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A Million Dollar Baby (In a Five and Ten Cent Store)

Harold recalls this Bing Crosby classic, which describes how he met his wife of 74 years. Florence, 92, was a clerk in a five and dime store in Lennox, South Dakota. Harold, now 96, was back from his Army service in Japan following World War II. They were married on June 1, 1949.

Last March, the couple moved in to Vista Prairie at Fieldcrest in Sheldon, IA with the help of their family. The quilt pictured between them is one of their treasured possessions that came along. It was presented to honor Harold for his service, not only in World War II but in Korea as well, after he was recalled from the reserves when he and Florence’s daughter was only five months old. 

With his veterans’ benefits, Harold pursued his dream of a college education, eventually earning his PHD in Chemistry in 1968. That led to a long career in teaching. “When I started out, I actually taught seventh grade in science and math,” he recalls. Northwestern College, a Christian liberal arts college in Orange City, Iowa, was Harold’s academic home for the last 30 years of his teaching career.

The family endured hardship along with success. Tragically, Multiple Sclerosis claimed the lives of two of their four children. They devoted much of their time, following Harold’s retirement, to help their remaining two children and being involved in the lives of their eight grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. 

When the time came to look for an assisted living option, Florence recounts her first Fieldcrest visit with her son-in-law, “We went into the dining room, and it was filled with people, including several men.” That was a plus for Harold. 

“Coming here has been so different, because there’s so many people around and so many activities,” says Harold, although he would like to find a consistent companion for a game of pool. Both Florence and Harold comment about how well they like the flexible food service. “Here, you have so many good choices,” he says. 

Fieldcrest offers 69 one- and two-bedroom assisted living apartments for seniors who need access to personal care and supportive services, in addition to 12 Serenity Suites that provide a long-term option for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Please call KayCee for a tour at (712) 324-2338.


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