The Rev. John Wackler, a veteran employee of Cross Timbers Hospice, is the hospice's 2012 James B. Dolman Employee of the Year.

Wackler was presented the award at the hospice's annual Christmas party. Representatives of the James B. Dolman family and the Cross Timbers Hospice Board of Directors also presented him with a $1,000 check.

Recently Wackler talked about the honor.

It was an unexpected surprise," he said. "A lot of other employees that deserve the award. I am very grateful and humbled at being selected as the employee of the year."

Wackler retired from the ordained ministry in 1993. But he said he was not content to be "put out to pasture" and could not give up helping people and sharing the Word of God. So, when he was asked to join Cross Timbers as chaplain in 1994, he agreed, saying he was ready for the challenge.

"For 58 years his faith and trust in God has kept him focused to serve others and minister to their needs. He has continued as God's servant by serving others through Cross Timbers Hospice for the last 18 years," said Dr. Joe Hamill, Cross Timbers Medical Director Cross Timbers Hospice.

The award was created in remembrance of James B. Dolman, who died December 25, 2007. Dolman was a member of the Cross Timbers Hospice Board of Directors and had served as president. The award was initiated to honor Dolman's high level of professionalism, paired with his genuine pride and respect for Cross Timbers Hospice staff members.

"Our staff as well as the board members knows that we are extremely blessed and fortunate to have a Godly man such as the Rev. John Wackler working for Cross Timbers Hospice," said Cross Timbers Hospice Director Mark Dodge. "Through his and his wife's dedication to their ministry you can see their life's mission has been to serve others."