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Retired Akron Influencers Believe No Retirement Community Around Compares to Sumner

September 9, 2014

Below is a story published in a previous issue of Faith in Caring magazine about a couple at Concordia at Sumner who have been active in the Akron community for years. To be added to the mailing list or e-mail distribution list, e-mail us here or call the Concordia Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8266. Enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment below!

Say the name “Hay” in any of 20 community boards in the Akron area and it’s one that is sure to be recognized. Serving as president of the Akron Chamber of Commerce in the early 1990s, Karl Hay was the force behind the $33 million investment that helped lay the foundation for redevelopment efforts in downtown Akron. When the John S. Knight Convention Center opened in June 1994, a room was named in his honor.

Hay1 smKarl and his wife Ellen moved into a two-bedroom apartment at Sumner after selling their home of more than 50 years in Fairlawn Heights. The active couple, both in their mid-80s, wanted to downsize to the retirement community while they both were still healthy. After 2½ years, the Akron natives believe there isn’t any place that compares.

“There’s no competition,” said Ellen, “not in our minds.” The architecture, the amenities, the people who live and work at Sumner – it’s a great place to live, they both agree.

Karl, retired from Brouse McDowell law firm after more than 40 years, took his commitment to service and community so seriously that an internal employee recognition program was named the Karl S. Hay Community Service Award. Today, the Hay Award recognizes those Brouse McDowell employees who have made exceptional contributions of time, talents, energy and enthusiasm in service to others. Each recipient’s designated non-profit organization receives a monetary donation from Brouse McDowell.

“I learned from my predecessors at Brouse McDowell that this is a great community – it’s our home,” said Karl. “If you want it any better, you do something about it and you get involved.”

And he and Ellen continue that energy and passion for community in their retirement home. Currently he is the resident association’s treasurer and the only man in the community’s line dancing class.

“It’s continuing education for us,” Ellen said with a laugh. “Everyone ages differently; it’s like a family.” She also said they are thankful for the help and patience that the staff always has to offer.

Even though both are still active in the Akron area, Karl said, “it’s nice to get on the bus and go to the symphony instead of worrying about finding a parking space and driving home after dark.”

Karl is pleased with Concordia since Sumner joined the family in November 2012. In an article in the Akron Beacon Journal, the city’s daily newspaper, he said he believes the organization brought substantial assets, a better foundation and extra expertise.

The couple has four daughters who live all over the U.S. When they made the decision to move, “The kids were relieved because they didn’t have to worry about us,” he said.

For more information on Concordia's worry-free retirement communities in Pittsburgh, Cabot or Copley, Ohio, visit the Retirement Living section of our website. You can also e-mail us here or call 724-352-1571 for general questions.

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