Tag Archives: Vista Prairie at Monarch Meadows

Perfect harmony

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Rev. Norman Madson found harmony through the friends he’s made and from his singing. Until his health took a turn for the worse, you’d often find him singing hymns in the front living room of Vista Prairie at Monarch Meadows. Usually, he doesn’t need his hymnal since he’d committed so many songs to memory.

Following his move-in last November, he quickly became acquainted with fellow residents. “It’s through the dining area where I have made my friends,” he says. One of our largest communities, Monarch Meadows is located close to the North Mankato townhouse where Norman and his wife Amanda lived, before she passed away about four years ago.

His son was instrumental with the move. “We just liked what we saw,” Norman recalls, “so when it was time for me to move out of my apartment, this was the place to go. I’m real satisfied with the decision.”

Rev. Madson was no stranger to moving. Through his 43-year career in the pulpit, he served Lutheran parishes in five Minnesota and Wisconsin communities. And during that time, he and his wife raised five children. His near-by son Michael stops in every day; they often enjoy watching sports together.

But beyond his love for Minnesota sports teams, it’s the hymn singing that sustains him. “My father was a pastor also,” he said. “Hymn singing was a big part of our family life. I had six brothers and sisters and we learned hymns by heart. Many of them I still know. When I go to bed, I say my regular evening prayers and then I’ll sing in bed all by myself. I’ll sing from six to a dozen hymns before I fall asleep.”

Norman mentioned that his memory is starting to fail. But how many of us can sing a dozen songs of any sort by memory? And what’s his favorite hymn? Without a beat, he recites the first verse —

“If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trusts in God’s unchanging word,
Builds on the rock that naught can move.”

He adds that his daughter Liz carries on in a ministry of her own. She started a Wisconsin greeting card company, Hymns in My Heart, that designs and sells cards comprised only of hymns.

Christmas came early

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For the past year, Tammy Roemhildt has carried out a challenging role on the staff of Vista Prairie at Monarch Meadows in North Mankato, MN. As the Lead Care Manager, she’s responsible to ensure that the community is appropriately staffed, 24-7, to provide the care that residents need. And in these pandemic times, when staffing issues are well known in every profession, it’s the most stressful part of Tammy’s work.

As for the best part of the job, “It’s the residents, every single day,” Tammy quickly answers. “The staff who work here are pretty great and they’re hearing from residents how much we’re truly appreciated.” She also qualifies her staffing frustrations, “I don’t even really hate that because in the end, I see success. The teamwork is phenomenal.”

Tammy’s colleagues noticed. They nominated her for statewide recognition from LeadingAge, Minnesota’s largest senior care association.

Tammy is no stranger to adversity. Among other personal challenges, she encountered spinal meningitis when she was a young girl. “I could have had physical limitations the rest of my life,” she explains, “but somehow I popped through. I could have been a recipient of the care I’m now providing to others.” She also overcame ovarian and cervical cancer at the age of 23.

Through all that adversity, she’s been a role model and career mentor to her own adult daughter. As a thank-you for her support, her daughter presented an early Holiday gift – 50-yard-line tickets to last month’s Vikings-Packers football game for Tammy and her husband. Tammy was rooting for the Packers while her husband is a Vikings fan. That epic struggle is a good symbol for the challenges Tammy has faced in her life.

“Life gets tough” Tammy says, “and you just have to push through. When I come in at 6 a.m. I know there’s somebody else going through something totally different. You gotta make those sacrifices.”

Monarch Meadows, located in North Mankato, MN is one of our largest communities, with 86 one-and-two-bedroom assisted living apartments and 12 care suites. Call David at (507) 933-4681 to book a tour.

A cool tribute to a warm heart

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Bill’s loyalties are clearly communicated in the photo at left, from the kitchen at Vista Prairie at Monarch Meadows in North Mankato, MN. In addition to being a patriotic American, Bill is a loyal University of Iowa booster and a proud Air Force veteran. But none of those bonds compare to his deep love for Barb, his wife of 54 years, who passed away earlier this year.

Bill and Barb’s family asked how they could honor Barb in some tangible way. Culinary Manager Barry Ahl had the perfect answer — a brand-new icemaker, which sits between Chef Barry and Bill in the photo. The icy installation is the right tribute for Barb’s warm heart because she and Bill had served as Monarch Meadows’ Resident Ambassadors for many months. They greeted residents in the community’s two dining rooms at mealtimes. Barb also baked cookies to give away, every day.

This is just one of many big-hearted stories from Vista Prairie Communities. And there are many ways to give, to help us support our mission of compassion and joy. Tribute or memorial gifts not only help remember a loved one, they provide those extra comforts that may elude today’s stretched operating budgets. We also appreciate gifts for capital investments that improve and expand our spaces or provide enhanced equipment.

A donation to the community of your choice or to Vista Prairie Communities is completely tax-exempt. For more information on giving options, or ways to volunteer please contact us at 952.837.0540 or development@vistaprairie.org.