Thrive by IU Health

May 20, 2022

Planting roots at IU Health Bloomington Hospice House

IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Planting roots at IU Health Bloomington Hospice House

Linda Mull loved her sun and shade gardening — but five years after she was diagnosed with colon cancer, she no longer had the strength to tend to her plants.

To make sure her gardens continued to thrive during the last year of her life, Linda’s husband, Rich Mull, secretly arranged for her fellow teachers from Unionville Elementary School to spread 14 yards of mulch in their front and back yards.

When he led Linda to the window to show her the surprise, she was overcome with emotion.

“They all showed up for her,” Rich remembered. “She was so moved by their generosity.”

Rich and Linda Mull
Rich and Linda Mull

Linda’s gardens flourished that summer, but as the seasons changed, so did her health — and in January 2007, Linda lost her battle against cancer.

Since her passing, Rich has searched for meaningful ways to honor his wife and her love of gardening.

This year, in memory of Linda, he has pledged $20,000 to IU Health Bloomington Hospice House — a gift that is entirely dedicated to the beautification of the grounds and garden area at the facility. His generosity also recognizes the at-home palliative caregivers who tended to his wife during her final days and improved her quality of life.

“Linda always had a way of making everything beautiful,” Rich said. “So, I want our entire community to benefit from her beauty and from this gift.”

In addition to this transformative donation, Rich has also pledged to give another $1,000 a year to IU Health Bloomington Hospice House for the rest of his life.

His support will ensure that Bloomington residents needing palliative care will have the best care close to home — a community that Rich and Linda called home for more than 30 years.

Linda Mull
Linda Mull

Linda, who was a first-grade teacher at Unionville Elementary School, was honored as Monroe County Teacher of the Year; was a member of Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, P.E.O. Ladies' Club, Bloomington Country Club, Well House; and was a supporter of the Indiana University Foundation. In 2006, Rich retired from IU after 35 years of service to the School of Physical Health, Physical Education and Recreation — where he helped shape countless student lives as director of campus recreation sports and assistant professor of physical education.

Through this gift, Rich will continue his legacy of making a difference in Bloomington — this time in the lives of IU Health Bloomington Hospice House patients, loved ones and team members — all in memory of Linda.

IU Health Bloomington Hospice House depends on the generosity of donors like Rich. Many of its services are made possible only through philanthropic support. We invite you to join Rich in helping to provide comfort to those who need it most by giving to IU Health Bloomington Hospice House. Contact IU Health Foundation Development Officer Emily Trinkle at 812.345.5625 or IU Health Foundation Philanthropy Director Diane Buzzell at 812.322.4129.