Bernie Van Oort knew he wanted to live at Willow Creek Place even as he watched it being built in 2008.
At the time, he and his wife, Kay, were living in an apartment in Le Mars, but Bernie’s failing health made life there difficult.
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“We had to go up seven steps to get into it. My husband was on oxygen 24/7 and was in a wheelchair,” Kay says.
A few years later, the Van Oorts put their name on a waiting list for an apartment at Willow Creek Place. They moved in Sept. 27, 2014.
Shortly after the move, Bernie’s health declined further and he spent several weeks at Good Samaritan Society – Le Mars.
Between stays in the hospital and the care center, Bernie didn’t spend much time at Willow Creek Place. He died in February 2015.
But he liked living at Willow Creek, and said so every day, according to Kay.
It wasn’t until Bernie died that she began to think more about his insistence that they move to Willow Creek Place.
“After Bernie passed away and I was here alone, I was thinking he wanted me to be here. All along, he wanted me to be here,” Kay says.
She’s thankful her husband was so determined because she loves living in her cozy apartment, where she has a wall dedicated to photos of her family.
“I’m so happy here. The kids are happy that I’m here,” Kay says. “We have the nicest bunch of ladies here.”
Kay says she never has time to get bored because there’s so much to do.
There are Bible studies with a local pastor, devotions, potluck dinners, game nights and an annual tea, which residents organize, and more.
I really, really am in love with this place.” — Kay Van Oort, resident
Along with fun activities, Kay says she also appreciates how the Good Samaritan Society cares for its residents.
When her husband died, Kay’s social security income dropped for a while.
“Immediately, they lowered my rent to a very, very affordable amount so that it would be OK until everything got arranged,” Kay says. “They take all kinds of things into consideration.”
If you’re looking for a nice, affordable home, she says Willow Creek Place is the best.
“They are very kind, very helpful, very Christian, very clean, very good people,” she says.
Kay, who enjoys traveling with her family and having new adventures like parasailing last year at age 79, misses Willow Creek Place when she’s away.
“I just can’t wait to get home,” she says. “I really, really am in love with this place.”
We have a variety of affordable housing properties.