Volunteer Profile - Barbara Tumperi

Barbara Tumperi

Barbara Tumperi and her late husband Bob moved 15 times during their marriage. When they reached Newnan with their three children in 1979, they decided this would be their last stop.

“I said no more. We had moved our children in and out of schools so much. Plus, we really liked Newnan,” Barbara said.

The Tumperi’s moved to Newnan after Bob, a West Point grad, was given the directive by his employer, Yokogawa Electric, to find a location in the U.S. to build its first manufacturing facility.  “They wanted to be near a big international airport,” Barbara remembers.

While Japanese companies were already established in nearby Peachtree City, there were none in Newnan at the time. Bob set up Yokogawa’s facility in Shenandoah Industrial Park, bringing the first Japanese plant to Coweta County.  

After deciding to call Newnan home, it didn’t take Barbara long to get involved.  She had held volunteer positions at hospitals in New Jersey and Illinois so naturally when she was approached about volunteering at Newnan Hospital she was on board.

“When we moved here, I met some ladies immediately playing golf and they were all volunteers and asked me to join,” she said. “Here I am, all these years later.”

Barbara currently works Mondays and Fridays on the 7th floor. She said she would not trade her duties there for any other volunteer spot in the hospital.

“I really love working on the patient floor. I enjoy the patient contact and the contact with the nurses,” she said. “You know that you’re really helping them because when they’re busy, you take the patients out, you run errands, you answer the phones. And you’re busy.”

Barbara served as Auxiliary president three separate times and also served two years as state Auxiliary president. It was during that time that her daughter set up the Barbara K. Tumperi Scholarship that continues to provide $1,000 each year to a select Georgia student. Applicants must be nominated by their local hospital Auxiliary. A committee helps choose the annual recipient.

While Barbara’s son and daughter both live out of state, a son and his wife live in DeKalb County with her four grandchildren. Barbara has chaired numerous committees in Coweta County and sits on the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation board. She has no plans to give up her volunteering anytime soon.

“I’ve gotten to know the nurses and the unit secretary and the LPNs and they’re fabulous,” she said. “I’ve really made some good friends that I never would have known if I hadn’t been volunteering.”