Monthly Archives: May 2015

Show-n-tell at Kansas City Primrose

The many pieces for art by Ralph Shackelford

The many pieces for art by Ralph Shackelford

Watch out for Mr. Snake

Watch out for Mr. Snake!

Kansas City, MO, Retirement Communities

We recently had show-n-tell at Primrose of Kansas City. We invited every resident to bring an item, whether it was something they made, won, bought or was just special to them in some way.

There were many interesting pieces on display, one of which was made by a resident named Mildred. Mildred spent an entire summer and fall working on a cross stitch of the last supper. It is amazing, and she had it framed and gave it to her husband as an anniversary gift. He was the preacher for the Baptist church. The picture now hangs in her apartment and will be passed on to her son and his wife. Mildred cross stitched for over 50 years, and every family that attended their church received a hand-made Irish Blessing to hang in their homes. She has made over one hundred of these. What a true gift from the heart!

Ralph Shackleford has a talent of taking old airplane parts and turning them into something spectacular! He has made miniature mailboxes, a man sitting on a log fishing and a windmill with a pump that pumps real water. The detail that he put into his art is far beyond what most of us can do. He even thought about putting a coiled snake into the log the fisherman was on!

by Jill Hershley
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!


Cheyenne Primrose the “People’s Choice” for Second Straight Year

Cheyenne, WY, Retirement Communities

Cheyenne Primrose awarded second consecutive Peoples Choice award

Team Cheyenne brings home the People’s Choice Award. Justin Gorman, David Sheppard, Wayne Tubbs, Lisa McInelly and Leslie Johnson pictured left to right.

Chocolate Indulgence is a fund raising event organized by our local Kiwanis Club. This event is a collaboration of local Chocolatiers that donate their time and delectable delights to raise money for the children of Cheyenne.

With multiple vendors in competition for the coveted top honors of the “People’s Choice Award,” the road to glory would require a team effort. In preparation for the event, each competitor is required to not only dream of a tasty treat that would win over the pallets of hundreds of guests, but build 400 of those treats to ensure everyone in attendance has the opportunity have their taste buds wowed.

Primrose Retirement Community of Cheyenne had steep expectations considering we won the “People’s Choice Award” in 2014. The 2015 competition provided the overwhelming challenge of not only surpassing the expectations of the previous year, but to create a desert that was unlike any that might be served. To accomplish such a feat would require not only a strong passion for presenting Primrose in a positive light, but also a devotion from every team member.

The night before the competition various team members gathered in the Primrose kitchen after serving dinner to the residents. Each individual quickly took to a task at hand, whether it was building homemade caramel or hand pressing cookie crusts. Having the drive to complete our challenge, every team member stayed well in to the early morning hours to ensure the creation of the “Primrose Devilish Delight” was complete.

We are extremely proud to announce the Primrose Retirement Community of Cheyenne has won “People’s Choice Award” for the second consecutive year, and will be donating our winnings to the Raising Readers program of Cheyenne.

Springtime Fun at Sioux Falls Primrose

Springtime fun at Sioux Falls Primrose

Primrose residents enjoying the beautiful appetizers before the entertainment began

Sioux Falls, SD, Retirement Communities

SPRING, AS LISTED IN THE DICTIONARY, is the season in North America (March, April, May) when the plants begin to grow.

Sioux Falls Primrose residents celebrated spring with a tea party. When the residents walked into the grand room their faces lit up as they gazed upon the pastel spring colors and beautiful dishes. Some of the residents even came dressed for the party in their spring clothes and hats, and each enjoyed a cup of fresh fruit, a scone with fresh rhubarb/strawberry jelly, and a cup of tea. Our tea party started off with a ballet dance routine presented by Jamie Ferrie, daughter of one of our staff members Sandy Ferrie, which was followed by wonderful music performed by Elaine Peacock. Resident Eva Rehling said she enjoyed the homemade jelly, and resident Elaine Johnson said she loved the musical entertainment. Door prizes were given out and each resident received a small flower pin and a cute flower nut cup to take home.

by Lou Clarey
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!


This is Zoey Vecellio

Zoey Vecellio

Zoey Vecellio

Wausau, WI, Retirement Communities

I FIRST MET Zoey when she joined the networking group that I hosted in my position as Membership Director at the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. She was in the marketing position for an assisted living in Wausau. She seemed kind of quiet and reserved, which is pretty funny in hind sight! Shortly after joining the group in 2008, Zoey was hired by a new company in town, Primrose Retirement Community.

They made an excellent choice! Although Zoey was pretty young, she had attended college at Winona State University, she had invaluable industry and life experience. You see, Zoey wasn’t the kid who grew up with all the advantages. She had to grow up faster than most kids, she had to fend for herself and she grew up making lots of decisions that were beyond her years. Her grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease and came to live with Zoey and her mom. This was the start of training for the future Executive Director of Primrose in Wausau. She worked in the long term care industry as a CNA and was promoted to assistant manager of an assisted living in Wausau that was at the time the premier community in the area. The training continues. . .

Primrose was the opportunity for a strong young woman to meld her compassion for seniors with her knowledge of the industry gained through hard work and excellent mentors. She understands what families are going through because she’s been there. She knows what can be done to help those families because she’s been helping. She knows the stress of being a caregiver and she understands when to hold the line and when to extend grace in order to build the strongest team possible. Zoey is an excellent Executive Director to work side by side with. As part of her management team, I appreciate her willingness to do whatever needs to be done. She and I have worked together to scrub floors and clean toilets when it needed to be done. She would never ask anyone to do something that she wouldn’t do herself. Zoey has matured as a manager and has found a great balance of expecting accountability without micromanaging her staff. These are all good qualities that have contributed to Zoey being successful in her position, but the real reason that she is flourishing is because Zoey is not the “boss“ at Primrose in Wausau. The residents who call Primrose home are the “bosses” and we all work for them. We are guests in their home and everything we do and every decision we make is made with our residents’ best interests in mind.

Primrose in Wausau has enjoyed excellent occupancy since opening and the long waiting list is no coincidence. Zoey has created a cohesive team of caregivers and a warm home where seniors feel loved, safe and well cared for. What more could anyone ask for?

by Kathy Jamison
Sales Director
Wausau Primrose

Primrose Railroader Resumes Riding

Dale waves cap

Dale waves to all his Primrose Fans

Dale with Engineer Sarah

Dale & Engineer Sandra in the cab

Dale's Royal Gorge Group certificate

Dale’s Certificate

The Primrose Gang

The Primrose Gang

Pueblo, CO, Retirement Communities

THE BEST PART of this amazing day was seeing 92 year old resident Dale Criger stride with an extra spring in his step alongside his son, Victor, climb unaided up the steps to Locomotive CRRX train car number C-20, wave to all of us from atop, and join Engineer Sandra for the cab ride up front and high up. Sandra told Dale, “You are the oldest railroader I ever met” as she gave him a smile and a hug. Dale said she was “quite a lady.” During the ride he was presented with a certificate naming him an official member of the Cab Riders Club. Dale worked as an agent telegrapher on the Denver Rio Grande Western Railroad from ’48-’78 and loved every minute of it on this “main line through the Rockies.”

What a day for Dale and the whole Primrose Gang. This adventurous group of 24 residents, staff and family members enjoyed the scenic ride through the Royal Gorge Canyon alongside the Arkansas River and below the suspension bridge. Along this historic and scenic route we saw rafters, fly fisherman and big horn sheep all while dining on a delicious lunch served by an attentive staff. Life Enrichment Coordinator Barbara Della Rossa said it was one of her best days with Primrose. Seeing Dale’s excitement and physical training leading up to the ride, witnessing his physical feat of walking without his walker and climbing some pretty steep steps, and the pure joy and pride during and after the ride, truly made this an unforgettable day. Dale is already planning his next train ride with the Minister of his Church and still has that extra pep in him from this special outing where at Primrose we say this is living!

by Barbara Della Rossa
Life Enrichment Coordinator

To find out more about the retirement living experience at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!


A Letter from Lou

letter from Lou

They met in the corridor of the building she worked in. He was a young Dentist and she was a nurse in a Dr.’s office on Third street in Wausau. When she told him that she was planning to go to the Grand Theatre to watch “The King and I” on Friday night he asked if he could go too? The movie was at 9:00 and he showed up at 8:00, what was she to do but to ask if he wanted to go for a walk? They strolled up the hill from her parent’s house and she told him that someday she wanted to have a house on this hill because of the beautiful view. It must have been a great evening because she came home after the movie and told her mom “I have met the fellow I’m going to marry”. Three years later on September 18, 1948 that proclamation became reality when she said “I Do”.

Dr. & Mrs. Louis Podruch began their lives together after a “corridor romance” and three years of courting. Alice says he always made her feel special and that their love grew stronger as the years went by. They had a wonderful marriage punctuated by the births of four children and too many great memories to count. Alice and Lou had made the decision to say goodbye to the beloved home that they built on the very spot that she pointed out on that first date. The plan was to move to Primrose Retirement Community and enjoy their time together, but then the love of her life became very ill and she made the move to “their” apartment by herself, now on her own for the first time in almost 62 years.

Four years have passed and it was time to plug in the Christmas lights in Alice’s apartment. Robin, a nursing assistant, came in to help move her antique hall tree to get to the outlet. A small white note fell out from behind the hall tree. Alice picked it up and exclaimed “Oh my gosh it’s a note from my husband!” With tears in her eyes she read the familiar handwriting:

Dear “Punk”, May all of our years be filled with as much happiness as the first. I know our love will grow ever stronger. Your own, Lou

Sometimes God gives us a message of love from the very one we need to hear it from.

May is Older Americans Month at Primrose

Older Americans Month banner

This May we celebrate Older Americans Month, which was designated by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. This special month honors seniors and celebrates their contributions to our communities and to our nation.

We celebrate this special month with our residents as well. Primrose retirement communities are filled with people who are making a difference every day. Teachers, elected officials, judges, musicians, pastors and business owners are among the many we are proud to serve. So many seniors across the country have had, and are still having, an impact in their communities and in the lives of others.

If you are retired and looking for some things you can do to make a difference, perhaps you might consider volunteering. Did you know that over 26 million seniors in this country do so? Whether it is running church rummage sales, organizing coats for kids’ drives or mentoring elementary school children – the opportunities are out there. In fact, the demand for older volunteers is increasing dramatically because of their experience and expertise in so many different areas.

Studies also show that senior volunteers live longer. According to a University of Michigan study, those who volunteer at least 40 hours per year, each year after their retirement, live an average of 8 years longer than those who do not. Doing good things for others is not only good for them, it is good for you!

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging office by visiting or calling 1-800-677-1116 to find ongoing opportunities to celebrate and support older Americans.

If you are interested in learning more about Primrose, and how the incredible seniors that live here are making a difference in peoples’ lives every day, visit