Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

I’d like to tell you about the beginning of our story….

It was July 2018. Ben and Mira Daniels had been working full time since 2015 to build The Willows. It was a big task, but they got the job done and were getting ready to open their doors in the next couple of months.

But on one fateful afternoon that July, a large tornado tragically tore through downtown Marshalltown, leaving destruction in its wake. One place that took a large amount of damage was another senior community in town. Overnight, dozens of seniors needed shelter while their home was being rebuilt.

The Daniels’ knew they had a space that was specially designed for seniors. And just days prior, had received their final permits. So they made the choice, before much of the staff had even been hired, to open The Willows early to offer shelter for the displaced seniors.

In the coming days and weeks, they saw an outpouring of love and support to make these seniors comfortable. So many folks from all over brought food, blankets, beds, furniture, and essentials. Many new Willows employees worked around the clock and gave much of their own time to make everyone comfortable. The Daniels family moved into the building to help, and as a community, they found their way through.

In that time, they saw so many examples of selflessness, love, and of neighbors helping neighbors. It gave them a profound sense of gratitude for this little corner of the world and a first-hand introduction to Marshalltown Strong. A community shining bright in their darkest hour is a miraculous thing to see, and we were forever changed by it.

This whirlwind was our beginning. When we opened our doors for business as usual, we already knew what it looked like to be filled with people who want to help make life better and easier for seniors. We have held strong in that mission ever since.

Thank you again and again Marshalltown. The Willows is truly yours. I feel proud to lead it every day.


Jennifer Stanley

Executive Director

641 485 1672


Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Doesn’t Everyone? For so many of us, our moms mean everything to us.

And as you and I have gotten to know each other through my weekly columns, I figured it was time to share a few of the things my mom taught me, important lessons that I use every day. Because they are as much a part of who I am as anything I do. And I’d like for you to know me better.

My mom taught me to always do my best. “OK but every Mother says that Jennifer.” I know, but she would take specific daily events and work through them with me, to find out what I wanted to do better or differently next time. Practical, but without lecturing. It is a tool that really helps me serve the needs Marshalltown’s seniors here at The Willows. They deserve my best, so I am always evaluating how I can do better for them.

She also taught me to never go to bed mad. At anyone, or about an event of the day. Another common lesson, but my mom really made sure I did it. She could just tell any time I was unsettled and she would patiently talk through it with me until I felt better. Only then would she let me turn off the lights.

She would also not allow harsh words when describing either a friend or someone who I had met. Sure, that didn’t keep me from trying. But she just wouldn’t have it. And finally that has become a lifelong habit for me.

These lessons, and the patience she taught me as she guided me through them, have served me in every part of my life, as a mother, a friend, a neighbor, and as a leader at The Willows.

I’m forever thankful for them and I think they help set us apart in providing the very best in Assisted Living and Memory Care for our residents. Give me a call on my cell: 485-1672. I’d love for you to share your mom’s or dad’s life lessons with me.

Nothing Beats Fall!

Winter? Take it or leave it. But nothing, and I mean nothing, beats fall. It’s safe to say that fall is nearly everyone’s favorite season. The days might be getting shorter, and winter might be just around the corner, but autumn is full of pleasantly warm days with crisp air, sunshine, and beautiful fall foliage. The stunning hues of fiery red, yellow, and orange…

Read the entire September 2022 Willows Life Newsletter (pdf).