Many people who work in the medical field here in Sioux Falls are mourning the loss of the Vollmer family.
Four members of the Vollmer family were killed when their SUV veered off the road on I-90, Saturday evening.
Jim and Julie Vollmer worked at competing hospitals in Sioux Falls.
Jim at Avera Behavioral Health and Julie at Sanford's Birthplace, where they keep newborns.
They may have worked at different places, but their co-workers share nothing but fond memories of the Vollmers.
Going to work today at Avera Behavioral Health was met with feelings of shock for Thomas Otten.
"It's kind of a surreal feeling of grief, not knowing if this is real, it's always unreal to think that our beloved colleague is no longer with us," Otten said.
Jim Vollmer worked at Avera for more than ten years. Throughout that time, he touched many families. Now, the people he helped are expressing their grief over his loss.
"Jim was a man, who leaves a huge wake behind him, patients and family, and referral sources and physicians all loved Jim," Otten said.
And over at Sanford, it was also a day of sorrow. Jeri Nelson worked with Julie Vollmer at Sanford's home for newborns, the Birthplace. She knew Julie as a nurse, a friend, and a colleague.
"We knew she was very strong in her faith, and had very good life values. Always took time out for family and her children's events so she lived her life very well and very fully although it was too short with us. It was a very good life," Nelson said.
Julie's co-workers placed a candle and photo of the Vollmer family in the lobby to honor their memory.
"We were supposed to have some meetings today and we canceled those of course and said let's go to lunch. We had probably close to a hundred people at that lunch today. It was a time of telling stories, time to reflect," Nelson said.
Jeri tells me Julie Vollmer gave one of her blue scrub outfits to a co-worker to make a quilt.
The co-worker was planning to give Julie that quilt this past weekend.
Instead, she will give the quilt to Julie's daughter Brittany.
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