Category Archives: Story Bank


In honor of the Lakewood employees, our family is proud to support the Residents’ Council Employee Christmas Fund with a gift from our late mother, Magdalene Wooten.

Mom loved living at Lakewood. She enjoyed the many opportunities offered for learning, entertainment, and resident participation in campus activities and decisions.  As Mom’s health changed, she very much appreciated the expanded levels of care provided with expertise and genuine nurturing.  She frequently would say that “the employees here are so nice – never a cross word to anyone for any reason.”  Mom was always treated with respect and kindness, and the Lakewood staff was most attentive to her needs and wishes.  We, her family, share her affection for all areas of employees and will ourselves miss seeing them.  We often remarked on the quality of employees that serve Lakewood residents and how frequently they “went the extra mile” with a smile … both for Mom and for us.

We truly feel Mom could not have lived in a better community than Lakewood!

He Taught Me to Save – Edwards

Carole Edwards_Father

A newspaper article on “’Centsible’ Ways to Teach Kids How to Save Money,” brought back wonderful memories of growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s, when my weekly allowance was twenty five cents.  My Dad gave me two dimes and a nickel, suggesting that I put the nickel in my newly acquired Uncle Sam bank.  When the total in the bank reached $10, it automatically opened!!  I could not wait – not to spend it, but to put it into my savings account in a ‘real bank.’ Dad also suggested that I might put a dime in the church basket each Sunday. He emphasized that I did not have to do either of these suggestions but it might be a good thing to try.

I credit my savings penchant to my common-sense Dad, who had a two-year high school education (the norm for his era) and who had never read a parenting book in his life. Through his loving examples, we learned so many valuable life lessons.

Dad also instilled in us the value of contributing to the family. When I told my him that some of my friends received money for their good report cards, Dad’s answer was “Carole, we EXPECT you to get good grades.” Again, great common sense.  Also, when asked about paying us for doing some household chores, Dad’s answer was that we were part of a family and each one contributes to its success.  “Your Mom does not get paid for cooking, cleaning, and taking care of you, does she?”

Just some happy memories of family life “way back when.”

Carole Edwards, The Glebe

Editor’s note: When Carole told us this story, she also said, “I’m not rich.  I’m able to live at The Glebe because I took my Dad’s lessons about saving to heart. I am grateful that he got me started saving so early in life.”

Dear Mom and Dad – Francis

Cliff Francis_Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

Born in May 1927 and having grown up with you and my brother on a farm in Southampton County, Virginia, I am amazed at how you both got us through the Great Depression which lasted several years through the 1930s.

You had very limited financial resources, however you worked diligently to provide us with sufficient food with vegetables from a large garden, chickens we raised, pork and beef from pigs and cattle grown on the farm, as well as apples, peaches, pears and other edible items from fruit trees we planted. Despite our extremely low income, you both (and especially Mom), invited relatives over for meals on Sundays and other special events.  On many occasions, there would be twenty or more people together to eat at one time.  This was a token of your love in helping your family members who were so dear to you.  For neighbors who had little or no food during their “hard times,” you cooked many meals Mom and shared them with those less fortunate.  Even today, those few living relatives and friends who knew you both say that your “hearts were gold.”

Mom, I remember you telling me as a small child that “if you can’t help someone along life’s way, life is not worth living.” I have always adhered to that philosophy in my journey through life.

Thank you, Mom and Dad for steering me in the right direction.

Your loving son,


Grateful for Benevolence – LifeSpire Resident

Story Bank

When my application was approved for residency at my LifeSpire community, I was thrilled that I had qualified financially. I am single and worked all my life on a church salary, so I didn’t make a lot of money.  But I had enough for the entry fee and the monthly fees, so thought I was set for life.

I’ve loved living here and have made so many friends. People are so caring and supportive of each other.  I took care of my own parents during their last years, but I don’t have children on whom I can count for support, so living here is my lifeline.  I know I will be cared for no matter what happens.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve carefully watched my finances, making sure that every dollar I spent was wise and necessary. But I became concerned that I would not have enough money – monthly income and savings – to stay in my LifeSpire home in the future.  So, with some trepidation, I approached the Executive Director with my concerns.

He could not have been more gracious or respectful. He knows that I haven’t spent needlessly and he didn’t hesitate to let me know that the benevolent mission may be able to help me.  I gave him the financial data that he requested, and after a short time, he gave me the good news that the Benevolent Fund could indeed provide me with a monthly subsidy.

As I thought about my relief at knowing that I won’t have to leave my home and friends, I was reminded that I had always tithed to my church during all of the years that I worked there. My church also supported Virginia Baptist Homes (now LifeSpire) so I knew that my tithe helped other residents over the years.  While I never thought that I would be a recipient of benevolent care, I feel so grateful that people just like me care enough about others to give what they can to help.  I can now live with peace of mind and dignity.

A LifeSpire resident




Thankful for the Love and Care – Beasley

Beasley FamilyAt the young age of 52, my Grandma, Polly Beasley, lost her her husband to cancer. She had never worked outside the home but was an amazing cook.  Her cooking skills soon led her to work at the Newport News Baptist Retirement Home.  During her employment time there, the administrator, Dr. Kenney, would often talk to her about coming to live there as a resident.  In 1982, at the age of 65, she officially decided to make ‘The Baptist Home’ her new home.  Grandma lived at The Chesapeake for over 28 years until she left us at the age of 93 in 2011.  She saw The Chesapeake go through many changes and a major building expansion effort.  She often expressed that one of her life’s greatest blessings was to live there and was thankful to Dr. Kenney for his counsel in leading her there.  They remained friends through the years, and Dr. Kenney presided over her funeral.

Growing up, The Chesapeake was always considered a part of our family. When my parents found out that a new facility was being built in Daleville, VA, they were immediately interested.  Because of our experience with The Chesapeake we knew the value of continuing care and the comfort of knowing our Grandma was being looked out for on a daily basis.  My parents, Bill and Robbie Beasley, gathered my brother and I together to talk through their decision and we all worked together to complete their application.  My parents became one of the first residents of The Glebe.

As a family, we are very thankful for the love and care that the LifeSpire communities have provided to our loved ones over the last 34 years.

Betsy Beasley

Continuing Their Legacy – Morris


Pat and Mom

Throughout my childhood, my family went to church and Sunday School every week; we lived our values during the week. My siblings and I learned to be “doers” by the example set by our parents. We learned to be kind and forgiving to each other and respectful to our elders. Since my dad was a Naval aviator, we also learned to appreciate the sacrifices our military service people and their families made for our country.

My mother volunteered with the Navy Relief, an organization of officers’ wives who worked together to help Navy families in need. I learned to sew and knit making baby layettes for them with Mom. Mom was also active in the Women’s Circle at church. Dad was a flight instructor and loved to tell us stories of his students – it was clear to us how much he cared for them and their families. When he retired, he worked at the church as the chief building and grounds expert almost as many hours at he had at his full time job.

Mom and Dad made their philanthropic choices together. They made plans in their estate for all of us, but also for their favorite charity. I am grateful for the legacy of caring for others that my parents built for us, and I am heartened to see my daughter, my siblings and their children continuing the legacy in their families.

Patricia Morris