Eva Jean Ohl (née Burtner), who goes by Jean, has only been painting for five years, and she didn’t pick up a paintbrush until she moved to Concordia at Cabot.
Jean almost always knew she wanted to spend her retirement at Concordia, having grown up nearby in Butler County and then living in Natrona Heights with her late husband, Edwin, and their three children. After their kids were grown, she often joked with Edwin that she was ready to move to Concordia (he didn’t want to leave Natrona Heights), and after he passed away in 2010, she got her two-bedroom apartment.
“I just knew Concordia was it for me,” she said.
Jean had always been creative before moving to Concordia, spending her spare time weaving, spinning, sewing, embroidering, knitting, crocheting and quilting for decades, and she often took classes that interested her. After five years in her new home, she decided to try watercolor painting with the Haven art class taught by instructor Susan Beatty.
“I like painting because it’s a challenge for me,” Jean said. “It’s also nice just to get together with the art class, and Susan gives of her time and talent to teach us. When we’re together, we just forget about everything else that’s going on in the world and have a good time.”
Her painting in Concordia’s calendar is of a beach scene at sunset, an image she painted using a reference photo in class.
“I really enjoy creating scenes from nature,” Jean said.
Though she enjoys painting, quilting is Jean’s favorite artistic pursuit, and she was in many creative groups before coming to Concordia, such as the Peaceful Patches Quilting Guild in Sarver and the Butler County Spinners and Weavers Guild. She also used to demonstrate spinning on an old spinning wheel at the Burtner House, a historic landmark colonial house in Natrona Heights that was her father’s family’s homestead.
Jean’s Concordia Haven Apartments are becoming a kind of new Burtner homestead now that her younger sister moved to an apartment on the floor above her in April, and her younger brother to the apartment next to her in early July.
“It only took me 10 years to convince them to move here!” Jean said. “It’s nice that we can all be so close now.”
Jean enjoys playing cards or board games with friends, and she also uses her knitting skills to make lap robes for the personal care and skilled nursing residents at the Lund Care Center at Concordia at Cabot. She still enjoys finding new ways to create art, whether she is making crystal Christmas tree ornaments or paint by number pictures that use small, colored gems that are glued to the paper instead of paint. She also takes many classes through Concordia’s Lifelong Learning institute, including history classes, cooking classes and classes with the Audobon Society.
“I just love it at Concordia,” Jean said. “I’m so happy here, and I’m never bored.”
To learn more about the retirement living options offered at the Concordia Haven Apartments on our Cabot campus, visit www.ConcordiaHaven.org or schedule a tour today. Call Peggy at 724-352-5378 or message us through the contact form on our website. To request a free copy of the 2020 Concordia Calendar, “Brush Strokes 2,” call the Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8268.