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That's What Friends Are For: 16 Concordia Residents All Come From Same Church

March 31, 2015

Below is a story published in a previous issue of Faith in Caring magazine (click here to see the March 2015 issue) on how a group of 16 residents at Concordia of the South Hills were all members of the same church prior to moving to the retirement community! To be added to the mailing list or e-mail distribution list, contact us here or call the Concordia Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8266. Enjoy, and feel free to leave a comment below!

If you asked someone unfamiliar with Concordia of the South Hills what “The Bower Hill Gang” is, guesses could range from a rowdy group of soccer fans to something out of The Little Rascals.

In reality, however, it’s a group of 16 residents of the retirement community who were members of Bower Hill Community Church. They all chose to make Concordia of the South Hills their retirement home… because that’s where their friends were.

Here, we meet a few of the friends in the “gang.”

CSH friends picConcordia of the South Hills Retirement Living Resident Jean Grabow has been featured on billboards and in newspaper ads telling her story. Though she lived across the street from Concordia of the South Hills, making the move an easy one, she credits one of her church member’s invitations as the reason she chose to live there. Now, she is returning the favor with three friends from church on the waiting list. She learned something new about herself while living here, too: “I never knew I could paint and do ceramics.”

Mary Lou Frock and her late husband Paul moved to Concordia of the South Hills seven years ago. She most enjoys the activities and believes “it is like a cruise without the ship.” She is an avid volunteer, has served as chairman of the Resident Council, was named Volunteer of the Year in 2013 and enjoys the family atmosphere.

The advice Marian Brannan offers to those in the market for worry-free retirement living is to “look no further than Concordia.” She admits, “I checked out several area residences and talked with a friend who lives here.” Marian, at 91, said the staff is made up of kind, patient people who she believes “put their faith in caring.”   

“Concordia of the South Hills is just the right size to feel like home among friends,” Margaret Zabo tells anyone who might ask about her new home. She and husband Dan moved to Concordia in 2011. Some of the first residents at the location were from her church, and her church book club met in their apartments. She believes they got more than they expected – new friends, easy access to assistance and the opportunity to use their time and talents to make their home the best place possible.

“Since I lived in the area, my neighbors and friends can visit me frequently,” says Peggy Harrell. She agrees with Betty Ewing that the activities and the staff are among the things she loves most about Concordia. Mary and Chuck Laufer felt that moving to a retirement community was a gift to their children. Lee and Bob Ferrero lived 200 yards from Concordia and his sister, Grace (Ferrero) chose this retirement community a year before.

Betsy and Chuck Prine were the second residents to move into Concordia of the South Hills. Prior to his passing, Chuck served in several leadership roles and helped to establish a sense of community. Betsy describes a life where people respect one another’s privacy but at the same time care about and take care of each other. “After Chuck died, anyone whom I encountered … shared a hug or asked how I was doing, and it was genuine,” she noted.

Bill and Phyllis Madden attended an Open House with one of their friends to help him decide if Concordia was the right place for him. Their first impression: “What I wouldn’t do to have the opportunity to live there!” Now Bill tells his friends, “It’s like being on a permanent vacation.” Phyllis says one need not look any further than Concordia of the South Hills.

Some Notes of Interest

  • The “Bower Hill Gang” has a total of 29 children
  • All but one said the one thing they love most about Concordia is the people
  • All but one lived in the Mt. Lebanon neighborhood
  • All mentioned the activities and the opportunities to volunteer as a benefit
  • The word “family” was used to describe the organization in almost every response.

For more information or to schedule a visit to Concordia of the South Hills, please call 412-278-1300. You can also message us through the Contact form.

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