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SEASON OF GRATITUDE: Ecumen Volunteers Help Homeless Veterans

Ecumen Employees Volunteer with Eagle's Healing Nest in Anoka Minnesota

In the holiday spirit, a group of Ecumen volunteers helped out last week at The Anoka Veteran Housing Project, which is providing quality housing for homeless veterans by restoring three cottages at the Anoka State Hospital and turning them into veteran housing. 


96-Year-Old Ecumen Meadows Resident Gives 9-Year-Old History Buff a Firsthand Account of WWII

Bob Roos, 96, recently sat across from Dylan Schuett, 9, telling captivating stories from his World War II service, including the bloody battle of Iwo Jima.

Dylan aspires to open a war history museum one day, and Bob, a resident of Ecumen Meadows in Worthington, Minn., supplied some memorable stories – like how a really nasty jungle bug bite changed his life.

Read the Worthington Globe’s account of Bob and Dylan’s meeting. 


Ecumen Communities Prepare for Veteran’s Day Tributes

Veterans Day is a special time at Ecumen communities.  Many residents are veterans with rich and deeply moving stories about their military experience and how profoundly it influenced their lives.

On this blog we try to capture those stories as a way to thank our veterans and memorialize their service. 


Army Veteran Wanda Nordlie, a Resident of Ecumen of Litchfield, Cared for Prisoners Liberated From Nazi Concentration Camp

Ecumen of Litchfield resident Wanda Nordlie, 91, was an Army nurse in World War II who helped care for thousands of ill and malnourished prisoners liberated from a Nazi concentration camp in Ebensee, Austria.

“It was a long time ago, but you never forget stuff like that,” she says.


Ecumen of Litchfield Resident Don Nordlie’s Eyewitness Account of the Battle of Iwo Jima Memorialized

Don and Wanda Nordlie, residents of Ecumen of Litchfield, were at the battle of Iwo Jima almost 70 years ago.  He was a Marine sergeant, and she was a nurse.

Two other Litchfield men, Roger Tipka, U. S. Army, and Stan Mortenson, U.S. Navy, also were there.

Don, Roger and Stan raised the flag during the National Anthem at a Minnesota Twins game a couple of weeks ago, no doubt remembering the famous Iwo Jima flag-raising that happened six days into what would be a bloody 36-day battle leaving almost 30,000 dead. 


Ecumen Resident Ken Thompson’s Enduring Love Affair With Helen, Athletics and Worthington

The eyes sparkle and the smile widens as Ken Thompson’s thoughts drift back to the early 1940s.  World War II is heating up after the attack on Pearl Harbor — and he will soon be going to Iwo Jima — but right now Ken is a star basketball player at Hamline University at a time when the Pipers are a powerhouse national championship team. And he is in a dance class at Hamline, where he is paired with Helen Backe, by happenstance of height.