Memorial Gift to Good Samaritan Society – Ottumwa Celebrates Extraordinary Care

Jerry Kjer and his late wife, Lee Ann.

When Jerry Kjer reflects on his life, he sees “blessings from God everywhere.”

The blessing of his late wife, Lee Ann, and their loving 32-year marriage. The blessings of his three daughters, Ginny Lu, Lucy Mei and Ellie Meng. And, most recently, the blessing of compassionate care from the Inpatient Rehabilitation unit at the Good Samaritan Society – Ottumwa.

Jerry Kjer and his late wife, Lee Ann, with their three daughters, Ginny Lu, Lucy Mei and Ellie Meng.

“I’d been in the hospital and went to the Inpatient Rehabilitation unit for ongoing recovery,” Kjer said. “I was there for about two months and during that time, I was just overwhelmed by the quality and caliber of the care I received. Not just medically, but from a spiritual perspective as well. Everyone there was just outstanding, from the food service staff to the physical and occupational therapists, to the nursing staff and CNAs. They were all so motivating and uplifting. They helped me, at age 72, to remember what’s important in life. They reminded me the good Lord gave me a life to live, so I’d better live it.”

So living is exactly what Kjer has been focused on. Living, he said, with a grateful heart.

To express his gratitude for the care he received during his rehabilitation, and to celebrate the life and legacy of his beloved wife, who passed away in 2023, Kjer recently made a $50,000 gift to the Good Samaritan Foundation to benefit residents and families who need care close to home in Ottumwa.

“I wanted to do something meaningful while I was alive,” Kjer said. “I don’t know what the good Lord has in store for my future, but for now, I have the satisfaction and joy that comes from thanking these people and recognizing the good that’s happening here — all in memory of my loving wife.”

“Lee Ann was the most hospitable person I knew — she made everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. She impressed me with her friendliness and, as a mother, she was always so encouraging,” Kjer said, explaining that he witnessed those same qualities among the staff at the Good Samaritan Society – Ottumwa.

“I’ve been blessed in life, and I’m blessed to be able to do this now,” Kjer said.

Ali Hofer serves as executive director for the Good Samaritan Foundation. She said Kjer’s gift will make a difference for residents and families.

“As a nonprofit health care system, philanthropy makes progress possible and fuels our work to provide exceptional care, spiritual enrichment and innovation,” Hofer said. “We can’t thank Jerry enough for his generosity. I simply can’t think of a more beautiful way to celebrate the life and legacy of a loved one, and to recognize wonderful care than through a gift of gratitude such as this. Jerry often talks about the blessings in his life. I hope he knows that he is a blessing to patients and families who rely on the Good Samaritan Society – Ottumwa for care.”

Learn more about how you can give the gift of health and healing to residents and families through a gift to the Good Samaritan Foundation.

Related stories

Find a Good Samaritan Society location

Connect with Us

Sign up for the Good Samaritan Society's newsletter to learn about our mission and how we're making a difference. Stay up-to-date on health information, events, services, and more.