St. Leonard Resident Anne N. was living in Louisiana near the Air Force Base from which her husband had retired after 28 years of Service. When her husband died in 2012, she sold the big family home where they had raised five children and moved to a nice new smaller house but for numerous reasons, it or the neighborhood never felt like home. Then in June 2014 her middle daughter and her Air Force husband retired and moved back to their home in Centerville, very near St. Leonard.
When Anne had visited the family during their six years of living here previously, she would take her three young grandsons for walks through the St Leonard woods to the pond to feed the ducks. “I always thought St Leonard was a beautiful campus and thought it would be a great place to live but my husband would not think of moving from Louisiana, especially to snow country,” says Anne.
Later in the summer of 2014, Anne came up to visit her daughter and toured St. Leonard. She pleasantly discovered it was affordable, and requested a cottage as close to the sidewalk to her daughter’s neighborhood as possible. One became available several months later. “I came up for Christmas and while all my family was here, we looked at the available home and decided I would move,” says Anne. Then several days later, Anne went home to Louisiana, sold her home, and moved into St. Leonard several months later. Anne comments, “I can walk 1/4 of a mile down that sidewalk to my daughter's house. It was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.”
Anne goes on to explain, “I just love my cottage, I quickly found out I didn’t need all “my stuff" I had accumulated over the years so that was a great feeling of freedom. I have always liked to garden and now I can play around with flowers and potted plants but don't have to worry about heavy-duty gardening. It's wonderful that so much is done for us by the grounds crew and maintenance staff. And best of all, I have some wonderful neighbors on my street and friends all over the place.”
Anne has participated in numerous activities living here at St. Leonard. "Well pre-COVID, I loved volunteering. I'm still in good health, thank God, so I enjoy helping out wherever I can and meeting new people. I have helped in Marketing and worked with the Newcomers Orientation. I'm on the Hospitality Committee and I help with the Catholic Chapel Program. Also, having the beautiful Chapel here on campus and being able to attend Mass frequently has been a blessing for me.”
“I just love walking all over our beautiful large campus in all weather.” Anne enjoys taking photos of the scenic campus and submitting them to the in-house television station for all to enjoy.
A bit of background about Anne - when you meet her, you quickly recognize she has an accent. She was born in Ireland and moved to Connecticut at age 11. She attended nursing school there and then joined the Air Force as a nurse, where she met her future husband. After taking time off to raise 5 kids, she returned to nursing as a home hospice nurse. She and her husband Alex (Sandy) were married for 46 years.
“I have always enjoyed traveling and seeing new places and visiting my five kids and grandchildren and I can't wait for the country and the world to open up again so I can fly away!"
Until that time comes, Anne continues to brighten up the St. Leonard campus every day!