National Hospice and Palliative Care Month – Jim Munroe’s Story

A Thank You Video from Cheri Munroe

Cheri Munroe’s husband Jim was diagnosed with Metastatic Pancreatic cancer in March 2023. Four months later he passed away at home surrounded by his family and cared for by Avita Home Health & Hospice. Cheri has chosen to share her story to help ease some anxiety for other families who are facing a similar journey. Her longstanding passion for helping people and dedication to supporting fundraising efforts that contribute to education, supplies, and training for caregivers who offer end-of-life care drive her to do these things in Jim’s memory.

Jim was the love of my life – We were married 45 and Half Years – Every day mattered

My husband Jim and I met when he was in the 4th grade in Acton, Massachusetts. We were friends throughout school, but didn’t date until he graduated from high school in 1976 and were married in 1978. We relocated to Ohio because of his job. While we left our families and friends behind, we created an incredible life filled with friends, fun, and our love for each other. I’m not sure what exactly made our relationship so special; maybe it was because we were friends and knew each other so long. We came from loving families, which helped us build a great home for us and our daughter Melanie. We loved each other so much, and that constant love made the good times so amazing and got us through the rough times.

Jim worked for Sir Steak Machinery for 47 years and was President of the company. He enjoyed snowmobiling, quad riding, was a car enthusiast liking NASCAR (especially Kevin Harvick), and was a member of Rod’N Tiques Car Club. Jim liked to listen to music and was the sound tech for the band Kickin’ Grass. He was highly regarded by everyone and was such a good, kind-hearted person. He loved to help people which we so enjoyed doing together. We were blessed with our daughter Melanie. She is and always has been an awesome and amazing person who we love unconditionally.   

In March 2023, Jim was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and four months later he needed hospice care

We found ourselves back at the hospital in July due to complications from Jim’s stents. I knew how important it was to get him released from the hospital and back home as quickly as possible to get him back on his chemo treatments. Once home, his palliative care physician told us that he was no longer able to withstand the chemo treatment. She referred me to Avita Home Health & Hospice. They were at our home that night. I didn’t realize how quickly his condition turned. Like every good moment in our life together, you think you will have many more.

We wanted Jim to be at home, and hospice made that possible for us. Home was where Jim would want to be. His greatest memories over 30 years with our friends and daughter at Candlewood meant so much to him. Although I had no knowledge of hospice care, our car club donated proceeds from our annual car show to the program. I got connected with Avita Home Health & Hospice. This was an unfamiliar first step, however, I knew right away it was the right thing to do for Melanie, me, and Jim of course.

As soon as hospice got involved I could catch my breath

When you really love somebody the way I loved Jim, you want to do what’s best for them. Looking back, there is no doubt in my mind that Avita Hospice helped both Melanie and I do just that. I asked one of the nurses what made her choose this line of nursing. I really don’t know how they do the work they do. I remember her saying to me that she didn’t choose it, it chose her. I could see that in everything she did for Jim and hear it in every word of advice she spoke. The Avita team went out of their way to make Jim feel like someone was always there, that he was never alone, and that if he needed something they would be there to take care of it. They listened and supported me. It was what helped Melanie and I cope with everything and get through what was happening. They counsel us even to this day, and gave us strength to get through this process.

Avita turned out to be a blessing to Melanie and I. We were really able to connect with each other, with Jim, and think about all the good. I knew we didn’t have to be Jim’s nurses. Avita Hospice made it possible for me to be Jim’s wife, his best friend, and Melanie’s mother. Over the last week of Jim’s life I could share all my memories and all of my love with him. We held and comforted each other. We cried. We talked. We laughed. We loved.

The last day of Jim’s life was definitely peaceful. I told him that he needed to go be at peace and later that night he passed. It was wonderful that hospice made it possible for us to be together in our home for our most private moments at the end of Jim’s life.

Forever grateful and full of love

Pancreatic cancer might have taken his life, way too early, but it didn’t break his incredible spirit, turn his most wonderful smile, or stop him from celebrating life with his family. When I think back on the events surrounding my husband’s death, I feel at peace with our decision to call Avita Hospice. I miss Jim so very much and think about him every day. I love looking back at photos and all of our mementos that remind me of the incredible times we spent together – nearly 46 wonderful years. For me, looking at photos, being surrounded by his things, and talking about him and our experiences brings me comfort and joy. This is particularly important for helping me keep those memories and stories alive for my daughter Melanie and future grandchildren. Today, I’m working on a project and series of events to have with family and friends to share his most incredible legacy and all the good things he did for me and our daughter.


In memory of Jim Munroe and all hospice patients…

Or send your check payable to the Avita Health Foundation to:

Avita Health Foundation
Attention:  Hospice & Palliative Care Month
269 Portland Way South
Galion, Ohio 44833

For more information about the services Avita Home Health & Hospice offers, please visit or call 419-468-7985