The Healing Garden has given many a place to reflect, seek peace and rest. As volunteers for Swedish Covenant Hospital, Marilyn Tobias and Phyllis Bergman each found the garden to be a particularly special place. It is fitting, then, that the Tobias family and Phyllis Bergman chose to honor their loved ones with memorial gifts to the garden. Marilyn Tobias and the Bergman and Stephenson families are now remembered through named benches in the Healing Garden.
Marilyn Tobias was known as the “bread lady” to many at Swedish Covenant Hospital. During her 10 years of volunteer service, Marilyn passed out bread to those in the waiting areas and was known for her warm hugs. Phil and Marilyn enjoyed spending time in the Healing Garden and often took strolls through the garden. The Tobias’s relationship with Swedish Covenant Hospital started long before that, however – all of their children were born at the hospital. Marilyn passed away in 2013 and a bench in the Healing Garden has been donated in her memory by her loving family.
Also a dedicated volunteer, Phyllis Bergman has committed more than 2,000 hours to volunteering in the medical library. She can be found every Thursday pushing the book cart through the hospital hallways and passing out books and magazines to patients. When she has spare time, Phyllis spends it in the Healing Garden reading, eating lunch, or just resting and listening to the birds. Her gift to the garden was inspired by a desire to ensure its longevity.
“I love spending time in the Healing Garden – and used to call it the peace garden. I wanted to make a donation to make sure that the garden continues for the community to enjoy. The memorial bench gives me a place where I can go to remember my family,” Phyllis said.
Phyllis recently surprised her family by revealing the memorial bench while they were visiting her in Chicago (pictured).