• Scarlett Bauman, Fundraising and Marketing Manager

Bob Hope Village: “It’s an Answer to Prayer”

Your support helped mend the heart of a grieving widow – Thank You!

Activities like painting provide a welcome distraction while Patricia still grieves losing her husband in June 2020.

2020 was an especially difficult year for 73-year old Patricia. It wasn’t just the COVID-19 pandemic. She also lost her husband of 37 years to cancer last June. “He was just perfect,” Patricia says of her spouse, Michael. “We held hands. We never went anywhere without each other. I never thought I’d find somebody so wonderful.”

Surprisingly, it was an ugly paint job that first brought the two together at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, where they both worked. “I was walking down a hallway and I saw an awful, awful yellow color on the walls that were just painted,” recalls Patricia. “I said out loud what I was thinking and, well, Michael got pretty annoyed about my comment!”

The very next day, Michael walked over to Patricia’s administrative office to apologize, and they ended up having a long, engaging conversation. That was the first of many enjoyable talks and stories shared over the course of that year. In fact, Patricia would come to work early, just so they could chat and enjoy each other’s company before the workday began.

The two would fall in love, marry and raise two boys together. “He wasn’t just my husband, he was my best friend,” says Patricia, brushing back her tears.

After Michael retired as a Senior Master Sergeant, the couple ended up living in a retirement community in Panama City Beach, FL. However, they had always planned on eventually spending their twilight years living together at Bob Hope Village. But Michael’s prolonged illness and passing prevented that from happening.

“I couldn’t stay in the home we had. It was too emotional. Everywhere I went, room to room, he was there. I woke up one night and believe the Lord told me to look into Bob Hope Village,” Patricia tells. Last September, Patricia made the move, and has never looked back.

When asked what she likes most about living at AFEV, her reply is an enthusiastic “EVERYTHING!” Patricia raves about the facilities and activities, and how the staff is always there for her and the other residents. “They really are just like family,” Patricia says with a warm smile.

Patricia has truly found a new beginning at Bob Hope Village, thanks to the support of friends like you. And, if she should ever need assisted living, she says it’s comforting to know Hawthorn House and its staff will be ready to greet her with open arms.

“I never wanted to be a burden to my brother or two sons. I always wanted my independence. Bob Hope Village has given me that.” She adds, “It’s a godsend … an answer to prayer. I feel at home.”

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