Life Lessons

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Kathy and Tom Williams have been quite active in the education field for most of their lives. Although they have retired, there is still one more very important life lesson they can share with others. Having moved to Riddle Village, a continuing care retirement community located in Media, Pa., the couple have proved how such a transition can allow for a fun and secure future.

“It’s the best thing you can do for your children, they don’t have to worry about you for the rest of your life,” said Kathy.

Always keeping children as a top priority, Kathy enjoyed her career as a second grade teacher and teacher/coordinator for a Federal pull-out program as she watched students grow and improve for 28 years. Tom was an elected member of The Springfield School Board for six years, and president for two. He worked in management positions for Lukens Steel Co., Westinghouse and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. His interest in transportation led him to join a model train club and collect various engines, cars and scenery that adorned the basement of their family home.

“I had platforms and all kinds of things,” he said. “I loved to run them a lot.”

The couple, married now for 54 years, knew when it was the right time in their lives to make a transition, especially having seen the great care Kathy’s mother received in her life care community. “We were both around 75, and we wanted to move while we were still healthy and able to do different things,” said Tom.

And it was Riddle Village that stood out from the crowd. “It’s in a secluded setting and it’s a very attractive place on the inside and out,” said Kathy. “It’s peaceful here, and everyone is very friendly.”

Since moving two years ago, the couple has enjoyed their spacious apartment with a balcony overlooking their surroundings. Most importantly, they were able to carry on their family traditions, as they hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for 15 family members in their new apartment. Having a washer/dryer and underground parking were special bonuses.

However, nothing compares to the sense of security the couple now has. The community’s recently expanded medical wing with assisted living and skilled nursing care has enabled Tom and Kathy to rest assured they will not be separated if one of them were to fall ill.

With such a clear future ahead, the active couple is currently living in the moment. Immediately following their move, they had volunteered for various fundraisers for the community’s Autumn Fair. Tom has joined the Riddle Village Men’s chorus, through which he has performed at a Philadelphia Eagles game, while Kathy has become involved in exercise classes at the newly enlarged pool three times a week. She has also become an excellent putter on the nine-hole putting green.

“Here, you never have to go outside of the complex,” said Tom. “There is always something to do if you want, and we have a lot of fun here.”

There is more fun on the way, though, as the community has expanded its exercise room and hired a personal trainer. A beautiful new cocktail lounge with an outside patio and renovated common areas provide residents with comfortable socializing areas.

Whether relaxing in their apartment, playing bridge or enjoying musical entertainment, the Williams have certainly educated their lifelong friends on how to make the most of their forthcoming years.

“Many people say they wish they had moved when they were our age,” said Kathy. “We always tell our friends to get into a place where they can be taken care of rather than waiting.”

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