The Shannons with four of their children and Lee’s dogs

True love has no expiration date, and Dorothy and Lee Shannon’s marriage of 65 years depicted a beautiful picture of true love.


Lee Shannon came to Life Care Center of Osawatomie, Kansas, for the Butterflies are Free program, Life Care’s end-of-life program.


“When I met the couple in the hospital, the love they had for each other was so evident,” said Tammy Conner, admissions coordinator. “The doctor told Lee that he didn’t have much time left, and Lee wanted to be able to enjoy the time he did have with his family. When I found out from his wife that their anniversary was coming up, I asked him if he wanted help planning a surprise anniversary party for her.”


Shannon loved the idea of being able to surprise his wife, and plans for the party started to develop. Although the Shannon’s anniversary was not until May 23, the party was held May 11, 2018 – the day after the idea for the party came about.


“He was worried about how long he had left and told me his family would all be visiting that day, so we went ahead and made plans for the party,” said Conner.


Conner was able to help Shannon contact a local bakery, which made a cake, and a florist shop, which created a centerpiece, corsage and boutonniere. The staff at the facility pitched in to help decorate and make food for the event, including fruit kabobs and punch. The party was held in the facility family room, and four out of their six kids were in attendance, along with a few grandkids.


When the door opened to the party, Dorothy’s tears were immediate.


“My belief in love and marriage was restored seeing the way Lee loves his wife,” said Conner. “He had tears in his eyes every time he looked at her. It was a beautiful celebration.”


Author’s note: Sadly, Lee passed away on May 24, 2018; however, he did get to spend his 65th anniversary with his wife on May 23.


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