View All Locations
View All Medical Services
View All Event Categories
Home > Giving > Support Hospice Care > Stories > John Meeker's Story
The Meeker family: John, Kim, Abby and Lindsay
A life well lived can be measured by stories and happy memories. This is certainly the case for 58-year-old John Meeker, who died in January of 2016 in the comfort of the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy.
Described by his wife, Kim Meeker, as a family man with an enthusiasm for collectible cars and the Iowa Hawkeyes, John was clear about his final wishes when diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“He did not want to die at home,” explains Kim. “He didn’t want our home to be a lasting reminder of his death. It was typical of his selfless spirit. It was just John.”
The Oldorf Hospice House proved to be the perfect place to honor John’s wishes. Kim, along with daughters Lindsay Perrien and Abby Host, expressed gratitude for the compassionate, dignified care John received and also the comfort and peace provided to them in his final days.
“We could be family at the hospice house instead of being caregivers at home,” says Abby, whose biggest fear — her father passing uncomfortably or without dignity — was erased. “I can’t express in words the weight that was lifted off our shoulders.”
Lindsay, who had a 3-month-old baby at the time, explains, “I could not bear the thought of leaving my dad’s side and yet wanted my children close as well.”
The family spaces at the hospice house allowed Lindsay to have her kids close by, keeping the whole family together when it mattered most.
“Our praise is for the caring staff,” remembers Kim. “They made a difficult time more bearable.”
This even included small gestures, like bringing John his favorite treats, Diet Pepsi and Reese’s candy — which drew his “biggest smile” Kim says.
Generous donations to the Oldorf Hospice House provide loving tributes to John, including a memorial brick at the house. Donations also ensure hospice care can be provided for all, regardless of a person’s financial situation. Gifts help support music, massage and pet therapies along with continuing education for staff as well.
Learn more about investing in Mercy’s hospice care by contacting Diane Stefani at firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 369-4748.