Senior Living Community in Concord
Fascinating people. Interesting backgrounds.
Just like you, Newbury Court is home to those with colorful stories to tell. Yet no matter where they came from, what they’ve accomplished or the challenges they’ve faced, they’re a welcoming, lively bunch that share in the spirit of fellowship, fun and community.
Enjoy their stories then come for a visit at one of the best retirement communities in the Concord and MetroWest area. They’d love to learn about you.
Meet Lynn and Bob Stroud
“People here have led interesting lives and they’re willing to share their experiences,” Lynn Stroud says. “When you have dinner with someone, you always learn something new, which is great.”
She and her husband, Bob, have interesting stories of their own to share. You should get to know them.
Meet Lynn and Bob Stroud
Lynn and Bob Stroud share many loves in life—their passion for world travel, their readiness to get involved and explore new adventures and, of course, their adoration for their daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. And there’s one that has always stood the test of time—their love for one another.
Their story together began at a wedding back in 1965, not their own, but rather that of a former classmate of Lynn’s. At the time, Bob was dating Lynn’s old college roommate, a bridesmaid in the procession.
As Bob tells it, “My date came up to me and said, ‘I have to go off and have pictures taken.’ She introduced me to Lynn and asked if I could take of her. Well, I take directions quite literally. So, for the past 53 years, I’ve been taking care of her.”
Lynn is still friends with her old roommate. “And every year on the date of that wedding, I always thank her,” Lynn adds. “She gave me Bob.”
Lynn grew up in Westport, Connecticut, and in 1952, her parents bought a house on Nantucket where they loved to spend their summers. She and her family still enjoy that same home today. Lynn attended Bennett College in Millbrook, New York, before transferring to Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where she earned her degree in English literature.
Bob, on the other hand, was born in East Orange, New Jersey, before moving to Maplewood. He graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and then went on to Columbia Business School where he majored in finance. After graduation, he joined the Air Force and was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base for four years, where Bob and Lynn started their married life. After he served our country, they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio.
“I spent the bulk of my career with Procter and Gamble,” Bob says. “I was in the purchasing area buying a little bit of everything. Some things were not so exciting, like purchasing cardboard boxes. Other things, like trading soybean oil futures, were.” During his last few years with P&G, he worked in pharmaceuticals where he learned how new drugs are qualified. “I’m finding that knowledge very interesting now with the vaccines and all.”
Lynn and Bob spent 44 years in Cincinnati before moving to Newbury Court, and their journey here was long and unexpected. The road began more than 38 years ago while on their annual vacation to the British Virgin Islands.
One day while on the beach, Lynn met a couple named Sally and Bill and they quickly struck up a long-lasting friendship. They made it a point to keep in touch. After Bob and Lynn’s daughter and her family moved to Concord, Lynn called Sally who had moved to Concord and Newbury Court herself.
“Sally said, ‘You must come have lunch next time you’re in town.’ I took Sally up on the offer and the second I walked into Newbury Court, I thought, ‘Oh, I really like this place.’”
When Lynn returned to Cincinnati, she told Bob, “You have to look at this place and see what it’s all about. It feels right to me. And the next time we were in the area, we took a look, and you know the rest of the story.”
“Funny thing is,” Bob continues, “we weren’t even thinking of a retirement community.”
“It’s been a pleasure to be so close to our family,” Lynn adds, “to be there for everyday life and special occasions. It’s been wonderful and they’re so happy that we’re happy.”
“Yes,” Bob continues, “to see our granddaughter play field hockey, the grandson play football. And just the other day, they called up and asked, ‘Hey, dad, are you free Saturday to play golf?’ So, there I was with my daughter, grandson and son-in-law playing a round, it was most enjoyable. And as I told them, ‘that's why we moved here.’”
Along with golf, Bob has a love for photography and history. He’s also dabbled in Newbury Court art classes. “I started with watercolors and I flunked,” he laughs. “Then I tried drawing and that held my interest for a few months. But then I started pottery, something I obviously knew nothing about, and it’s really fun. I’ve even taken some private lessons here. I’m heavily into that now.”
But when it comes to the two Strouds, it’s Lynn who really keeps a full calendar. “Where do I begin? I’m chair of the welcoming committee for new residents. I do Coffee Confidential, which is a get-together with future residents to educate them about what it’s like to live here from a resident standpoint. I’m taking exercise classes and am very involved in poetry classes. I’m also part of a writing group where I’m crafting humor-based stories about our lives for our great grandchildren. I really enjoy that.” She is the chair for the 2021 Talent Show too!
Lynn, in all her free time, has also started a madrigal singing group. “As a freshman in college, I sang madrigals and loved it. I hadn’t thought about it since, until one day I asked a friend here, Betsy, ‘Do you think we could ever start a madrigal group?’ And here we are, 17 strong and Betsy is our wonderful leader. It’s so much fun.”
Overall, Lynn and Bob say they were surprised at all the choices to get involved and how easy it was to make new friends, especially since they aren’t from the area.
“I’m just amazed how open and receptive everyone is to new people,” Lynn says. “People here have such interesting lives, and they’re willing to share their experiences. When you have dinner with someone, you always learn something, which I think is great. These are the people who are going to support us during the good times and the sad times. It is comforting to know they’re here for us. We’re like one big happy family.”
Meet Margie Yamamoto and Mark Hopkins
Margie Yamamoto was born shortly after the outbreak of WWII. She spent her first two years, along with her family, incarcerated in an American detention center because they were of Japanese descent.
Today, she’s involved in human rights activism and gives enlightening talks about her WWII experience. Just like all our fascinating residents, Margie and her husband, Mark Hopkins, have many interesting stories to share. What’s yours?
Meet Margie Yamamoto and Mark Hopkins
When it comes to their creativity, sense of humor and drive for helping others, Margie Yamamoto and Mark Hopkins are two peas in a pod. Though married for nearly 40 years now, their upbringings couldn’t have been more different.
Mark grew up, as he says, “four towns over in Dover.” What he enjoyed most in his youth he’ll tell you with a laugh. “Well, most I think is publishable, but I loved hunting and fishing, carousing with the boys and having a good time.” That didn’t keep him from graduating from Brown University in 1954 with a liberal arts degree.
Margie, on the other hand, a Japanese American, was born in California following the outbreak of WWII. She and her family were among the 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were forced from their homes on the West Coast and imprisoned in American incarceration camps because they looked like the enemy. Two thirds of them were American citizens. Margie spent the first two years of her life in one of these camps located in the Arizona desert.
After the war, Margie and her family returned to southern California. As she grew up, she discovered a love for writing. “I was always editor of the newspapers in high school and college and also earned a master’s degree in mass communications,” Margie explains. “After college, I worked primarily in marketing communications in California and New York City, and I worked for Walt Disney Productions, healthcare organizations and nonprofits. Before retiring, I worked for 18 years at WGBH, Boston’s public broadcasting station.”
Meanwhile, Mark was putting his writing chops to use in the advertising world in Boston. He spent the first half of his career as an ad agency executive and the second half as a freelance writer. “One of the major things that I did in my last years as a writer was to create the first websites for companies. This is back when people would say, ‘a what kind of site?’”
One day in 1964 when Mark was serving as a public relations director for General Electric pavilion at the New York World’s Fair, he asked his boss, “Can you hire somebody to do all this routine, hometown stuff that I don’t want to do?”
Two weeks later, Mark’s boss brought in a young woman and said, “Mark, this is Margie. She’s going to do all this stuff you don’t want to do.” And that’s how they met.
It was strictly a professional relationship and Margie eventually returned to San Francisco. They lost touch for many years before reconnecting through business trips between the coasts.
Then in 1982, Mark returned from a trip to China and landed in the Golden Gate City. “Margie met me at the airport, and I just found myself looking at her and thinking, ‘Why the hell am I not married to this woman?’”
Mark was very anxious about popping the question to Margie. “I asked her, ‘How would you feel about the possibility of a discussion regarding the possible consideration of a future conversation involving the possibility of...’”
To which Margie interrupted, “What’s this, jet lag?”
“So, we married, and ta-da! Here we are!”
Today, the liberating Newbury Court lifestyle allows Margie and Mark the time and energy to actively pursue their creative and intellectual endeavors.
“Along with writing, genealogy is one of my passions,” Margie says. “I’m working on my family’s history, which I’ve been doing the whole time we’ve been married, but I’ve never had enough time to devote to doing it properly until now.”
She also continues to volunteer for nonprofit organizations, is involved in various human rights groups, particularly in the Japanese American community, and gives enlightening talks along the East Coast about her family’s WWII experience.
“You’d be surprised, even in California, a lot of people don’t know about it and there aren’t that many of us around who can actually say, ‘I was there.’ It’s been very rewarding, and it means a lot because it has such implications as to what could happen to us here someday again, for another group being targeted.”
She also plays a major role in Newbury Court’s Immigration Project. “It came about through the Diversity and Inclusion Group. This was at a time when there was a lot of political unrest about immigration at our southern border. The group felt very strongly about it. We came up with the idea of a project called ‘We Are All Immigrants.’”
Together, they’ve compiled a book featuring family immigration stories of residents and staff members, whether they’re first generation or came over on the Mayflower. “We have fascinating stories from all over Europe, as well as Africa, Cambodia, Korea and mine from Japan. The books are available in our libraries and we have broadcast some of the stories on our closed-circuit TV channel. It’s fun and includes a lot of people.”
When asked about her philosophy in life, Margie says, “It’s to be involved in things outside of yourself. I find too many people, especially as we get older and have health issues, we get so focused on ourselves and what’s happening to us that we forget there’s a whole world out there.”
“I think this is a big thing that Margie has brought to our marriage,” Mark adds. “That’s affected me a lot too. So, I hand that to her.”
As for Mark, he lectures around the area on seven different topics. He is an award-winning nature photographer and continues to exhibit. He plays in a Renaissance woodwind ensemble with fellow residents, collects antique cutlery, restores photographs and repairs furniture for residents in the Newbury Court woodshop. He continues to write and is publishing a book of cartoons for birdwatchers. In addition, he’s become the go-to guy when someone needs a poster designed, which happens more than you’d think.
“I’ve just completed a project carving life-size tropical birds. They are on display on posts along the outdoor terrace where we gather and have dinner in the summertime.“ And here’s the thing I recently realized,” he adds, “this is the first time since I was in a college fraternity that I feel I’m a member of a real community and it’s really fulfilling. So, hat’s off.”
And when Margie asks him what he loves most, Mark is quick to reply with a twinkle in his eye… “You!”
Meet Lilian Warner
Lilian Warner, a retired minister and former chaplain at Newbury Court, is a people person and a hugger. She loves being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She also loves being our Pastor Emerita.
“What we have here,” she says, “is a presence of love for people. We’re not pushing a faith. We touch each other with words, with music, with a hug, with a moment.” See how she’s spreading love and compassion throughout our community
Meet Lilian Warner
That’s Lilian Joyce Warner. Named after her beloved grandmother and quick to point out “it’s Lilian with one ‘L’ but you can call me ‘Lil.’ I love being a mother, I love being a grandmother and great-grandmother. And I love being a pastor,” she says with a smile.
She’s just getting started and she lives at Newbury Court. “What drew me here is the nurturing of the whole person—mind, body and spirit. That’s very important to me and I think that’s what sets us apart.”
As Pastor Emerita, she serves all faiths. “I want to be part of the people. What I love about Newbury Court really, is they’ve allowed me to be me. They’ve accepted me with all my idiosyncrasies, and they’ve accepted me with my feeling of love, that’s the most important thing to me.”
“What we have here,” Lil continues, “is a presence of love for people. We're not pushing a faith. We touch each other with words, with music, with a hug, with a moment.”
You see, one of the many great things Lil has helped spread throughout our community is a culture of acceptance, an atmosphere of love and caring. “Not with a lot of fancy words, and dogma and fancy prayers. We’re able to share this core feeling of being a good, loving person and I learn from them and they learn from me. That’s the thing that brings us all together, no matter your faith.”
“We live together. We eat dinner together. We laugh and cry together. We question together. When I first came here more than 11 years ago, several fellow residents didn’t know how to take me because I am a hugger and a very outgoing person.”
“They’d say to me, ‘Well, you don’t act like a minister,’ and ‘What do you think about the fact we don’t want a chaplain right now?’ I’d say, ‘Oh, how about having a friend? ‘Oh, wow,’” they’d respond. “That would be all right. By any chance, do you have a hug?”
“It’s still exciting for me now because of the young pastors we have,” Lil explains. “They’re coming with new things that I don’t know about and I’m able to mentor them with some of the foundations of my 50 years of ministry.”
“But that’s what Newbury Court does. We all make up the one whole foundation of love, care and respect. If you think we’re here just playing bridge and listening to opera, you got another thing coming. We all have so much to give. That’s what makes us strong. It means the world to me.”
Along with spreading her love, Lil also works on the advisory board, counsels those in need and surprises her three sons with her countless new endeavors. People lean on her wisdom. They count on her compassion, and she believes everyone needs to be heard and fights for equal rights.
Her office at Newbury Court is anything but formal as she doesn’t believe in hierarchies. “I’ve said, many, many, many times. I come from a very poor background. I’m the first one in my family who ever went to college. I now sit at the table with people who are lawyers, judges, doctors, teachers and social workers. I’m not interested in their degrees; I’m interested in their stories. I feel like I’m living in a school of lifelong learning. I really do.”
That’s no surprise coming from a woman who’s still knocking down barriers and building up people.
Meet Jan and Ted Carvalho
Jan and Ted Carvalho have long shared a love for building things—a loving family, their own timber-framed house and strong community relationships, just to name a few. Today at Newbury Court, they’re helping to shape our community through a special gift from Ted: his pottery studio.
The Carvalho’s have many fascinating to tell. And they’d love to hear yours.
Meet Jan and Ted Carvalho
They met in Potsdam, New York, while both were attending college. Jan went to SUNY, and Ted was studying engineering across town at Clarkson University. One cold winter’s day, both attended a young adult’s program at the Presbyterian church, hoping to meet like-minded people. The two hit it off, and so began their journey.
Their road has had many stops along the way, according to Ted. “I took my wife to Wilmington, DE, to Troy, NY, to Buffalo, NY, to Wilmington again, to Clinton, IA, to Webster, NY, and then Wayland, MA.” After moving to Wayland, Jan put her foot down. “I told Ted, ‘This is the end. You can change jobs as often as you want, but we’re not moving while our three kids are in school.’”
Ted listened, and the two settled down in Wayland with their three children. Jan was an elementary school teacher before having children. Once their children were in school, she returned to teaching, but at the high school level. She spent 24 years teaching “at risk” adolescents, including 10 years in an alternative high school. Ted worked for several Fortune 500 companies, and then started businesses of his own. And Ted had one more project in mind . . . one that Jan wasn’t sure about.
“Ted got this crazy idea that we’d build our own super-insulated, passive solar, timber-framed home—with our own hands,” Jan said with a smile. “I didn’t want to be a house widow, so I had to up my skills.” For almost 10 years, the family worked on their dream home. Ted said, “We’d look forward to the weekend to concentrate on the project. You know, when you’re starting new businesses or new programs at the high school, it’s stressful. But your mind becomes still when you’re doing something else. It was good to have that diversion, to allow the creativity to just mull around in your mind while you’re physically doing something different.”
Jan also grew to love the work. She especially enjoyed carving the mortises and tenons out of the red oak beams that were then held together with wooden pegs. She commented, “At the end of the day, maybe I would have carved one or more beams. Being able to see and feel the day’s accomplishment was a nice balance to the longer-term rewards of teaching.” Together they built a home and a family to be proud of.
It all started in 2001 when Ted took a ceramics class with his oldest daughter. She said, “Dad, you and I are going to learn to throw on the wheel, you’re going to be the token male, and you’re going to drive through a blizzard every Monday morning to get there.” Well, Ted obliged and became so interested in ceramics, he built a 500 square foot addition on the house to set up a pottery studio. “I was wheel throwing, hand-building, making glazes and firing.”
Years later, when they decided to move to Newbury Court, Ted had to figure out what to do with his studio. He wanted to donate it to Newbury Court, but something like that had never been done before. However, at Newbury Court, no project is too big to tackle. With the help of the executive director, the perfect space was found. All it takes is enthusiasm and somebody to say, “Yes, we can do that.” The new pottery studio was installed, a new program was born, and Ted was at the center of the project.
“I set the studio up. The clay and glazes were waiting. But then nothing happened! So we decided to do demonstrations. Two a week, one showing wheel throwing and the other hand building. During one of the sessions, I hand-built a birdhouse, and some residents said, ‘Could you teach us to do that?’” Soon people started packing the demonstrations and the rest is history.
After the birdhouses, we started creating ceramic birds for a display wall and the entire community got involved. “We had templates to make it easy. Suddenly people brought in photos of their favorite birds and we had more than 300 birds from all over the world. We ended up with a beautiful wall mural for the whole community and visitors to enjoy.”
In its first year, the Empty Bowls event raised more than $10,000 and more than $14,000 in the second year, making it the most successful fundraising event in Newbury Court history. For Ted and Jan, the money they helped raise is great, but giving back to the community they love and the relationships they built are even better. With more creative projects lined up, the future has never looked brighter for Ted and Jan. The residents of Newbury Court can’t wait to see what comes next.
Meet Dalton Avery
Meet Dalton Avery
Born in Brooklyn but spent his early years in Taunton and the southeastern part of the state. Harvard grad. Naval officer. A highly successful career in finance with John Hancock. A proud husband to Noreen for 57 years and a father to three.
Meet Dalton Avery. He’s everything but ordinary and he lives at Newbury Court.
“I went to Harvard College and with a great help of having played football in high school and getting enough of a reputation that they decided I can maybe help them out sometime,” Dalton says. His sense of pride is subtle but clear.
After Harvard, Dalton enlisted in the U.S. Navy and attended officer candidate school in Newport, RI, followed by a two-year stint on a ship in San Diego. “My last year, I was stationed at the naval airbase in Keflavik, Iceland. Which you can imagine, going from sunny San Diego to cold and windy Keflavik was quite the contrast.”
Dalton and Noreen soon married and embarked to Ithaca, NY where he attended business school at Cornell University and Noreen taught elementary education. They were also determined to return to the Boston area. So, after graduation from Cornell, Dalton went to work for John Hancock.
“Eventually in the early 80s, several of us in the investment department were able to convince management to make us a subsidiary with a new name, Independence Investment Associates (IIA), and location to manage the pension and endowment funds. The idea was that if we became a separate entity, it would work better. And it did. It was a good experience.”
He’s also proud of his local roots. “We lived in Belmont and owned three houses over 50 some odd years there. Our three children all went to Belmont schools, Noreen taught in the Burbank school for 20 some odd years while I worked at John Hancock.”
Outside of work and raising a family, Dalton has always had an interest in drawing and painting. “After I retired in 2000, I started taking a couple of art classes each semester at the DeCordova Museum School for about eight or nine years. They also offered the opportunity to get your work into juried shows. That added a kind of a competitive element to it, which was enjoyable. It’s always fun to be able to see your name next to the picture up on a wall in a show.”
Drawing and painting continue to be a main interest for Dalton, along with photography, and he’s a regular in the Newbury Court art studio and serves on the art committee. “The art studio is a terrific space,” he adds. “It’s well-lit with a lot of open glass windows that look right down on the river and the marsh below.”
Dalton is also a World War II history buff and a long-standing member of a reading group at the Boston Athenaeum that meets to discuss all aspects of the great war. Then again, he’s always been a passionate reader.
“I just have a great love for books. I love being around them. We have a nice library here. It's well stocked for all tastes.” As co-chair of the library committee, Dalton adds, “It's a lot of fun to meet every month to discuss and select new books to buy. It encourages you to keep up with what is going on in the literary world.”
Like Dalton Avery, there’s just something about Newbury Court that’s unexpected. Dalton continues to achieve, create and give back. He chases his lifelong passions and enjoys the intellectual stimulation around him. He relishes the relationships he’s formed with his creative comrades and neighbors.
Still a finance guy at heart, however, he’s also found the perfect spot to do his taxes—a drawing table in the art studio. “It's a great place to do your tax returns because you can sort of just spread everything out,” Dalton says.
It’s impossible to argue with the matter-of-fact logic of a man who continues to pursue a colorful life.
Meet Katharine Esty and Peter Gunness
Katharine Esty, an accomplished author and with a PhD in psychology and partner Peter Gunness, a former education administrator, came from two separate worlds. When unfortunate circumstances brought them together, they began a new journey while never forgetting their past.
Peter says, “It’s the dynamic nature of a community like this that feels so important to me. There is continually something new and changing, within me and the community.” Their story is touching and inspiring, proving there is always happiness to be found.
Meet Katharine Esty and Peter Gunness
Katharine Esty is a long-time New Englander. She explains, “I grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, and since then I’ve spent 50 years in Concord. Education is a theme of my life as my father was a professor, I taught school for a while and my late husband was a headmaster of an independent school.”
Peter Gunness, on the other hand, grew up in North Dakota. “My mother’s background was Swedish, and my dad’s was Norwegian. I grew up in a large family in a culture where everybody stayed in North Dakota.” He made his way from North Dakota to Cambridge, Massachusetts. He says, “I had the good fortune through a variety of circumstances to go to Harvard College.” After graduation, Peter worked first in administration at Harvard and then became headmaster of the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge.
Katharine says, “After my first child, I became a stay-at-home mom.” During her stay-at-home stage, Katharine says, “I became interested in gypsies and wrote a book about these amazing people.” Back to school, Katharine earned a degree in social work and then worked in a community mental health center. At age 49, she got her PhD in social psychology and founded a consulting firm that specialized in diversity in organizations.
Peter married, and he and his wife Peggy had three children. After the family was mostly grown, Peggy became an Episcopal priest. She served in four different churches, ending up in Memphis where she and Peter lived for four years. By then Peter was an educational consultant helping schools find new heads.
Many years passed until Pete’s and Katharine’s paths converged at Newbury Court when they got to know each other in a small support group. When Katharine became a widow, she realized the community here was a wonderful support. “I wasn’t alone in my house. There were people taking interest in how I was doing and people looking in on me.” Peter experienced the same compassion when Peggy died. “The community provided all kinds of connections for me. I felt enormously strong support right along, but I never expected that coming in.”
About a year or so later, Peter suggested, “We have spent all this time being sad. We could do something fun.” So, three of us decided to take a trip to Puerto Rico. “By the time another year had rolled by,” he continues, “we were having dinner and spending much more time together. During the pandemic we became partners.” She adds, “We feel very lucky to have found a new love and a new partner. But there are lots of other ways here to have all kinds of social interactions.”
Peter says, “It’s the dynamic nature of a community like this that feels so important to me. There is always something new and changing, both within me and within the community.” Today, Peter is very active on the library committee and is chair of the resident-run staff scholarship fund committee.
Katharine is chair of the diversity and inclusion group at Newbury Court and continues to work as a psychotherapist. Katharine’s most recent book is Eightysomethings: A Practical Guide to Letting Go, Aging Well, and Finding Unexpected Happiness. She explains, “When I turned 80, I was in a little bit in a funk, wondering what there was to look forward to. So, I interviewed 128 people in their 80s, including some that live here at Newbury Court. I found that most 80-year-olds are very happy, almost always unexpectedly happy. Writing that book changed me, to see all the wonderful possibilities of this stage of life. I laugh about it with my kids that I’m sort of peaking in my 80s.”
Meet Marcia Bradley
Marcia Bradley, a former educator with a passion for music and books, lives life through an optimistic lens. She sees the “gold” in everybody and takes the time to hear people’s stories.
“I’ve met fascinating people from all kinds of backgrounds and places,” she says. “I love the opportunities that we have to continue to learn and grow as we move forward in our lives now.”
Discover Marcia’s story and know she’d love to hear yours.
Meet Marcia Bradley
Marcia Bradley lives life through an optimistic lens and often goes by the saying “the sun will rise tomorrow.” She sees the “gold” in everybody and takes the time to hear people’s stories.
Hers begins in a small New York town called Earlville where she was born. Growing up with parents who were both educators, she moved around the state, including the towns of Cobleskill and Syracuse, as her father moved up the ladder. However, Marcia calls Buffalo her “home,” as she lived there for most of her childhood years. Yet, Marcia and her family made one more move during her junior year in high school. This time it was to Westchester County where she graduated.
After high school, she went to Syracuse University, where she passed on a dream of becoming a child psychologist when she realized she would have to attend medical school. Instead, she went in a different direction, getting a degree in education with minors in special education, history and geography. Following graduation, Marica taught third grade at a school just outside of Albany for a year. After marrying and returning to Westchester, she developed an interest in working with children with special needs. “I taught special education with children who were euphemistically referred to as ‘emotionally disturbed children.’ Working with children with challenges became my passion, and it still is.”
Four years later, with her husband and two sons, she moved to Cape Cod, where she stayed for the next 40 years. Her career thrived. She first served as a Head Start teacher, joined the public schools and expanded her teaching career to become a special education administrator, and in time she became a school principal, mirroring her father’s career. Well-established, Marcia decided to continue her education. “I earned a master’s degree at Lesley University, and a few years later, I acquired a Certificate of Advanced Study from Harvard in administration, planning and social policy. I did a full-time sabbatical there for one year. I moved up to Cambridge, the whole thing. I was 40 years old at the time, and I used to say it was the only thing I ever did that was just for me. It was inconvenient for everybody else, but I loved it.”
When she was not teaching, Marcia had a passion for music and still does to this day. “I played the violin for many, many years. My mother was a concert pianist but did not get to perform because she graduated in the middle of the Depression, so she became a math teacher instead and married my father. But she always continued with music, and we all participated in music from the very beginning.”
As time passed, Marica’s sons married, and between them she has three grandchildren. Her goal for retirement was to move to the Boston area to be near her children and grandchildren. After mentioning her plan to a close friend, he recommended that she should look into Newbury Court.
I said, "What's Newbury Court? So, he filled me in and I thought, ‘Oh yeah, sure. Concord.’ One day I drove up and took a look and thought, ‘Well, this looks interesting.’ So, I got my name on the list with the caveat that ‘I won't be coming for quite a long time.’”
Eventually, Marcia made a move to Medford and signed a one-year lease on a home right next door to one of her sons and his wife to help with their one-year-old, as they were expecting a second. “And then, just as my lease was ending and I was about to look for another place, who should call but Newbury Court,” Marcia said.
Marcia quickly settled into her new home and immersed herself in the Newbury Court community. After being here for just three weeks, a fellow resident and his wife invited her to dinner. Halfway through the meal, her host revealed that he had another agenda. He said, “Somebody told me that you would be an interesting person to give a lecture, and I’m in charge of the resident lectures.”
“What in heaven’s name would I talk about?” Marcia asked. Though hesitant, Marcia went for it and now says, “It’s a great way for people to get to know who you are. I would not have met three-quarters of the people then that I met from having done that lecture.” For her topic, Marcia spoke about her three visits to Louisiana to help with the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.
Now, Marcia has only added to her involvement in the community. She is a member of numerous committees; she belongs to writing and poetry groups, the diversity and inclusion group and the climate initiative committee, and she sings with the Concord Chorus as well as the Madrigal group at Newbury Court. And, although she does not actively play violin anymore, she does play the piano.
In addition, she loves to swim and read “books, books, books!” she says. Marcia belongs to two book groups and can be seen avidly reading anything that has words on it. One day, a friend caught her reading the label on the hand dryer in a restroom, and after getting called out, she replied, “I have a reputation for reading any piece of print that passes in front of me.”
Along this journey, she has been surrounded by friends. Speaking about what she loves most about living in a community like Newbury Court, she says, “Absolutely it’s the people. I’ve met fascinating people from all kinds of backgrounds and places. And it’s such an enjoyable place to live; the community is so friendly, inclusive and supportive. I love the opportunities that we have to continue to learn and grow as we move forward in our lives now. I can’t say enough about it.”
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