A Twist of Fate for a Senior leads to a Retirement Community

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Although they made their moves at different times and for different reasons, some say fate brought Gerald (Gerry) Altman and Lillian Zale together at Atrium Village, a senior retirement community in Owings Mills. While they had quite a journey before their first meeting during a stroll around their home, the two have been inseparable ever since.

Gerry served in active duty during WWII and was later recalled to be commissioned in the U.S. Air Force. When he finished school, he became part of the prestigious Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps and eventually switched between working in private practice and the government.

A father of three and grandfather to six, Gerry had been hospitalized several times due to cardiac problems when his physician suggested moving to a community that could provide the necessary care and relieve Gerry of the stress of home maintenance. He looked at various communities with entrance fees but realized he wanted to manage his own finances.

There was no question for everyone involved that this community was the best fit, especially since Gerry knew several people living there. That number grew when Lillian Zale, a former New York schoolteacher and Baltimore resident of six years, moved to the community. The mother of two’s husband had passed away when Lillian decided to make the transition.

When asked what attracted them to one another, Gerry jokingly responds, “Because we have extreme myopia, borderline anemia and both bank at Eastern Savings Bank!” Of course Lillian’s extensive knowledge of lyrics to ‘oldies’ is an endearing quality to Gerry.

Aside from their walks, the duo enjoys the several amenities of their home including its convenient location to all that Pikesville and Owings Mills has to offer. They spend a great deal of time at the Pikesville library and senior center.

Gerry has started a Public Affairs group at the community along with Veterans’ luncheons. Although he has accomplished so much already, Gerry believes he has a greater purpose and holds his friendships dear to his heart as is evident in his relationship with Lillian.

Individuals can often be hesitant to move to a community, but these two prove how you never know the great opportunities and relationships that lay ahead if you do not take that leap. Atrium Village was their destiny!

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