All in the Family – Generational Stories

By October 26, 2016Resident Life

Horizon House has been around for 55 years. Thanks to that longevity, we actually have second generation residents – and in fairly large numbers. Here are the stories of a few families who thought Horizon House was so nice they came here twice.

Jim and Gladys Perry moved to Horizon House in 1987 – largely due to the experience of Jim’s mother, Martha Perry, who had moved here shortly after the Baldwin Apartments were remodeled to become Horizon House in the early 1960s. Both generations happily overlapped for a couple of years prior to Martha’s passing. Not stopping there, Jim’s brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Helen Perry, became West Wing residents in the 1990s. Sadly, Jim lost his wife, brother, and sister-in-law within months of one another in 2003, but Jim has lived in apartment 9-MN for 29 years, still doing his own cooking and as he puts it, “liking everything about Horizon House.”

Judy Cline and Priscilla Lange and their husbands moved into Horizon House when the North Tower opened in 2007, and both women had mothers who lived here as well. Judy’s mom, Elaine Stucker, came from Southern California in 1993 to be near her daughters. A good friend of the family told her Horizon House was “it” for retirement living. A very short exploration of other options confirmed that for her. Elaine, known as the “Flower Lady” for the exquisite arrangements on which she spent one to five hours a day, lived here until her death in 2009 – two years of overlap between herself and her daughter Judy and son-in-law Bob. When asked about the reasons why the Clines chose Horizon House, Judy said they didn’t think twice about coming here – or considering anywhere else. To this day, they remain delighted by the community and its truly caring people. As chair of the Flower Committee, Judy carries on her mother’s tradition. And sister Jennifer Stucker is on the waiting list.

Priscilla Lange’s mom, Priscilla Magill Alsip, moved to Horizon House in 1990 from Boise, Idaho, when she was 78 and told Priscilla that she was “so happy [here] that she felt guilty!” The camaraderie of her women friends reminded her of sorority living; she wished she’d come when she was even younger.

Like the Clines, Priscilla and Ned came to Horizon House when the North Tower opened, but after Mrs. Alsip’s passing; they didn’t look elsewhere.  As Priscilla noted, living here is similar to life at a small college – you know everyone, there’s a vibrant community of like-minded people, it’s a beautiful location.

Andrea and Pete Paup came to Horizon House in early 2014. As a docent at Seattle Art Museum for 40 years, Andrea was particularly impressed with our art collection – but she also knew our community well through her mother, Gladys Angelica Christine Manson Haug Arntzen, who resided here for 16 years until her death in 2001 at the age of 105 ½!

Cathy Gunstone – a Horizon House resident since May of 2016 – is the daughter of Bob and Marj Durham, who moved into the Central Tower in 1983 while waiting for the West Wing to open in 1984.  Mr. Durham passed away in 1998, but his fame as a watercolorist endures through his works, which are hung throughout the community. Robert Durham’s connection with us goes back to the late 1950s and early ‘60s when he was on the board of the Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ and a member of the committee charged with developing Horizon House. He also served as the coordinating architect on the East Tower and West Wing. Cathy always knew that she’d like to join a retirement community. Because of her parents’ experience and that of her many friends at the University Congregational Church who either lived here or planned to, she “got on the Horizon House list” and moved in when an apartment became available. Cathy mentioned that her daughter and son-in-law, now in their 40s, are seriously thinking of doing the same.

Fred Maurer was convinced by fellow University Congregational Church member and longtime Horizon House resident Nancy Edquist to get on our Future Residents List in 1983. Seventeen years later in 2000, he and his wife Jody decided they didn’t want to move to a condo and then to a retirement home, so with a particularly beautiful apartment opening up, they made up their minds to move here. Fred has now lived in West Wing apartment B-V for almost another 17 years! Janet Daggatt, Fred’s sister, has actually lived at Horizon House twice – first from 1951 through 1961, when it was the Baldwin Apartments, and again since 2015. Janet’s husband had died, as had Fred’s wife, and Fred said come. So she did, and now they’re roommates. Moving on to the second generation – Alice Meleney is Jody Maurer’s daughter. Her mom and Fred gave Alice and her sister a couple of trips with Horizon House groups, one to Whistler, the other to Alaska. They, of course, knew Horizon House through their parents’ experiences here, but both women had such a marvelous time traveling with our residents that they got on the waiting list in 2010. Alice moved in this past July. Sister Karlee, three years younger, is planning her move when the time is right.

Gini Stimson and Horizon House go back – with multiple connections. Her dad, Elliott Couden, was a board member of the Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ when Horizon House was founded – along with neighbor Bob Durham. Gini Stimson and Cathy (Durham) Gunstone grew up together in the Fauntleroy neighborhood; Bob Durham was the architect on Elliott Couden’s office and for the church they attended. Although Gini’s parents had been on the waiting list early on, her mom Erma was an independent sort and stayed in her Fauntleroy home until the age of 98. At that point, she felt she could use some help and moved to Supported Living in 2011. Like her father, Gini also served on the NW UCC board (and as a representative to the Horizon House board) in the mid-1980s when the West Wing was being developed. She knew at the time that she’d eventually like to be part of the community and got on the waiting list in 1984. Gini is still working, but in the fall of 2013, the “perfect” apartment came up and she made her move in April 2014. She knew from her long connection that Horizon House was a good place, but she “didn’t know how good.” Gini and Erma – 101 – are now “two elevators away” from one another, and find that it’s great to be sharing their lives and those of their many dear friends in both Independent and Supported Living.

We could go on! This is just a sampling of the generational stories that abound at Horizon House. What all these residents share is a love of family – both their own and the extended “family” that is Horizon House. Thank you for enriching our community for generations.

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