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  • Scarlett Bauman, Marketing Manager

YOU Help Residents Like Sally Live Long, Healthy Lives!

Your support helped mend the heart of a grieving widow - thank you!

Sally holds a framed photo of her beloved late husband, Derwin, who served in the USAF.

It was back in the early 1950s, during the Korean War, when Airman Derwin Johnsen first laid eyes on the woman he would marry at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Derwin was getting ready to depart the base to go to Vietnam when his colleagues gathered for a farewell party. Derwin’s eyes were immediately drawn to the attractive young lady in the room with long, beautiful black hair.

It was love at first sight!

About a year or so later, Derwin would return to the base in the Philippines. In addition to helping South Korea defend its freedom, Derwin also had another mission in mind: to find Sally and ask her to marry him. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship until Derwin died from cancer in 1990. Some 32 years later, Sally still tears up when speaking about her husband’s passing.

Sally has always had a heart of gold. She helped to teach children with special needs during her family’s time in the military. Later, after retirement, she volunteered her time visiting with the elderly in nursing homes.

Talking with Sally, you’d never guess that she is a nonagenarian – now 95 years young! She came to Air Force Enlisted Village (AFEV) just two months ago, having lived independently up until that time. It was her son who prompted the move.

Over the years, Sally developed a love for gardening, and it’s something she enjoyed doing each day before moving into Hawthorn House. In fact, Sally still mowed her own lawn every couple of weeks – and even drove her car right up until the day she arrived here!

While she misses her gardening, Sally is glad to be in such a secure, caring community. And she still has a daily reminder of her favorite pastime. “My son gave away most of my plants to family and friends,” Sally says. “But he did bring a few of my plants here, and now they are down in the dining room for everyone to see. That makes me happy!”

At AFEV, Sally has found new friends – and new hobbies. She especially enjoys playing bingo with her fellow Hawthorn House residents. When she’s not playing games, Sally can often be spotted at the wellness center, where she’s working to regain her mobility. “I fell in my apartment recently and have to use a cane to help get around,” explains Sally. “But I like to jump on that machine and start pushing the pedals!”

Sally is referring to the seated therapy classes that are available to the residents at Bob Hope Village and Hawthorn House. Because of your kindness and support, we are committed to providing the highest quality of life to our residents like Sally.

Through your generosity, Hawthorn House residents’ needs are safely and professionally met by our loving and supportive staff in a beautiful facility with the comfort of home. While we encourage independence first, our staff is always available for assistance. We want our residents like Sally to live long, healthy lives. And so does her son.

“My son wanted me to enjoy my life and to be safe,” says Sally of coming to AFEV. “He wants me to be around for a long time!”

Because of you, residents like Sally have a safe community to enjoy hobbies, connect with fellow residents, and most importantly get the support they deserve. Please donate HERE.

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