While it can be tough to find the right words to eulogize a loved one who’s passed away, emphasizing life rather than death is an important first step. Floyd Herum wanted to dedicate something in memory of his beloved wife; and, he did so, at a place where he found much enjoyment.
What was once known as the fireside library in Kenyon Place, is now the Highland Herum Family Fireside Library. Gifted with its new name, the library is a central gathering place filled with conversation, laughs and friendly competition for Friendship Haven residents and guests. The renaming of this special area came after Floyd gave a generous gift to Friendship Haven in honor of his wife, Melva, of 61 years. Floyd has enjoyed the fireside library, even referring it to be his “happy room”. It seemed only fitting that, as formal educators, Floyd chose the fireside library as the place to honor his wife.
To this day, Floyd speaks of Melva with love and adoration. He shares how resourceful and determined she was as a person, and that she was always doing what was needed for the betterment of their family. He shares a memory that embodies Melva’s qualities: When Floyd had taken a new job located in Baghdad, it was Melva who closed their home, shipped their furniture, sold two cars, and arranged travel for herself and their one-year old son to Baghdad from Japan.
During a time of sadness caused by a loss of Melva’s only brother, she recognized that there would be no one to carry on her Highland family name. As a way to extend her family’s legacy, she decided to add Highland as a middle name for each of her and Floyd’s children to ensure the memory of her parents, brother and the Highland Greenhouse would live on as long as possible. That is why you will find the name “Highland” included in the library’s new name. Floyd felt it was only right to dedicate the library to his love of 61 years and her family.
As time has passed, Floyd has continued to shed light and life, just as he claims Melva had done. The generosity and compassion of the entire Herum family have significantly brightened lives at Friendship Haven and will continue to do so for years to come.
We are grateful to the Herum family for their generous gift and for thinking of Friendship Haven as a place of honoring their loved one. This type of benevolent giving allows Friendship Haven to provide for our residents, giving them the care, support and love they all deserve.
Pictured above: Denise Halverson, Teri Herum, Bob Herum, Floyd Herum, Donna (Herum) Reid, Julie Thorson and Phil Gunderson.