The Kocurs have been living in their Haven II apartment since June of 2015.
They moved from their 105-year-old home in Vandergrift, where Barb was raised by her grandparents. Only the third owner, the couple felt a great deal of sentiment for that four-story home, but the work and expense became overwhelming and the neighborhood was changing. The fact that the house was placed on the Vandergrift Historical Society list and the national registry provided both contentment and pride for the family.
Before choosing Concordia, Barb explored other retirement communities.
“I knew Concordia was Christian and I liked its warmth and good reputation,” Barb said.
It’s no wonder she looked for a faith-based organization: her grandfather was a pastor and her uncle was a church organist. A friend from that very church lived at Haven I before the fire that took place in 2006, and Barb was so impressed with how her friend was treated following that disaster.
Married for 56 years, John and Barb met on a blind date after he graduated from Slippery Rock University. Barb calls him a natural athlete. He was a walk-on for soccer and basketball and up until two years ago held the record for assists in soccer at the college.
“There was nothing he couldn’t do,” she said.
Barb went to school in Pittsburgh and became a keypunch operator at U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh. John got a teaching job in Canonsburg and they rented a furnished apartment in Mt. Lebanon. Shortly after, however, they were able to return home to Vandergrift, where John taught physical education, swimming, drivers-education and health in addition to coaching basketball in the Kiski area.
When their children John and Kristina were born, Barb decided she wanted to be a stay-at-home mother, so she retired after 10 years of working.
Once the kids got to high school Barb took a job in the kitchen as the cashier at Kiski High School. After they were raised, Barb worked for American Greetings as a merchandiser.
The couple spent their retirement traveling to Clearwater Beach in Florida every winter for seven years.
Driving back from Florida that last year Barb noticed that unless she was navigating John couldn’t seem to remember the directions. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“I just knew it was time to come to Concordia,” John said.
Both agreed that Concordia’s honesty and straightforward approach to the decision and moving process was most helpful. They were never more certain they made the right decision than when a knock came to their apartment door the day they moved.
“A member of the Haven II Welcoming Committee came to offer us homemade blueberry muffins,” Barb said.
Barb has become her own welcoming committee now, as one of the most active and infectiously joyful residents in the building. She is so happy her effervescence spills out to all around her. She has become involved with the adult coloring group, reading and going to yoga class when John goes to activities in the adult day services center.
“There’s so much to do you can’t do it all,” Barb said. “The people here are absolutely wonderful; I cannot describe how nice everyone is to me and my husband. I have no regrets moving here.”
“I love to be around people and have made some good friends here,” she continued. “They’re kind, they care, and listen. And everyone has been through something; they get you.”
If you are thinking of joining the Kocurs at Concordia Haven Apartments on the Concordia at Cabot campus but would like to learn more, we invite you to an upcoming open house or a complimentary lunch and personal tour of the community. To schedule your visit, please call Admissions Counselor Peggy Trettel at 724-352-5378.
At any given time, Concordia serves more than 650 seniors in western PA and eastern OH in retirement living alone. Retirement living (or independent living, as it's sometimes called) offers a worry-free lifestyle for seniors, with every convenience of home. Amenities like routine maintenance, scheduled transportation, daily events/activities and much more are included.
For more information on Concordia's worry-free retirement communities in Pittsburgh, Cabot, Allison Park or Copley, Ohio, visit www.ConcordiaRetirement.org. You can also use our online contact form or call 1-833-469-5532 for general retirement living questions.