. Kristine always searched for the good in everyone, found the good in everyone, embraced the good in everyone, and focused on the good in everyone.
Kristine contributed so much to the VMC and College through her commitment, hard work, and creativity. She was integrally involved with quality of life initiatives to optimize our learning and working environments. She was a superb role model for others with respect to collegiality, professionalism, teamwork and integrity. She was the consummate ambassador for the VMC and College. She was so proud of the place she worked and wanted everyone to know about the Veterinary Medical Center and the great work done here.
She enriched the lives of everyone she contacted… whether it was a colleague, co-worker, faculty, student, client, child, pet or animal, visitor or even a complete stranger….she accomplished this through her reassuring smile, sense of humor, polite greeting, professionalism, daily acts of kindness, and her inspirational and humorous prose.
Kristine was a proud and well-deserving recipient of the 2009 College Distinguished Staff Award. Here are excerpts from her nomination letters: There is no more loyal employee within the College. She has seen her job description modified and had her office moved and changed numerous times … all the while serving with dignity, class, loyalty and ever-efficient effectiveness. She is the type of employee that every employer hopes to hire…..Kristine is truly a gem – quietly efficient, always accommodating and helpful, and known for getting the job done and done on time … all beyond anyone's expectations and without any fanfare. She goes out of her way to make the work environment better for us all.
As many of you know, Kristine wrote and prepared the monthly Hospital Newsletter for over 16 years. Reading through past issues reminds us of how much of her heart, life and soul she poured into the newsletters and the VMC. The newsletter became a must-read staple for everyone. People eagerly anticipated each issue so they could read the useful information, inspirational quotes, poetry, history, "Animal Anecdotes," birthdays and all of the other wonderful things she packed in each issue.
In "Anecdote for a Friend" in the October 2001 issue of the Hospital Newsletter, Kristine memorialized her friend and co-worker Alice Ray who died September 8, 2001 from a relentless battle with cancer the day before the tragedy of 9-11. She wrote "Our loss was no less diminished by what happened the next day in New York and Washington. Our attention has been diverted, but a loss is a loss, the enemy of cancer still being a malicious, albeit natural foe that stole an incredibly lovely woman from this life. She worked until the last possible moment, slipping out the front doors one day, never to return except to check in once for benefits purposes. Many of her co-workers didn’t get to say goodbye, but Alice, I know, would want you to remember her healthy and attractive." The very same can be said of Kristine.
Kristine's physical presence will be greatly missed and yet her spirit will live on as an indelible rich legacy at the VMC. She will be fondly remembered for her pride, commitment, passion and love of the place she worked, contributed to so immensely, and where she positively and meaningfully touched the lives of so many people and animals for 17 years. Kristine was many things to many people – a co-worker, colleague, friend, coffee mate, fellow book club member, role model … and most of all she was our family – the family away from home that she spoke and wrote about and cared for so deeply. We were all blessed by knowing Kristine and privileged to be part her family.
Kristine enjoyed poetry and often included a poem in the VMC Newsletter. Hopefully the simple yet poignant words of a poem written for and given to Kristine a few weeks before her passing will spark wonderful memories of her for you.