Take it From Our Residents

Get a better feeling of what life is like at Winchester Gardens by reading some of our resident testimonials:

Meet Ted Bryant

Throughout the many stages of my life: childhood, adolescence, college and careers and my years of marriage, I have always felt like something was maybe missing.

Since moving to Winchester Gardens in 2015, I have finally found complete contentment. While living in an ambience of old-world charm and modern amenities, there’s lots of interaction with friendly community members and always something new to do.

I wake up every morning worry-free. I no longer have to deal with house repairs, snow removal, cooking and housekeeping issues; it’s all done for me here. I am very pleased with the lifestyle at Winchester Gardens and I am very satisfied with this stage of my life!

Meet Fred and Ruth Roessle

In 2008 as a gift to our big family, Fred and I decided to downsize while we were able. So here we are at Winchester Gardens our home since 2009. We love our villa which has scenic views of the beautifully landscaped grounds. We’re both outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy the walking paths throughout the community.

We’re both very involved members of the Residents Association here too. I (Ruth) am a member of the Welcoming, Marketing, Rummage Sale and Scholarship Committees. Fred is a member of the Residents Planning, Finance, Safety and Security and Scholarship Committees.

We are fortunate to have made wonderful friends and stand in awe at their remarkable lives and accomplishments. We also consider our Staff as part of our family and are grateful for their capable and friendly presence here.

I loved to cook but now we both enjoy the varied menus and delicious meals available here. It’s just like home but without the planning, shopping and clean-up which makes it easy.

The Sub-Acute Wing at Winchester Gardens is about to open—a spectacular addition to our campus, and a great comfort to us if needed. And the exercise programs are really fun and good medicine with lots of laughs. Participating in the different classes has opened up a new door for me. I always had a good excuse to “not” participate, but now I look forward to my time there. Fred has always enjoyed sports and is still active in golf and fitness.

We feel blessed and grateful we made a very wise decision almost nine years ago and our family is very thankful we are here. We enjoy their visits and “catch up times.”

Meet Lillian Williams

Lillian Williams has lived in 27 different locations in her lifetime, and in every location she has made it a priority to give of her time.

Her husband’s military career required frequent moves throughout the country and abroad, but wherever she has lived, she and her family have found ways to contribute to the community.

She was a department head with the American Red Cross in Houston for 25 years and following her retirement, she volunteered at the Memorial Hermann Hospital Southwest, where she earned a 6,000-hour volunteer pin. For her work, the Texas Association of Hospital Services recognized her with their Volunteer of the Year award.

In 2004, Lillian and her husband decided to downsize and move into a retirement community in Houston. Even then, Lillian volunteered at the hospital three days a week, and gave tours of the retirement community.

Two years after her husband passed away in 2006, Lillian decided to move closer to her children in Maplewood, New Jersey. During her research on the Maplewood area, she discovered Winchester Gardens. And after just one visit, she knew she didn’t need to look anywhere else.

Lillian moved into Winchester Gardens in May of 2008. And she got involved.

For someone so familiar with service to others, Lillian was pleasantly surprised by the level of service Winchester Gardens offered its residents.

“Before I moved from Houston,” Lillian said. “I wanted to have my new apartment painted a particular shade of cream.” She mailed a small piece of venetian blind, painted with the color she wanted, to her contact at Winchester Gardens. “They matched the color perfectly,” she said.

As it turned out, matching that color was just the first of many things that Winchester Gardens got right.

Lillian loves Winchester Gardens’ amenities. She comments that the community offers entertainment, events, and activities for all tastes and interests.

But to Lillian, it is the opportunities to volunteer that make Winchester Gardens so special. She volunteers at the Health Center at Winchester Gardens, as well as at nearby Overlook Hospital. She is chair of the Welcoming Committee, and a member of the Health Services and Residential Services committees.

“If I can take a few hours during the week to make people feel the way I do about Winchester Gardens,” Lillian said, “it is well worth my time.”

Meet Jean Samson

When Jean Samson’s daughter suggested in 1998 that she consider moving to Winchester Gardens, Jean had one response: “And go live with the old people?”

Thinking back on that comment now, she laughs.  Little did she realize that her visit to Winchester Gardens would offer her so much activity, independence and friendship.

Having raised seven children in a large house in Montclair, New Jersey, Jean knew she would remain busy and involved in her community wherever she ended up living.

With her children grown, Jean and her husband decided to move to a smaller house in 1992. But when her husband passed away unexpectedly, she had to decide whether to stay in the house or downsize even further.

Jean’s daughter, a certified public accountant, had several clients who were residents at Winchester Gardens. They seemed to love living there, and Jean’s daughter suggested that she visit.

Jean was skeptical. She had always been involved in her community, most especially at Grace Presbyterian Church in Montclair, where she had been an active member since 1939.

“I thought a retirement community was where you sit around with nothing to do,” Jean says.

But one trip to Winchester Gardens quickly changed that opinion.

During her first visit, Jean realized that her preconceived notions of a retirement community were very wrong. She came to learn that there was far more to Winchester Gardens than she imagined.

In 1998, Jean moved into Winchester Gardens.

“The people and staff were friendly and there was a real sense of safety and security,” Jean says.

Since moving to the community, Jean has gotten involved in a very big way. She facilitates the community’s book club, leads a prayer group and works as the associate manager of The Country Store. She also exercises four or five times a week, and attends concerts, movies and lectures.

She also makes the point that she appreciates how, in the midst of all the activities, she knows that she only has to be as involved as she chooses to be.

“No one should ever be bored here,” says Jean. “My ideas and suggestions are respected – as is my privacy. I know that no one is going to insist I take part in activities. They simply give me all the choices I could want.”