Meadows honors ‘those who have passed this way’

By on October 30, 2009

Apartment complex seniors remembers former residents
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Diane Burkhart and other The Meadows Apartments residents are like family. They spend a lot of time together—evenings chatting in the library, afternoons playing cards in the community room, and weekends walking to parks and events in downtown Elburn.

So when one of them passes away or must move to a healthcare facility, the sadness is great, Burkhart said. After several such losses this year, she and her neighbors recently decided to remember those former residents in a special way.

In mid-October, Burkhart coordinated a memorial project including the installation of a tree and a rock bearing a memorial plaque with the following words:
“To those who have passed this way, thanks for the memories.”

The Meadows has 52 apartments for seniors and has more than 70 residents. Because its tenants are up to 94 years old, the Meadows often experiences deaths, particularly in the cold months, building manager Debbie Lechelt said.

This year was no exception, with the passing of several longtime tenants with local ties, including Ozie Brown, Earl Clements, Jeanette Hager, and Burkhart’s next door neighbor, Ann Christian.

Clements, who was in his 80s and still worked at NAPA in Elburn, passed away unexpectedly in August.

“When Earl passed away, we all took it real hard,” Burkhart said.

Meadows resident Don Mulligan said Earl’s death, plus the loss of several other people within just a few months, prompted him and Diane, along with other residents, to establish a memorial for all those who lived at The Meadows since it was built 13 years ago.

They came up with the idea for the plant-ings and the plaque, and Kane County Landscape Materials & Supplies donated a large rock for the display on The Meadows grounds at 318 N. Dempsey Drive.

The Meadows held a memorial event on Oct. 14 after the installation, attended by family members of former residents.

Photos: The Farrell
family of Elburn attended a memorial ceremony for former residents of The Meadows Apartments on Oct. 14. Their
relative, Ozie Brown, lived at The Meadows and passed away in August. Brown’s friends and neighbors at the senior apartment complex in Elburn installed landscaping and a memorial plaque with lighting on the facility’s grounds for her and others who once lived there. Courtesy Photo