It is our pleasure to introduce you to another of our remarkable residents, Helen M. Not only is she a beloved resident at Pacifica Senior Living Northridge, but she is also a centenarian, having just celebrated her 101st birthday!
Helen was born in Brooklyn, New York, and lived much of her early years on the East Coast. As she grew older, she made her way to the West Coast where she has lived for a number of years, eventually settling in Northridge, California at our Pacifica Senior Living residence.
Helen married her husband Murray after they met in high school, and together they had 2 children, 4 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. In the time they had together they built a loving family, most of whom all live within relatively close proximity to Helen in California.
Although Helen would describe herself as quiet and shy, that didn’t stop her for spending over 20 years as an elementary school teacher, an accomplishment that is particularly dear to her heart. In addition to her love for the classroom and love of teaching, Helen loved traveling. She spent a lot of her time visiting new places all across the globe, making memories. These days, she is happy to be in a cozy spot reading and enjoying one of her favorite snacks, cookies!
Helen has no doubt seen much in her 101 years and is a treasure to all who know her. We are all better for encountering her, and she brings a smile to the staff and residents' faces every day, becoming an integral part of our Northridge community. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve her at Pacifica Senior Living Northridge and look forward to celebrating 102 with her next year. Wishing you a warm Happy Birthday, Helen, from all of us at Pacifica!
When you participate in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s you are part of a mission and team that spreads across the country. Just like everything else in the world at this time, The Walk to End Alzheimer’s may look a little different, but it will go on with the same commitment to ending Alzheimer’s that we’ve always had and always will have. But, with the changes to the world in mind, The Walk to End Alzheimer’s this year will be a mobile walk where participants will join via computer or tablet. The event will still consist of the opening ceremony, speakers, sponsor spotlights, promise garden ceremony, countdown to step off, and of course, the walk itself.
In the last two years, the Pacifica family has raised over $83,000 for this, and we are looking to beat our high water mark of $45,500 raised in 2019, so, we encourage you to walk wherever you are—home, work, neighborhood, park—wherever your favorite venue may be. Walk with your team. There is even a walk app so you can experience all the mission moments as you walk. Each Pacifica Senior Living community will be participating in their own unique way that works for that individual community. To start a walk team, join a walk team, donate, find out date of your local walk, or even just find out location of the promise garden, visit the Walk to End Alzheimer's offical page. If you would like to donate to your local Pacifica Senior Living Walk to End Alzheimer’s team, please reach out to your closest Pacifica Senior Living community and join us in raising money for this worthy cause.
Though we don't have pictures from this year's walk, see the good our Pacifica family has helped to do in 2019 with our participation in the Walk to End Alzheimer's. We're so proud of every resident, staff member, caregiver, family member, friend, even dogs, who walked with us to help find an end to this horrible disease.
Pacifica Senior Living has the great honor of having Mr. David Kopay as a resident at our Palm Springs community! David moved into our community earlier this year, in February. We have absolutely loved having him, and he is one of the most well-known authors here at Pacifica Senior Living. David joining our community has given us the opportunity to learn about his story—from playing in the NFL to his road to becoming an author. This amazing resident remains a public figure for the sport and his alma mater.
He attended the University of Washington and he went on to become a Running Back for the following teams: the San Francisco 49ers (1964–1967), the Detroit Lions (1968), the Washington Redskins (1969–1970), the New Orleans Saints (1971), and the Green Bay Packers (1972).
After retiring from his football career, he became one of the first professional athletes to come out as gay in 1975. Following his athletic career, David wanted to be a coach after retiring from playing football, but believes he did not get the jobs because of his sexual orientation. He went to work as a salesman/purchaser in his uncle's business in Hollywood.
Since David K., only five additional former NFL Players have come out as gay: Roy Simmons in 1992, Esera Tuaolo in 2002, Wade Davis in 2012, Kwame Harris in 2013, and Ryan O'Callaghan in 2017. David has been credited with inspiring these athletes to be more open about their sexual orientation.
In 1977 he co-wrote his autobiography, The David Kopay Story, which made him a popular public speaker and an activist for gay rights. He has since written numerous books about his journey of being one of the first openly homosexual NFL players. David also went on to do film for a short while, and appears as himself in a small but pivotal role in the film Tru Loved (2008).
He announced back in September 2007 that he will leave $1 million as an endowment to the University of Washington Q Center—a resource and support center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students and faculty—so he can to ensure that UW students do not have to live the contradiction he lived. David is also currently a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation.
Most people think of Shirley Temple when they hear the song “Good Ship Lollipop”, but for Nancy Willis, it always conjures up memories of her childhood, the platform her dad built for her to tap dance on while her mom played the piano and her aunt the violin. Just 10 years old at the time, this is still one of her favorite memories of a fun-filled childhood.
Nancy’s life didn’t get any less interesting as she grew into adulthood. Always active and willing to try anything, she became a teacher for 2nd and 3rd graders for an impressive 38 years! She considers this one of the great achievements of her life. While molding and shaping countless young minds, she also raised two children on her own and she is also a proud grandmother of three.
After retiring, she didn’t slow down but found another passion: volunteering at the local animal shelter. She fed the animals, cleaned cages, and helped find them homes with forever families.
Four years ago she moved to our community in San Leandro and has been on the go, enjoying all sorts of different activities and finding new hobbies. In her own words, she shared, “I enjoy my home here because I have good neighbors, friends, and staff members that are very helpful. I like to be active all the time and my favorite activities are: badminton, crossword puzzles, singing, bingo, bean bag toss, and exercising.” You’ll always find her ready to laugh at a good joke or enjoy an entertaining comedy and she loves old country music and traditional hymns. And because she’s from Northern California, she is also a Golden State Warriors fan!
In her own words, “What a satisfying life!” May we all feel the same when we reach Nancy’s age and reflect back of the landscape of our lives.