Tillie Dybing

A 107-year-old Minnesota woman beats Covid-19

A 107-year-old Minnesota woman beats Covid-19

(CNN) — Tillie Dybing is a survivor.

At the age of 107, the Minnesota woman recently beat Covid-19 after being diagnosed this fall, according to officials at the Ecumen Detroit Lakes community home, where she has lived since 2015.

This isn’t the first pandemic Dybing has lived through. Born in 1913, she was almost 5 years old when the 1918 flu pandemic hit her family farm in North Dakota, she told CNN affiliate KARE.

“My folks got sick and they were in bed, and I’d run into the bed and my Dad said, ‘Can’t you find another place to run,'” she said.

Throughout her life, Dybing endured other losses, including the deaths of several siblings in infancy and her husband in her 80s. She is also a cancer survivor, having beaten uterine cancer at the age of 95, KARE reported.

Now, she has survived two viral pandemics. The only Covid-19 symptoms Dybing says she had was fatigue.

“Nothing in her lungs. They said she doesn’t have a fever. She just slept all the time,” Tillie’s daughter Susan Berke told KARE.

Dybing recently returned to her apartment at the facility after spending a few weeks away from the general population, Ecumen officials tell CNN. They added that they are happy she has recovered and thanked her family for trusting them with her care.

“We continue to be so grateful to see that smile and hear her infectious laugh each day,” Ecumen Detroit Lakes posted on their Facebook page. “She is such a blessing to our community!”

Senior man and woman having coffee at table seen through window

Ecumen Announces New Housing Projects

Ecumen Announces New Housing Projects

Growing to Serve More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | By Sue Sorensen Lee | Dec. 10th, 2020

SHOREVIEW, Minn. – (Dec.10, 2020) – Minnesota-based Ecumen, one of the country’s largest nonprofit providers of housing and services for older adults, announced that in 2020, it has opened, launched or moved forward with 12 new owned or managed housing projects in the Midwest, with more on the horizon.

“Our goal is to continue to grow to serve more people through our housing, compassionate healthcare services, and related business lines,” says Ecumen president and CEO Shelley Kendrick. Ecumen’s differentiated model reflects its focus on safety and wellness, and the importance of individually defined holistic health. The organization is including elements of well building design in its new properties.

Ecumen’s projects represent an expansion of more than 975 apartments for older adults. “I’m especially pleased that three of these new offerings are affordable housing,” says Kendrick, who has highlighted affordability as an ongoing housing priority for the organization.

New Ecumen-Owned Properties

    • Ecumen Pathstone Latitude – Mankato, Minn. – February 2021
      • Expansion of Ecumen’s Pathstone campus
      • 56 new independent living apartments in this new building located on the bluffs of the
        Minnesota River – an extension of the large, full continuum of care campus
      • The new building will also house 24 new memory care apartments (Ecumen Pathstone
    • Snelling Yards Senior Housing – Minneapolis, Minn. – summer 2022
      • New development: 100 affordable independent living senior housing apartments
      • 11 apartments are dedicated to homeless veterans
    • Edina Affordable Housing – suburb of Minneapolis, Minn. – summer 2023
      • Owner, Ecumen and Lupe Development Partners
      • New development: 118 affordable housing apartments


Ecumen Managed Properties

      • Mt. Royal Pines III – Duluth, Minn. – April 2020
        • Existing community: 54 assisted living apartments
      • Rose Senior Living Beachwood – Beachwood, Ohio – June 2020
        • New development: 174 unit blended building – independent living, assisted living, memory
      • St. Croix Forest Heights – St. Croix Falls, Wis. – Nov. 2020
        • Existing community: 30 affordable independent living apartments
      • River Town Heights – St.Croix Falls, Wis. – Nov. 2020
        • Existing community: 25 affordable independent living apartments
      • CedarStone – Cedar Falls, Iowa – early 2022
        • New development: 120 carefree living, assisted living and memory care apartments
      • Quartet – Bettendorf, Iowa – early 2022
        • New development: 120 carefree living, assisted living and memory care apartments


New Cooperative Living Properties

    • Zvago Lake Superior – Duluth, Minn. – Oct. 2020
      • Overlooking Lake Superior, near Ecumen Lakeshore campus
      • 51 units
    • Zvago Stillwater – Stillwater, Minn. – early 2022
      • Located in downtown Stillwater
      • 48 units
    • Zvago Long Lake – Long Lake, Minn. – fall 2022
      • Overlooking Long Lake
      • 57 units


About Ecumen

Founded in 1862 as a Lutheran social service agency, nonprofit Ecumen provides housing choices, compassionate healthcare, and innovative services to older adults. One of the largest providers in the country, Ecumen is recognized for its innovative programming and individualized, person-centered care. The company is a recipient of the 2020 NRC Health Customer Approved Award, reflecting the ratings provided by the residents and family members it serves. Based in Shoreview, Minn., Ecumen operates nearly 100 properties and services in more than 40 communities in multiple states. Housing options include independent living, assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation long-term care communities, and long-term care communities, in addition to offering cooperative living, home and community-based services, hospice, and a durable medical equipment store. The company also provides consulting services in management, marketing, and development. For more information, visit us on Facebook or at ecumen.org.

Bobbi-Jo-Koons showing medal

Ecumen Nurse Honored by Becker County United Way as Every Day Hero

Ecumen Detroit Lakes Nurse Bobbi Jo Koons, RN, got a big surprise recently when she was awarded the Every Day Hero Award of 2018 by the United Way of Becker County.

Read more

Technology Transports Grandmother To Her Grandson’s Wrestling Tournament

Technology allows a grandmother at Ecumen Detroit Lakes to watch her grandson's wrestling matches.

Read more

We All Prosper When Seniors Stay in Their Communities

Millie, a resident of Ecumen Detroit Lakes, talks about the true meaning of living in her community.

Read more

Two Ecumen Leaders Recognized on “50 for the Next 50” List by LeadingAge Minnesota

Two Ecumen leaders have been recognized by LeadingAge Minnesota as “innovative and influential leaders who are charting the course for the next wave of older adult services that will empower Minnesotans to age well and live fully.”

Read more

M State’s Magazine Tells the Success Story of Ecumen Detroit Lakes Nurse Bobbi Jo Koons

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Magazine recently highlighted the success story of nurse Bobbi Jo Koons, who got her B.S. in nursing degree through Ecumen’s scholarship program while continuing to work at Ecumen Detroit Lakes.

Students who attend M State and work at Ecumen a minimum of 10 hours per week are eligible for scholarships that help pay tuition, books, fees, required supplies and travel and childcare expenses.

Bobbi has worked at Ecumen Detroit Lakes since 2000, where she is known for her contagious smile. An image of the story is below, or you can see it in the magazine at this link on page 31.

As we come to the end of National Nurses Week, we thank Bobbi Jo and her nursing colleagues all across Ecumen for the outstanding and compassionate care they provide our residents each day.


Minnesota Ranks No. 1 in Senior Health

Minnesota is the nation’s number one healthiest state for seniors, according to the  2017 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report from the United Health Foundation, a private nonprofit founded by United Health Group.

Read more

Ecumen Detroit Lakes Couple Dies Hours Apart After 64 Years Together

For the past 64 years, John and Anne Alexander were virtually inseparable. Within hours of each other, they died together last week at Ecumen Detroit Lakes, where they both were receiving care.

Read more

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.

Read more