May 22, 2020
Honoring Her Service: EveryStep Hospice Patient Jeanne Thyberg
On Memorial Day, we respectfully remember those who have died in service to our country. We also honor the military men and women who trust us with their care and share with us their history, their love of family and their legacies of service.
Jeanne Thyberg is a mother, accomplished golfer, business owner and a veteran.
The 97-year-old EveryStep Hospice patient, who was born and Denver, called Iowa home for most of her life. Save for the few years she served as a chief pharmacist’s mate in San Francisco during World War II.
“She didn’t talk much about World War II,” daughter Patty says.
But she did share the reason she enlisted in the first place. As Patty recalls, her mother was in her second year of college at St. Mary’s of Notre Dame when the war started, and her father, a doctor, volunteered for the war effort. And so, she signed up with the Navy.
“She decided if he could give up his career to go for the war effort, that she would too,” Patty says.
While serving in San Francisco, Jeanne met her husband, Stan, who was serving as a pharmacist’s mate first class. They married four months later.
After the war ended, Jeanne and Stan returned to Des Moines. In 1946, they started their family with the birth of their first child, the first of six.
Jeanne spent many years raising her children, but never forgot her passion for interior design and golf, Patty says.
“After she raised us, the last one was out of the house, she started her career,” Patty says of Jeanne jumping into the interior design world in her late 40s. “She also golfed all the time. She won the senior league for years.”
Jeanne and Stan also took their love for travel to the next level, Patty says, adding that they bought an RV and traveled across the U.S. for nearly 10 years.
“She drove, and he was the navigator,” Patty says. “They would go to California and Arizona for the winter in the sun, then visit family all around.”
Patty, who is a nurse, recently brought Jeanne home to live with her. When she knew her mother needed additional care, she remembered her family’s past experience with hospice.
Stan, who passed away in 2010, was served by Hospice of Central Iowa (now known as EveryStep).
“He was with hospice for one and a half years,” Patty says. “My mom, when she was able, had kept in touch with a bath aide there and I became friends with his nurse. I knew I wanted to find the same people that had helped dad.Finally, I called my friend and got the new name [for the organization].”
Jeanne officially became an EveryStep Hospice patient in early May.
“She’s getting excellent care,” Patty says.