Just Like Home: Idependent Living in a Retirement Community

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Senior community in virginia for an active lifestyleDick and Carolyn Lalley both know how tough it is to be a newcomer.

The couple has spent their lives relocating across the country, from Maryland to Virginia to New York to Pennsylvania to Michigan to South Carolina.

The Lalleys, who are now comfortable and settled in at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge, knew they wanted to make the community’s new residents feel as at home as they did. To supplement the orientation events already offered by their community, the couple extended an invitation to each newcomer for a cozy gathering at their cottage.

“We had the party near Christmas time, and invited all the people who had moved here during the previous year,” said Carolyn. “We enjoy people and wanted to help other residents get to know each other even more.”

The Lalleys know how important it is to feel settled in. Though Dick’s exciting sales career took them to a new residence every couple years, they always found a way to make it feel like home.

Carolyn raised the couple’s four children, volunteered with the Junior League and served on the board of a shelter for runaways. Dick began his career in electrical equipment sales, and accepted an opportunity to sell new Beechcraft airplanes in western New York and eastern Pennsylvania. He moved to Birmingham, Michigan and became Sales Manager for three years and subsequently was promoted to Vice President of Sales and General Manager at The Authorized Beechcraft Distributor and Service Center.

Even when they decided to retire just outside of Charleston, S.C., their active and entrepreneurial spirit persisted. C & R Enterprises, the name of the Lalleys’ company that bears both of their first initials, became a thriving property supervision business.

“Carolyn was the Vice President and Secretary, and I was the C.E.O., Chairman and Treasurer,” said Dick, “It was a great deal of work, but a lot of fun and very satisfying.”

After selling the business in 1997, the couple embarked on journeys to six of the seven continents, the most recent being to Southeast Asia and India.

“We’ve been very blessed with that opportunity to learn about the world,” said Carolyn.

After a lifetime of numerous moves and gaining expertise in making every new situation their home, they eventually decided to settle into some place more permanent. The couple chose Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge because of its superior reputation among their friends, and the comfort that they would be taken care of in every stage of life.

“We know this will be our final move, because everything we could ever want is right here,” explained Dick.
Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge is a nationally-accredited Life Care retirement community that offers Independent and Catered living, as well as nursing care. It is minutes from the heart of Charlottesville, which is known for its lifelong learning opportunities, concerts, sports games and tempting cuisine.

However, as Dick and Carolyn will gladly attest, it is not necessary to leave campus to find ways to keep busy. The couple enjoys exercising at the gym and visiting with the community’s diverse body of residents, especially those in the nursing care area.

“It’s very rewarding to visit with people,” Carolyn said. “If you don’t have your spouse or children around, it can be quite lonely, so we like to give back.”

As exciting and fulfilling as moving around can be, there is something to be said for a place that is permanent and secure. Though the scenery may have changed throughout their lives, Dick and Carolyn have truly enjoyed the ride, and look forward to what their stable future at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge has to offer.

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