March 15, 2018
Married for more than 50 years, Jerry and Marilyn King loved each other deeply. They showed that same care and compassion for others through their daily lives as a nurse and long-term care business owner.
Since 1966, Jerry and Marilyn called Nashville, Illinois their home. They raised five children—Michelle, Denise, Keith, Leslie and Elizabeth; and were blessed with seven grandchildren.
On January 18, 2017, Marilyn passed away at the age of 76. That following September, through a casual conversation with his children, Jerry mentioned that upon his death he wanted the house donated to a non-profit. He explained that the chosen organization should use the home to serve the needs of the most vulnerable—like his wife Marilyn had done for so many years.
Three days after that conversation, Jerry passed away peacefully in his sleep while visiting his daughter in South Carolina. His unexpected death shocked family and friends.
Through their grief, the children needed to make decisions about their parents' estate. They discussed their father's last wishes and decided to honor them by donating the house to a non-profit organization.
Their daughter Leslie Pedtke serves on the board of directors at Community Link. She immediately thought the organization could use the house as a CILA (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) home. Leslie shared her thoughts with her siblings and they decided to offer the house to Community Link.
John Huelskamp, executive director at Community Link stated, “That was the most shocking and amazing day of my career. I could not believe that I received a phone call that Community Link was being offered a house of such significant value to use as a CILA. I can’t wait to see the expression on the faces of our participants the first day they walk into their new home.”
Community Link took possession of the King home on March 1st. They plan to fill the CILA with residents in either late 2018 or early 2019. The home will lovingly be called The Marilyn House—in memory of her dedicated life in taking care of others.