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Gaia Home Supporter Looks to Fill the Missing Piece


When Vern Dosch retired, he knew he wanted to continue to be involved in the community. “I love Bismarck, I grew up here,” he said. “I’m grateful for what I received and want to contribute.”


One of the things he thought about was, ‘what is missing in this community; what amenity would make it a better place?’ The answer came through a couple of very tough experiences – the deaths of his mother and mother-in-law.


“Based on my experiences I have a much better understanding of how different end-of-life can be for everyone,” explained Vern. “When the doctor said we needed to put my mom in hospice, the people that took care of her were extraordinary. We were able to put her in my brother’s house, all of my siblings were there and a lot of important conversations happened. There was someone with her 24 hours a day. It was beautiful, if death can be beautiful.


“However, Lynne’s mom was in a nursing home during COVID and I really think she died from a broken heart, from just being lonely. It was such a stark contrast from how we were able to say good-bye to my mom.”

Vern looked at these personal experiences and knew he had to get involved with Gaia Home. He had previously had a conversation with Executive Director Kilee Harmon about the project, so he called her and said he now understood how important a facility like this would be for the community. He is now a member of the Gaia Home Campaign Committee and Operations Advisory Group.


“Kilee has done a great job of getting the right people together,” he said. “We basically started from zero and even had to have legislation created. Gaia Home is important, and it will be healing for so many people in our community.”