Resident Stories

We are blessed to be caring for and supporting the greatest generation of American pioneers and heroes. Please enjoy the resident stories we have below and then reach out to us to schedule a personal tour of our award-winning community.

Jerry Word - Go After The Man You Want

Born in Dallas’s Baylor Hospital, Jerry Word has spent nearly her entire life in the Lone Star State. And like any good cowgirl would, when she saw the one for her, she kicked up her spurs and went after him.

“I met my husband through my brother,” she recalls with a smile. “He was in college and he threw the Sunday morning paper with my brother. A friend and I really thought he was cute so we’d always make sure we were outside when he came by to throw the newspaper.”

Her forensic work paid off when said cute delivery boy was approached by Word’s brother, who had a date on a Saturday night, but no car to drive in. Her future husband had the car, but no date. He agreed on taking the boy’s sister and the rest is history.

“I chased him until he caught me,” Word says with a laugh.

Her husband brought her a lifetime of laughs, joy, and a huge family. His own life ended last Thanksgiving at age 90 after 68 years of marriage.

“He lived a long life and was a wonderful husband,” Word remembers. “But it was very hard when he was gone. It was very hard to be alone.”

Fortunately for Word, when her husband went to the next life, she wasn’t alone. The two of them had been living at Rittenhouse Village At Spring Creek four about four years. Located in Garland, the facility was close to home and full of familiar faces to look to and shoulders to cry on for West.

It would have been easy for them to stay elsewhere. With her husband a mechanical engineer all those years, the two raise a family of five children who produced nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“We got to where we couldn’t drive anymore, and I needed more help than I could get with us living alone,” Word remembers. “We didn’t want to impose on the kids, we’d had such a lovely time with them growing up, so we moved over here.”

The ease of the move surprised Word, as did how much care she and her husband were given in all facets of their lives.

“This place, everything is furnished for me,” she says. “They have all your medicines, they bring them to you when you’re supposed to have them, they clean the apartment once a week, and they take us shopping once a week for our necessities.”

And while it is assisted living, Word has no shortage of activities to keep her busy during the day.

“We play bingo three times a week - you get a quarter if you win a game, or a dollar if you win the jackpot, that’s always fun,” she says. “I have my own group of three people that I play dominoes with at dinner, and there are puzzles to do as well. It’s a nice community. We go on the bus to eat out a couple of times a month and to doctor’s appointments. They help us live. That’s where I am, and it’s just the best place.

Rita Hanson - Feeling Secure In Texas

Rita Hanson is an anomaly at Rittenhouse Village at Spring Creek located  in Garland, Texas. She’s a very independent woman maintaining a residence in an assisted living community.

A native of Minnesota, Hanson would appear to be a fish out of water when you talk to her; her Northern Plains accent still coming through loud and clear. Bu she’s been a Texan for more than 40 years, the real-life version of the state’s favorite bumper sticker: “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I could.”

“It was a whole new culture, not just the weather change,” Hanson recalls of her family’s move from Minnesota to Texas 43 years ago. “I had two good-looking daughters so I had to sweep the boys out of the door every day. And oh, all of our friends teased us about the Minnesota accent.”

Texas took to the Hansons and they took to it. They settled in Waxahachie where her husband worked for Ryerson Steel.

Two of the Hanson’s kids continue calling Texas home to this day, the other moves to Florida, which Hanson calls “a great way to have a reason to fly to Florida.”

Born in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Hanson was a hairdresser by trade with a shop of her own and wound up buying a few more salons before her move south. Her husband worked for Ryerson Steel as the manager of the plastics department and the two had three kids together.

Waxahachie was the perfect relocation town for the Hansons. In the mid 1970s, it had a population around 14,000, a lot closer in size to their Great Lakes’ home than that of the nearby sprawling metroplex of Dallas-Fort Worth.

“We loved it,” Hanson recalls. “It was just the right size. Of course, now it’s grown up into real city.”

As the Hansons moved into retirement phase, Rita’s husband grew forgetful. Within no time at all, she learned he was suffering from Rapid Progression Alzheimer’s Disease (rpAD), the most aggressive form of the terrible disease.

“My husband got Alzheimer’s and it just got to be too much for me,” she recalls. “It was the most aggressive for. You don’t last too long after that, two years at the tops, but we had a nice life together.”

Hanson kept her house right up the month her husband died before selling it and moving into  Rittenhouse Village at Spring Creek. The timing couldn’t have been better; she had begun to struggle with her own health as well.

“I had a couple of heart attacks and a couple of strokes, and I realized I needed some help,” Hanson said. “I could be on my own, but I’ve gotten kind of lazy, I really like to have someone else cook for me. And if I don’t like what they’re cooking, I go out to eat.”

At 74 years old, Hanson is on the younger end of the spectrum, and shows it with the way she keeps active.

“We’re encouraged to do what we like to do,” she says. “For me that’s painting, and dominoes, and Mexican Train (another dominoes game). I make jewellery and stay busy all the time.”

Hanson considered a move back to independent living after healing up from her heart trouble, but believes that she’s found exactly the right environment for herself.

“I’ve looked at apartments, but I just feel secure here, I don’t even lock my door at night,” she says. “It’s a whole different way of living, andI really like it, It’s nice for me.”