The staff of White Oaks of Huntley and Kindred Hospice collaborated Friday to organize a vow renewal ceremony for residents of the assisted-living facility and their spouses.

White Oaks at Huntley administrator Megan Benzel said staff had spoken with the facility’s hospice chaplain, who agreed to lead vow renewals for some of the hospice patients.

From there, Benzel said, the idea grew into something bigger, where families, employees and nonhospice patients were invited.

“It just kind of happened organically,” Benzel said.

A total of five resident couples renewed their vows: Bonita and Garland Kizer, George and Marion Fruin, Jerry and Dorothy Pospisil, Mel and Lois Long and Michael Brody and Marili McFawn. One staff couple also participated.

Benzel said one of the couples has been married for 72 years.

After the ceremony – which was officiated by Patty Pipia from Kindred Hospice – attendees were treated to wedding cake, hors d’oeuvres and sparkling juice.

Benzel said even though no families members were in attendance, she hopes the ceremony can be a recurring event.

“Quite a few of the staff were present and made the effort to look nice,” Benzel said.

White Oaks’ memory care assisted-living community provides support to seniors ages 65 and older who would prefer to remain in a home-like environment while receiving assistance with their daily care needs.

Benzel said there are a number of married couples in the community who have one spouse living in an assisted-living community and the other living in a traditional home.

For more local news, visit Northwest Herald at

McHenry County