I would like to start off this May Newsletter by thanking everyone who has been so supportive of Grand Haven during this difficult time. We are so grateful for all the hard work and dedication we receive from not only our staff but from our residents as well. We are all in this together!
Grand Haven is finally able to open our courtyards for Resident use with some restrictions put in place. Hopefully, May will continue to bring us warm weather so the Residents are able to get some much needed fresh air and vitamin D. The Activities Department will be working on freshening up the courtyards with some new flowers and plants. Happy May!!
Let's Welcome to Grand Haven Retirement
Spotlight on Senior: Mary Arnold
Mary Lane-Arnold carries herself with the utmost poise and decisiveness. Each word is picked carefully… until she lets loose an unexpected truth or joke, followed with an infectious laugh!
Mary was born May 4th, 1931, the sixth of what would be thirteen children to her parents. Mary’s family lived in Mercer County, Missouri, and lived on a farm. She remembers her parents, Ned and Fern Lane, as good, honest, and loving parents who sacrificed a lot to make sure their children had a good life. Her siblings consist of five other girls and seven boys. Mary says that they were a “fun-loving group,” who spent many days playing games that they invented outside and in. “You just had to make sure you never turn your back on anybody though,” Mary said. “You never knew when someone would start a water fight!”
Mary met Bob Arnold after high school when they worked together. Over time they dated, and Bob left for basic training in the Army. He eventually proposed her and Mary married him in July of 1951 while he was on leave from the military. He then went to Tokyo for fifteen months before returning home and becoming a plastering apprentice.“We both kept so busy, there was little time to argue,” Mary said, remembering with a smile. “We just wanted to enjoy each other’s company.”
Together they raised five sons: Dave, Matt, Joe, Brad, and Brett. In 1971 they moved here to Eldridge. Their children had many many friends, so there were always kids at the house. “The boys are great. You couldn’t ask for better sons. We have lots of great memories with them…and maybe only a few grey hairs because of them.
“We were also always at parks or gyms,” Mary recalls, “because they were in sports. All five of them. Bob and I loved to watch them play their sports or activities and cheer them on.”
For a long time, Bob and Mary built and then sold houses in the area. “When I turned fifty-two I tried to get my Iowa real estate license. I didn’t pass the first time but eventually did and it proved to be quite a new adventure for me.” The family never left the Eldridge area but built several new houses until Mary decided she wanted to get her broker’s license. “My brother actually encouraged me to get it!” Mary managed her own broker’s office for eleven years in Eldridge before going to work at Mel Foster for twenty-five years until she retired in 2007.
All throughout the time Mary wanted to make sure that she was also “paying-it-forward” and giving back to the community. One of the projects she was most proud to be a part of was the Trees Forever Project in the area. Together, with many faithful volunteers, the project planted over three hundred trees in the Eldridge community. “We are proud of our beautiful little community and think that this project was good for everyone, and nature.”
A lot of Bob and Mary’s handiness and work ethics were passed along to their children who eventually went off and started their own families. Now Mary has seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Mary and Bob joined the Grand Haven Community in July of 2019, and sadly Bob Arnold passed in October. “2019 was a bit of a rough year,” Mary says, “but the staff here was great and patient. They really helped.”
When asked if Mary had any advice for people during these trying times she said “People need to be kind. Just be kind to your fellow man. You never know what someone is going through. Everybody has bad days. Support each other… it makes things easier for everybody.”
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