For the first time since 2019, Heyman Hospice Care on Tuesday night held an in-person memorial service to remember patients and family members served by the organization.

A small crowd gathered at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rome to remember loved ones who passed in 2021. COVID-19 forced the organization to cancel live events in 2020 and 2021.

Two sisters made the journey to Rome from different parts of Georgia to remember their mother. Fran Jones came from Forsyth and sister LeeAnn Mitchell drove in from Cartersville. Their mom, Shirley Willingham, died in December 2021.

“They are just so loving, caring and compassionate,” Jones said of the hospice staff and volunteers, who not only care for the patient but family members as well.