Truly Remarkable Couple
Larry and Lorna Wakefield were a truly remarkable couple that expressed their love of others through service and action. Their shared commitment to support others in times of need enriched lives throughout the community and remains an inspiration even after they have both left this earth. Northern Illinois Hospice was fortunate to be one of the local nonprofit organizations that was special to them.
Larry and Lorna were a dynamic team; their daughter Becky shared her mom’s explanation of their relationship, “Mom got her confidence from Dad.” Sheila O’Leary, Northern Illinois Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, describes them as a “classic opposites attract” match. Larry was easygoing and Lorna was determined to tackle any task that was thrown her way. They both, however, believed in giving back to the community and devoted much of their time to volunteering.
In their twenty plus years of volunteering with Northern Illinois Hospice, the duo helped with events and participated in training new volunteers. Their first love, however, was caring for and supporting patients and families. Larry and Lorna were founding members of our award winning 11th Hour Team, committed to sitting at the bedside of patients at the very end of life. For years, they would leave home at a moment’s notice to be present for patients.
In addition to giving generously of their time, they were also loyal annual fund donors. Their giving history spanned twenty years and reflected their thoughtful nature as they often donated in memory of someone they had met along their journey. When Larry died in 2014, they expressed their love of Northern Illinois Hospice with a gift. The couple recognized staff education as integral to the mission and Lorna asked that their gift be earmarked for that purpose. This gift was used to underwrite, in part, the cost of the training space in our new building. Before her death in December 2018, Lorna continued to actively volunteer at Northern Illinois Hospice.
As Northern Illinois Hospice plans for the future, Larry and Lorna will remain part of our strong, community legacy. They are part of the history and the roots, and the staff is grateful to their family for sharing them with Northern Illinois Hospice, and, to them, for countless hours of volunteer service.