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Older Adults Who Rock

August 29, 2016

12 inspirational individuals highlighted in Three Pillars publications over the last 12 months

As we wrap up our fiscal year, it’s a time we often reflect on the accomplishments and happenings of our organization. This also gets us thinking about the many amazing older adults we’ve featured in various publications such as our blog, press releases in newspapers, newsletters, the Wisconsin Masonic Journal, and others. It’s clear that each of these unique stories have encompassed wonderful lives filled with remarkable experiences and incredible accomplishments. So, in case you missed any of these captivating stories, here’s an annual summary.

  1. Bob Krahn (Featured in the July 2015 Foundations Newsletter and the September 2015 Masonic Journal)

    Robert Krahn, casually known as “Bob” to his close friends, had always been a generous man. He was never one to discuss it, but he was continually giving of his time, resources, and dollars. Whether he was volunteering as a Zor Shrine clown to spark joy in a child’s day, or supporting his alma mater, UW Madison, with a financial gift, Bob didn’t miss an opportunity to give. In true Bob-fashion, even after his passing in May 2014, he made one of his biggest donations as his way of supporting the community he felt so fondly about – a planned gift of his farm property to Three Pillars. Read more on p.4 here…
  2. Frank Burany (Featured in our August 2015 blog and local newspapers, and later in our February/March 2016 email newsletter)

    When your life experiences included driving the Indianapolis 500 Speedway at 120 mph, flying a helicopter as one of your home town’s first traffic reporters, and munching on hot Hungarian peppers as a snack, few things will faze you. For Frank Burany, even his hundredth birthday on August 16th, 2015, was “just another day.” Frank was baffled that so many people “made such a big thing of it.” His son, Dick, put on a fantastic party at Three Pillars, which had been Frank’s home since January of 2013. After enjoying a perfect afternoon with about 100 guests, he admitted with a grin, “I guess I kind of got warmed up about the whole turning 100 thing.” While Frank has since found eternal rest, he was a man who enjoyed every day he was given to the fullest. Read more…
  3. Mary Church (Featured in the September 2015 Wisconsin Masonic Journal)

    Mary Elizabeth Church, fondly thought of as Three Pillars’ “Social Butterfly,” was raised in Walworth, WI, and has been a resident of Three Pillars for six years. After attending Beloit College, she worked as a nurse in Chicago, Sarasota, and finally for many years Harvard Memorial Hospital. It wasn’t until she had her daughter, Marty, and decided to move back home, that she joined the Order of the Eastern Star, a Freemasonic appendant body. After years of holding various titles, filling numerous positions, and volunteering over the years, she currently acts as Treasurer of a local Chapter. Read more on p.19 here…
  4. Paul Rossmiller (Featured in our December/January 2015-16 email newsletter [link is from a version of the story in the February 2015 Wisconsin Masonic Journal])

    Paul Rossmiller, 88, moved to Three Pillars in May of 2014, returning to the land he sowed as a young boy. Born in 1927, Paul was orphaned and lived with his aunt and uncle. When he was in the fourth grade, his uncle was hired on as the farm manager at the Masonic Home, and with that came the opportunity to live on site. When it was time for Paul to decide where he’d like to spend his golden years, the answer was easy. Since his time on the farm as a young boy, he always knew he’d want to return. Read more on p.16 here…
  5. Bob Chagnon (Featured in the January 2016 Wisconsin Masonic Journal)

    Bob Chagnon’s story is one of happy times, hard work, and following his dreams, with his wife Mary Alice by his side. Bob, originally from Rhinelander, WI, and Mary Alice, from North Dakota, have two magnificent daughters and just celebrated 51 years of marriage. Their journey has led to blissful retirement living at Three Pillars’ MasonWoods community in Cecil, WI.

    The Chagnons cherish the way the people at MasonWoods and the Cecil community interact with each other, support one another, and look out for their neighbor, just like an extended family.  “It’s just super. If we’d still been living in our own home, the contact we’d have with friends and neighbors would be minimal. Here, you wake up and can find the ladies’ exercise group and men’s coffee chat going on before it’s even 8:30 AM.” Read more on p.4 here…
  6. Stan and MaryAnn Jagow (Featured in the January 2016 Foundations newsletter)

    When it comes to giving graciously of your time, talent, and treasure, Stan and Mary Ann Jagow exemplify the concept in every way. They have always found joy in giving back to others. In every phase of their life, they’ve never ceased to find time to give of their time, talent, and treasure to humbly brighten someone else’s day. Why do they do it? “Why not?” they say.

    Now, happily settled into easy living at Three Pillars in their “second retirement,” have the Jagows kicked back and relaxed? Well, if you call serving on volunteer committees, resident council, starting and directing a choir, and making appearances as a clown at festivals and parades “relaxed,” then, yes. Read more on p.1 here…
  7. Kathleen Dumstrey (Featured in the February 2016 Wisconsin Masonic Journal)

    Kathy, a resident at the Masonic Center for Health and Rehabilitation, is a kind-hearted and cheerful woman who sets an example for all. She eloquently expressed how pleased she is living at Three Pillars by offering her version of the definition for the “Lifestyle” part of our values and what that means to her:
    ​I love it at Three Pillars. It’s my home, the people are my family, and the thing that really makes life so good here is the tender love and care shown by everyone day in and day out – it’s just a way of life. The nurses bend over backwards to see that I’m taken care of, the food is delicious, the recreation programs keep me busy, and best of all, my kids don’t have to worry about me. They go to bed at night knowing that Mom is taken care of, and that’s a real gift.” See it on p.5 here…
  1. Oral Congdon (Featured in the March 2016 Wisconsin Masonic Journal and later in the June/July 2016 email newsletter)

    Ask Oral Congdon to tell you about his life in a nutshell, and he’ll chuckle at you. “That’s a tough one,” he admits. If we want to know about the biggies, though, he’ll tell us that his family and Masonry are at the top of the list of life highlights. Now in his ninth year of residency, he looks back recalling living in apartments on various areas of the campus. Through it all, he says, “The best part about the whole place is the people here. They’re so thorough in all that they do, and the girls and fellas who work here are so friendly, so nice.” Read more on p.6 here…
  2. Gerald Beier (Featured in our April/May 2016 email newsletter, [link is from a version of the story in the April 2015 Wisconsin Masonic Journal])

    Gerald Beier has been a Mason for 71 of his 91 years and a resident at Three Pillars for 15. He’s a proud father of three children, an accomplished businessman in the banking industry, a seasoned selfless volunteer, and a current events and stock market guru. Now in his 16th year at Three Pillars, Jerry reflects on his happy memories and the phenomenal people he’s met – both staff members and other residents. In fact, the people are the best part about Three Pillars, he says. “There are so many wonderful people who live and work here, and I let them know that whenever I get a chance.” Read more on p.4 here…  
  3.  Hugo Petters (Featured in the April 2016 Wisconsin Masonic Journal)

    Hugo, a longtime Mason and Past Master of the MasonWoods #368 Lodge, is a shining source of vibrancy in his home community at Three Pillars’ MasonWoods in Cecil, WI. He offered a beautiful explanation of what the “Trust” in our values means to him: “Trust is defined as: a firm belief in reality. When I retired at age 75, my wife, Lu, and I identified several qualities that were important to us as we searched for a new home: lifestyle, value, trust, and a rural setting. After looking at many options, MasonWoods on beautiful Shawano Lake was hands-down the winner. When we first visited with residents there, it was clear that they had all placed great trust in MasonWoods to provide a safe, secure, and worry-free modern facility along with a carefree lifestyle. Ten years later – we agree whole-heartedly.” See it on p.5 here…
  4. George Wallis (Featured in the May 2016 Wisconsin Masonic Journal)

    Brother George Wallis is a proud 73-year Mason, an Army veteran, and father of 3 wonderful girls. That’s him in a nutshell, he says. A self-proclaimed simple man, he’s also an avid knitter, bicyclist, and baker, and is known for keeping one of the most exacting chore schedules for possibly the tidiest apartment at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities. The fellowship and camaraderie at Three Pillars – a central facet of life here - is what George says is so good for the soul. He’s sure it’s where he’s meant to be during this stage of his life, and his neighbors, friends, and staff can attest that they’re grateful he’s a part of the Three Pillars family. Read more on p.17 here…
  5. Hazel Leque (Featured in the Summer 2016 Wisconsin Masonic Journal)

    Hazel Leque, a second generation Three Pillars resident, says there is no better place to live. Currently in her 10th year of residency, she says, “There’s just something so special about Three Pillars, and I think I’ve grown to appreciate it even more with every year I’ve spent, from when my mother lived here to today. We joke that there’s so much fun going on here, there’s not enough time in the day to attend everything you’d like to.” When her social calendar slows enough to give her a moment to herself, she often sits to reflect on how lucky she is to have a home and a campus she’s so proud of. “I take great pride in my home, and it’s a good feeling to be so proud of your community,” Hazel declares. Read more on p.6 here…

And there you have it: a year’s worth of some amazing older adults. If you’re looking forward to reading about more inspiring people in the months to come, be sure to stay tuned to all of our publications and social media channels in the coming year; there are sure to be a dozen more rocking older adults sharing stories that you won’t want to miss.

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