If the walls at Kingston Healthcare Assisted Living facilities could talk, they would easily recount thousands of stories from the past, and fond memories from years gone by. In the common areas, hallways and apartments, laughter, smiles and tales of “the way things used to be” float in the air like a pleasant fall breeze. And if those walls could indeed talk, they might retell stories like these…
“In 1955, I was named president of Sheridan College, in Sheridan, Wyoming. I was young, but I worked hard at it, and I guess I was a little bit lucky too, says Dr. Richard White, retired college administrator, and Kingston of Sylvania resident. “We were teaching out of the old hospital in town, but space was limited and enrollment was growing. I was the first president at Sheridan to lobby for state aid, and secure funding for a new building through private donations and municipal bonds – with a 91% approval vote! With that money, we built the first building on campus, which was sorely needed. During my four years at Sheridan College, enrollment tripled!”
Life-long genealogy hobbyist, and retired from a distinguished 45-year career in college administration, Dr. White has lived at Kingston Residences of Sylvania for more than seven years. His first experience with Kingston was before he became a resident when his wife of more than 60 years was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, and needed more extensive care than he could give her at home. “We found the best place available for her care, and I joined her here after about a year. It was nice to be in the same place together.”
90 years young, Dr. White stays mentally active by gathering information via the Internet on his family tree, dating back centuries, and keeping tabs on dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “It’s been a good life,” he says with a smile.
Follow the sound of a light-hearted infectious laugh and you are likely to encounter Marcie Newmark the self-appointed, social coordinator and daily mail & cookie delivery specialist at Kingston Residence of Sylvania. A retired surgical nurse, serving 39 years at Mercy Hospital, Marcie has been a resident at Kingston for nine years. “I just love it here,” she says with a big smile. Mother of five children, and grandmother to nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren, Marcie was struck down with Multiple Sclerosis at 62 years of age. She had previously endured multiple knee replacements and subsequent injuries that now prevented her from walking on her own. As the MS continued to weaken her legs, she knew she needed extra help around the house. “I could have stayed at home with outside help, you know, but I wanted to be social! I wanted to be with friends, stay busy, have fun, and not be a burden to my kids.”
Marcie’s self-appointed role as social coordinator suits her well. She not only thrives on her daily activity of checking in with other local residents, she enjoys the opportunity to continually exercise her nurturing spirit from her nursing days. “Being here, checking in on and visiting with my fellow residents on a daily basis gives me joy,” she says. “It’s like I’m still taking care of people. I always wanted to be a nurse, you know. From the time I was old enough to have dolls, I would constantly soothe their pretend cries, and mend them when they were broken. In my first nursing position, I was assigned to the Obstetrics department when I could take care of real babies. And over the years, through mutual acquaintances, I met several of those babies when they had become adults! It was very satisfying to see their lives come full circle. Here at Kingston, I still get to care for people. Even if all I’m doing is bringing a smile to someone’s day. After all, I’m here (at Kingston) to live, not to die!”
Many different people, from many walks of life. Different joys and challenges, life experiences and ways in which they left their mark on this world. All you have to do is ask, and you get a glimpse of a life well-lived and the impact left behind through their deeds and talents. These are only a few of the stories recounted by the residents of Kingston Healthcare assisted living facilities. Stop in for a visit, and you are guaranteed to hear more of them floating down the hallways of memory lane.