People of Distinction
Village at Cook Springs residents are special people, from all walks of life with special stories. From humble decorated war heroes who are reluctant to share their stories; to teachers and homemakers who molded the lives of generations to come; to company executives; to doctors and more, the Village is home to people of all walks of life who share their skills and talents on a day to day basis.
I had the great fortune of spending parts of my life with two wonderful husbands. The fact that they were totally different gave me an opportunity to experience life from different points of view. My first was my school sweetheart. I loved him in the first grade, went steady in the 8th, and married him in the 11th! He joined the navy while I finished school. We raised our children, built our home, and he was the first water patrolman on Logan Martin Lake. We were about to starve, (smile) so he went to the Avondale Mills and worked his way up to management. We had a good life.
My second husband and I were both widowed. We married after he retired from NASA. He was part of the design team for the first moon landing; he helped design the dune buggy that popped open when it landed on the moon. We traveled all 48 of 50 states and Canada. And, you know I think Alabama is still the best of all; we have everything in Alabama! Eurika Springs, Arkansas was our favorite travel destination. We returned there several times. It’s very spiritual.
I came to the Village with a broken foot and stayed in their furnished suite because I was not planning to stay. One year later I told my family to sell my house because the Village is my home.
When you have lived almost 92 years, you make many decisions. I like to think of a couple that changed my life. When I was in my mid 40’s, my husband and I decided to buy a beach cottage at Gulf Shores, Alabama because we both loved going there for fun vacations. We each had stressful jobs and one day my husband said he didn’t know how much more he could stand. I said, “Let’s go to Gulf Shores and live in our cottage.”
Of course, my husband was concerned about how we would live. So I said, “You can catch fish for our meat and glean vegetables so we’ll have a healthy diet.” All of this was said in jest. But after thinking it over, we applied for jobs at Gulf State Park and were hired! We spent 12 happy years there, so that was one decision that panned out well.
Another wonderful decision that I made was when I decided to come to Village at Cook Springs to live. I have been here almost 7 years and have thoroughly enjoyed every day of my existence here. I do a little volunteer work (I have to justify my existence—LOL) and I try to show all our residents how fortunate we are to have such a great place to spend our “golden years”.
I’ve had a wonderful life and plan to continue right here ’til the good Lord calls me home.
Margaret F is a unique part of our country’s history. Born and raised on a sugar plantation in Hawaii, Margaret was there when Pearl Harbor was bombed. During the two year blackout that followed, Margaret sometime didn’t know when her next meal would come. Margaret met her husband John, An Alabama native, during WWII. She moved to Alabama when she was in her 30s.
In her apartment, many of Margaret’s original works of art are on display. Both a sculptor and photographer, several of Margaret’s works have been on display in both Alabama and Hawaii, and she has been featured in cultural and artistic magazines.
Margaret and her cat KiKi moved to assisted living at the Village in 2008, and she moved to Wisteria in 2012. In a previous interview, Margaret said, “I chose the Village because of the many friendly people – just like in Hawaii.”
Cecil F, or Frenchie as he is affectionately known by friends was born in Birmingham, AL. He can be classified as a true American hero, having served his country in three wars. Frenchie was drafted into the US Army at age 18 as WWII was in full swing. After basic training, he was shipped to France, just after the Battle of the Bulge and spent most of his tour on the front lines. “Living in constant fear for your life makes you learn that you have to have faith and always do your job the best you can.”
When he came home, Frenchie took advantage of the GI bill and earned a business degree from the University of Alabama. He married in 1949 and later, he and his wife had two daughters. While he was at Ft. Benning, GA, Frenchie was sent to serve in the Korean War for a year. Next came the Viet Nam War in the 1960s and again, Frenchie spent a year there. Spending a total of 26 years in the military, Frenchie retired in 1972 as a full Colonel.
In the next phase of his life, he returned to the University of Alabama and earned a master’s degree in art. Frenchie moved to the Village in 2010 where in his words, life “is a hoot”.