You’ll meet the most interesting people here. From retired military officers, NASA engineers and Newport News shipyard employees to teachers, professors, artists and business leaders, residents at The Chesapeake offer a wealth of life experiences and perspectives that contribute to the camaraderie and richness of our community.
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We invite you to take a moment to get to know just a few of the amazing people who call The Chesapeake home.
She fell in love with one cottage in particular, though soon learned someone else had “first dibs.” Louise decided to make a deposit anyway, and was excited when she received the news that “her” cottage had become available.
Upon moving in, Louise, who was widowed six years earlier, wasted no time in getting involved in life at The Chesapeake. Freed from all the chores of home maintenance that once consumed her time, Louise now enjoys having time to do all the things she wants — including serving as a member of the Residents’ Council, the Wellness Committee and the Dining Committee. She also volunteers at The Chesapeake’s concierge desk. “The carefree lifestyle really is important,” she says. “When there’s a problem, I just call maintenance. I have a very nice home here.”
Louise also enjoys The Chesapeake’s great location in Newport News and the convenience of having so much to do right on campus. She takes advantage of yoga classes and participates in water aerobics three times a week in The Chesapeake’s indoor saltwater pool. She’s also an avid reader and enjoys cooking in her cottage’s well-appointed kitchen. “I have eclectic tastes,” she says of her culinary interests. “I’ll try making just about anything — especially savory dishes.”
Residents can take advantage of the community’s restaurant-style dining if they choose and also cook in their own kitchens when they prefer. Louise notes that meals are an important time for socializing. “It’s a pleasure to socialize with other diners,” she says. “I was lonely before I came to The Chesapeake, but here, one can meet so many new people with new perspectives. And if you want solitude, you can find that, too. It’s nice to have the choice.”
When asked what advice she’d give to those considering a move to The Chesapeake, Louise says to make the decision as young as you can. “I’m glad I came when I did,” she says. “I was 66 years of age. So many people come too late — waiting until their health is failing — and they can’t enjoy the community as fully as I’ve been able to. It’s been a wonderful decision.”
He now finds himself at The Chesapeake and says he couldn’t be happier. Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Leroy came from a musical family. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was assigned to play trumpet in the Navy band. During the war, he was stationed on Mogmog Island, a tiny island in the Marianas that served as a recreation base for Navy personnel. There, he helped entertain the soldiers and lighten their spirits.
After the war, Leroy returned home to Virginia and, thanks to the GI Bill, was able to enroll in college, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in art and a master’s degree in administration. He worked for 30 years in the Hampton school system, teaching art to junior high and high school students, and later serving as an administrator.
Twice widowed, Leroy learned about The Chesapeake during a chance encounter at a teacher’s meeting. He decided to check it out for himself and discovered this was the place for him. “The Chesapeake feels like a family of people like me. Everything is so well-coordinated and the people are very friendly.”
He also enjoys the dining experience. “The food is superb. When I was in college, I was a waiter in some very nice hotels, so I know good food. And even though we don’t tip the wait staff, the service is excellent. Everyone is attentive and eager to please.” Now that he’s settled in, Leroy is looking forward to participating in the many activities offered at The Chesapeake. He says he even may start painting again.
Always on the go, Rite volunteers at her local church, as well as in The Chesapeake’s gift shop. She plays duplicate bridge, swims at least once a week, works out in the fitness center, and serves on The Chesapeake’s Hospitality Committee. “I’m always surprised to see all the new things people are doing here,” she exclaims, noting the impressively wide array of activities that residents take part in – from art classes, musical performances and educational talks to fitness classes, day trips and longer excursions.
With so much going on, Rite says she’s very happy that The Chesapeake’s apartments, amenities and health care are all under one roof. “I can walk everywhere inside; I’m never isolated in my home. When the weather’s bad, I can go to the dining room, to the pool or visit a friend, without ever having to get wet or hot or cold outside.”
For his part, Dick serves on The Chesapeake’s Buildings and Grounds Committee. He also enjoys playing tennis, walking, volunteering at his local church, and simply taking it easy. “The social life here is nice. We enjoy eating with other couples. The people here just really are so nice.”
The couple made the decision to move to The Chesapeake after observing Rite’s mother and the secure lifestyle she enjoyed at a CCRC in Tennessee. They were attracted not only to the worry-free lifestyle and abundance of choices in activities and programming, but also to the peace of mind afforded by knowing that a full continuum of health care services is available if needed. They remember how much easier it was for them, knowing that Rite’s mother was being well taken care of. When it came time to plan for their own retirement, Dick says, “Rite was tired of cooking, and I was tired of taking care of the yard. Plus, we didn’t want to burden our children as we got older.”
Rite echoes Dick’s sentiment: “I think people should move in while they’re still able to make their own decisions. Plus, if you wait too long, you’ll miss all the fun!”
So with so much going on, why does Dick describe the lifestyle as “lazy”? That’s easy. The only thing he and Rite have to do is whatever they want to do.