A Letter from Michel Salmon, Co-Founder of H.O.M.E.

Michel_Lilo

March 31, 2020

Dear Friends,

While we were working at Little Brothers and later on at H.O.M.E., Lilo was the soul of these organizations.

She helped to make them grow with more programs and more elders served. But by her dynamism, her no-nonsense work ethic, her commitment, her honesty, her love, her compassion, her joy, her smiles, her big loud laughs, she made these organizations recognised as trustworthy and full of integrity.

While I am on a lockdown in my Paris apartment, I am receiving dozens and dozens of heart-warming and overwhelming emails and phone calls from the USA, France and Germany telling me how Lilo touched so many individual lives. These testimonies touch me very deeply and help me navigate these difficult and frightening times. I am quoting some of them among so many:

“She was the most remarkable woman I have ever known.”

“Lilo’s spirited and furious beliefs was always a north star for me.”

“Lilo was a great inspiration to me. She made me want to be better, kinder and more forgiving.”

“She was such a special human being, so direct and so loving at the same time.”

“I cannot imagine a world without Lilo in it.”

“The world has lost one of its finest people.”

“She was warm, unpretentious, funny, great fun to talk to - if pretty firm in her opinions.”

“Lilo was a force for good, helping and inspiring so many with her energy, hard work and commitment to the elderly.”

“She was fabulous and you were blessed to be part of her life.”

“Her brillance, compassion and indomitable spirit were unmatched by anyone I have ever known.”

“We won’t see her likes again, in terms of such kindness, wit, understanding, character, and so much more. Among all the other qualities, Lilo was the finest correspondent I have known.”

“Seldom do I break down in tears on learning of death of friends… but news of Lilo’s death immediately caused spontaneous sobs - hard to control.”

Lilo died peacefully at home in Paris in my arms. There will be an intimate funeral mass for close family members. According to her wishes, she will be cremated and her urn buried in the Calvary cemetery of Chicago on top of Nathalie’s grave when it is possible to travel again freely.

Lilo was indeed one of the greatest human beings and I am so lucky and humbled to have met her and to have her accept me as her husband and companion for joy and sorrows for the last 52 years. I believe she and Nathalie will be watching over me to make sure I am living the rest of my life as I should…


Michel

(michel-lilo@wanadoo.fr)

 

PS: I do hope that all the people of H.O.M.E. -- including the residents and the staff of the houses -- will be safe in these frightening times.


lilo_nathalie_closeup

Lilo Salmon (1933-2020)

"Life encompasses all age groups"

Lilo Salmon, co-founder of H.O.M.E., died peacefully in her husband Michel's arms in Paris on March 27, 2020. H.O.M.E. mourns its visionary.

 

Click here to read a reflection on Lilo's incredible life from H.O.M.E.'s Executive Director, Gail Schechter.

Click here to read her obituary in the Chicago Tribune authored by her friend, John McCarron.


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