When Bob and Ginger Juneman toured Hoag Health Center Irvine with their son, daughter and grandchildren, Bob remarked he never expected to see his name on anything other than his mailbox. Both from modest backgrounds – Ginger’s family operated orange groves in Riverside County and Bob’s mother worked her way up from teaching in a small town to serving as the curriculum coordinator for all Los Angeles County schools – they worked hard, raised their children and retired to enjoy their grandchildren.
A West LA Story
The couple met at UCLA where they both majored in physical education. Bob tried to get a date with Ginger, but her school schedule and social calendar were packed. He finally asked her to play tennis with him on a Sunday to which she agreed. “I didn’t know he played on the tennis team,” she said with a laugh. Not just any tennis team. In 1951, the UCLA tennis team was the university’s first to win the national championship in any sport.
Bob and Ginger graduated from UCLA in 1951 and were married two years later in February 1953. He joined the Air Force where he was sent to Saudi Arabia. Not too many people can claim that they’ve dined with kings, but as a guest of Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Bob and his fellow officers enjoyed a memorable evening.
Good Decisions Pay Off
When he left the Air Force, Bob wasn’t sure of his next step. He’d had the foresight to save almost all of his overseas pay and he enjoyed talking about investments with his stockbroker at Dean Witter. He joined the firm in 1960. His boss happened to be a USC rival, Otis Healy. Fortunately, they quickly became friends.
“I was very fortunate to work for Dean Witter,” Bob recalls. “Otis and I were in the business at a good time. We worked hard and persisted through thick and thin. It paid off.” Bob operated the Dean Witter office in Whittier, California.
Ginger worked as a secretary while Bob was serving our country and then held down the fort with the kids at home while Bob pursued his career. Bob retired in 1997 and in 2004, at the urging of their son and daughter, he and Ginger moved to Costa Mesa to be closer to the family.
A Hoag Encounter
One night in 2005, when Bob became suddenly and seriously ill, he was rushed to the Joan & Andy Fimiano Emergency Department at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach. He found himself among a group of physicians and nurses who treated him with humor, compassion and exceptional expertise.
“I’d never spent the night in the hospital until I went to Hoag,” he said. “I didn’t know anything about hospitals and doctors other than you had to avoid them!”
He soon developed an interest in health care, specifically how it was delivered at Hoag. When he met up with his colleague, Otis, he joined the Hoag Irvine/Orthopedics Campaign Advisory Committee where he learned about the Hoag Benefactor program. He and Ginger knew Hoag was special and they became Hoag Benefactors.
“When Ginger and I found at ourselves at Hoag, people were there for us,” he said. “It struck a chord. It was as simple as that.”
In 2014, Bob and Ginger decided to make an estate gift of $1 million to support Hoag Health Center Irvine. Ginger admits she was reluctant when they were approached with the idea of recognizing their gift by naming building at 16205 Sand Canyon after them.
“I’m shy,” she admitted with a smile.
But, when they realized the power of naming the Ginger & Bob Juneman Pavilion at Hoag Health Center Irvine, they agreed. Since then, anonymous donors have made significant gifts to the Center. Even Bob’s former boss, Otis Healy, made a $250,000 gift to support the Hoag Family Cancer Institute at Hoag Health Center Irvine.
The way Bob looks at it, Hoag has given him and Ginger so much and they are glad to give back. “I enjoy everyone I’ve met at Hoag. I hold many of them to be good friends,” he said. “We’re ambassadors for Hoag.”
For more information about how you can support Hoag Health Center Irvine in bringing the Hoag experience to the Irvine and South Orange County communities, please contact C.C. Hafner at 949-764-3178 or CC.Hafner@hoag.org.