In Loving Memory of Peter Hilleboe: A Man Whose Legacy Made Life Better for Others

A heartwarming story of how the need of one resident at Ecumen Detroit Lakes made life better for many other residents.

By Sandy Lia, Fund Development Director, Ecumen Detroit Lakes

Peter Hilleboe became a resident of the Ecumen Detroit Lakes Emmanuel Nursing Home in 2006. Peggy, Peter’s wife, wanting to remain close to her husband, rented an apartment next door at The Madison, allowing her to be down the hall from Peter, and providing her with a greater opportunity to be an active participant in Peter’s care.

The standard nursing home beds were not comfortable for Peter. Peggy, driven by her love for him, did some research, ultimately discovering a larger, more comfortable, and safer bed.

Excited for her discovery, she decided to make a meaningful financial gift to the Emmanuel Foundation, for the sole purpose of purchasing one of these far improved beds for her beloved Peter.

Throughout Ecumen Detroit Lakes, the bed soon became known as “Peter’s Bed.” And on the very first night that Peter lay down on the bed with Peggy beside him, Peter whispered to Peggy three words…

“This is Heaven.”

Three words Peggy will never forget.

To this day tears still well up in Peggy’s eyes when she speaks of Peter and his first night in the bed.

Peter has since died and Peggy remains grateful for the staff who cared for her husband and offered her support.

In honor of Peter, Peggy initiated a fund in Peter’s name to purchase additional larger more comfortable beds for other residents.

Peggy has since supported Ecumen Detroit Lakes through generous donations to services, programs and to purchase additional “Peter’s Beds,” providing residents with exceptional quality of life. Peggy is creating home, one bed at a time.

At Ecumen Detroit Lakes, we will be forever grateful for the memory of Peter Hilleboe, and the meaningful gifts of Peggy Hilleboe.

Peggy’s generosity, kindness and deep love for Peter has been an inspiration to many.

The larger more comfortable “Peter’s Beds,” are now the standard bed at Ecumen Detroit Lakes, and simply “make life better.”  In December 2016, Peggy purchased 13 of the last remaining beds in long-term care.

Thank you, Peggy!

With Gratitude,

The residents, families and team of Ecumen Detroit Lakes