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Lilo Salmon (1934-2020): "Life encompasses all age groups"

Gail Schechter
Published: March 27, 2020


lilo_nathalie"Lilo died peacefully last night at home in Paris in my arms," writes her devoted husband of more than 51 years, Michel. On March 27, 2020, Lilo Salmon was felled by an abdominal aneurysm. Lilo and Michel were the founders of H.O.M.E. in Chicago in 1982.

"Life encompasses all age groups. It doesn't segregate by age. I don't think we should either," Lilo told Chicago Magazine as she planned for H.O.M.E.'s Nathalie Salmon House, in Rogers Park.

The building is named for Lilo and Michel's daughter and only child whose life was cut tragically short when she was hit by a car at age 16. What more fitting way to remember Nathalie than to create living, breathing intergenerational housing, something Nathalie enjoyed with her 12 "grandparents" visiting Pat Crowley House, H.O.M.E.'s first building.

Michel and Lilo retired to France where Michel is from. She subsequent wrote a history of H.O.M.E., which was an offshoot of what is now Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. Lilo was a German social work student who came to Chicago while Michel led Little Brothers.

Even with the ravages of the coronavirus, Lilo was thinking of H.O.M.E. As recently as Monday, March 23rd, four days before she died, she sent an email to Executive Director Gail Schechter. It was so like her to be thinking of H.O.M.E.'s residents first. 

Hello, Gail,
 
It feels as if the world is standing still……. Fortunately, Michel is doing well and a wonderful job nursing me.  I spent a week in he hospital the beginning of March,  am home now but do not seem to get my act together….
 
You must be very worried about many of your people!!!   Are you yourself alright???
 
LOVE,
 
Lilo
 
In closing his message to friends and family, Michel wrote:
 

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 a very loving and compassionate human being loved by so many. She is certainly happy now to contemplate His face and to have rejoined Nathalie.

Laudate Dominum,

Michel

The entire H.O.M.E. family celebrates Lilo Salmon as we deeply mourn her passing. We join Michel in contemplating her reunion with her beloved Nathalie.

Peace and,

in the spirit of Lilo,

LOVE

 

Editor's Note: Original article stated Lilo Salmon was born in 1934, though she was actually born in 1933.

 

Posted in intergenerational housing, senior isolation, Pat Crowley House, Nathalie Salmon House