Eunice Medenwald became a staple of The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine. During the day, she would spend time in the lobby greeting passersby as she did yarn work. In the evenings, she would move to the back lounge where there was more action.
Eunice was recently called home to Heaven.
She moved to the skilled nursing facility with her dad, Otto, in 1977. Her more than 40 years in Belle Plaine make her one of the care community’s longest residents.
“I remember being greeted by Eunice when I first started at The Lutheran Home Association (TLHA) more than 30 years ago. Her smile and welcoming glance day-after-day, year-after-year, was a constant that people appreciated,” said Michael Klatt, President and CEO of TLHA. “People recognized her. They took to her presence, her personality and her passion for yarn work. We couldn’t have asked for a better welcome at our doors. She will be deeply missed.”
Most of Eunice’s days were spent with Carman Meyer, volunteer and former Beautician at The Lutheran Home, and Connie Gill, Guest Relations Facilitator.
“Carmen and Connie were two of Eunice’s best friends here. They both knew her well and truly cared for Eunice. They were her greatest support,” said Jacqueline Grimm, TLHA’s Regional Director of Senior Services for Minnesota.
Carman and Eunice became close friends when Eunice’s dad had passed away in 1978.
“Without him, she was down and out. She had no family and I kind of adopted her,” said Carman. “She adapted well to the environment here and really liked it. Everybody knew her name and she had a lot of friends here.”
One of those friends was Pastor Ed Fredrich, Chaplain at The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine, who had the opportunity to first meet Eunice when she lived with her parents in Watertown, Wis. At The Lutheran Home, he would make a point to visit with her often.
“Whenever she would see me and not expect it, she would always ask, ‘What are you doing here?’ I would respond, ‘You know I work here,” and she would laugh, shake her head, like she didn’t believe me while smiling from ear to ear,” he explained. “Throughout the years, her faith remained strong in Jesus.”
Despite Carman retiring more than a decade ago, she often volunteers at The Lutheran Home or just stopped in to see Eunice several times a week.
“I volunteer around three day a week, I would stop in on the opposite days to see Eunice at night and on the weekends,” she said.
Often while enjoying her time in the lobby near Connie’s desk, Eunice would have yarn in hand as she worked on her art. For each season, Eunice stitched a corresponding work of art. While she is no longer in the lobby, there are still signs of Eunice.
“We love to display her artwork and we will continue to do so,” said Connie Gill, Guest Relations Facilitator. “It allows us to remember Eunice and the time she spent doing something she loved.”
Eunice may be in Heaven but her legacy will live on in the memories of all who knew her. The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine cares for souls like Eunice. Our caregivers work diligently to ensure each resident receives the highest quality experience available – physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Learn more at tlha.org.