High School Reunion Leads to Retirement Living

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retirement living residents paGiving of their time and expertise has always been a priority for Jerry and Rita Zacharias. In addition to their busy professional lives, the Zachariases have been avid volunteers for over 40 years.

Rita, a successful real estate broker, loved being out in the field selling, but she always made time for her volunteer work advocating for the disabled. Rita has also been a member of the Women’s Federation, which helps to fund projects ranging from Canine Companions to Operation Smile, for 28 years.

A retired Navy Pilot, Jerry remembers his time in the air as “peaceful-an escape from all the distractions.” Jerry is the current President of the Golden Eagles, an association of naval aviators. One of his most recent projects was putting together a book of biographies for his fellow Golden Eagles for the 30th anniversary of the association. The massive undertaking included over 500 biographies of active, emeritus, and deceased Golden Eagles.

Jerry and Rita have always been active in the Methodist Church as well. Rita says, “I don’t think there is a position with the church that one or the other of us hasn’t held over the years.”

Several years ago, the Zachariases were attending Rita’s 50th high school reunion at Linden Hall School for Girls near Lancaster, PA. Jerry recalls, “It was during the spring of the year, and the countryside was just so beautiful. We thought we could really retire here.”

When the couple’s search for a retirement community became a reality, they visited several other communities but eventually found themselves back in Lancaster. Their first visit to Willow Valley Retirement Communities was the deciding factor. “None of the other communities held a candle to Willow Valley,” says Jerry. Rita adds, “This community really stood out in so many ways. The facilities in general are superb. The food is outstanding, and there are so many long-standing staff members.”

The Zachariases also appreciate the comfort of knowing that life care is readily available should it become necessary. Their first-hand experience with the quality care delivered on campus confirmed the wisdom of their decision to move early. Rita recalls, “My mother moved here at the age of 94 and was cared for in the assisted living community on the Willow Valley campus until she passed away. She really did receive superior care.”

Today, Jerry and Rita are enjoying all that their new lifestyle offers. They note that there is never a lack of activities at Willow Valley Retirement Communities. Jerry uses the exercise facilities regularly, and Rita plays bridge with a group of residents. Both Jerry and Rita are members of the Willow Valley camera club.

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