On February 20, exactly one month before she turned 67, Pamela “Pam” Gardner moved into her South Gardens villa at John Knox Village. Her joining our Continuing Care Retirement Community was a historical decision.
Pam is our first “Third Generation” resident. Her grandparents, Rex and Betty Foster, lived at The Village, followed by her parents, Beverly and George Foster. Now, it’s her turn to enjoy the carefree lifestyle at JKV, as well as have the security of knowing she will be cared for the rest of her life.
Growing up, Pam always considered The Village as a second home. She used to visit her grandparents at least once a week. When Dr. Rex Foster and his wife first moved to JKV in 1979, the retired oral surgeon inquired if he could bring his collection of swans. The Village easily accommodated his request by fencing the small pond just east of the Health Center and naming it “Swan Lake.” After his death, in 1990, the lake was renamed Rex Foster Lake in his honor.
“In Iowa, my Grandfather had a wonderful farm. It seemed like he always loved animals, sometimes more than people,” Pam said. Her grandparents lived in Village Towers. Her mother and father moved to their Lakeside villa in July of 1987.
Pam continued to visit her parents at least once a week until her mother passed away about three years ago. She said both her grandparents and parents always spoke fondly of living at The Village. Her Grandfather felt it would be one of the best investments she could make for her retirement.
“I just knew this was the best option for my retirement,” said Pam, who retired in February of 2011 after more than 17 years employed with the City of Boca Raton as Risk Manager. She also worked in a similar position with the City of North Miami Beach and Broward County.
Over the years, Pam’s two sons, Bradley and Bentley, have become accustomed to JKV, as they would visit with her both her grandparents and her parents.
Known by her peers as the Shell Lady, for her decorative style utilizing the abundance of shells she collected while living in the Turks and Caicos Islands for two years in the early 1980s, Pam has already experienced the benefits of residing at JKV.
Prior to her moving, she owned a home in Delray Beach. The costs of owning the home, especially having to hire help to keep up with the maintenance, was becoming prohibitive.
“The whole point of retiring and being at home was so could I perform a lot of the work myself,” she said. “However, I spent all my free time, and lots of money, trying to maintain the house – painting the inside, putting in new windows and doors, painting the outside, lawn care, etc.”
Included in our Continuing Care contract is maintenance, both outside and inside the residents’ homes. Pam now is able to enjoy her passion for the outdoors, especially walking and simple nature, not worry about the maintenance and save thousands of dollars each month.
“I told myself that I would wait to do this when I turned 70. After analyzing my retirement funds, seeing them dwindle in a poor market, now was the better option rather than later,” she said. “I made the decision quickly to spend my money before it was gone.”
Since moving to JKV, Pam continues to stay active. She is President of the PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Sisterhood, an international women’s organization that has about 50 local members and gathers for activities at The Village. Pam also continues to meet new and interesting people at John Knox Village, which she compares to a “small town atmosphere.”
We wish her the best of luck in her new home and as our first “Third Generationer.” Pam hopes her sons one day consider residing at JKV.