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Gene and his wife Georgene made a new home this year at Vista Prairie at Brentwood in Rice Lake, WI, at the age of 95 for both. Their home had been on a farm, about 20 miles from Brentwood.

Then Gene was hospitalized for four days, leaving Georgene alone. Fortunately, their children helped out, especially a daughter who came and stayed with her mom. That was a big wake-up call.

“She needed help then,” Gene recalls, “and the kids said, ‘Dad, what if there was nobody, what would you do?’ So here I am.” Gene is still mourning Georgene’s recent death, after they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary at Brentwood last June. That’s a wedding photo over Gene’s shoulder.

Their son took over the farming in 1980, allowing Gene and Georgene to move to a house less than a mile from the farm, “which was great,” he says. “I’d go down there every day in the summer and help him, and I enjoyed that.”

While he’s extra careful, Gene still loves to drive. “My reflexes are slow and if I get caught speeding, you can imagine what my insurance is going to do.”

Gene clearly recalls one other homecoming. As a U.S. Navy Seaman, he helped transport more than 5,000 soldiers, sailors and Marines home from World War II, aboard a troop ship. He enlisted at the age of 18, during the final months of the war in the Pacific. It was his sole tour of duty before he was discharged to return home himself, to Wisconsin.

The Brentwood community serves seniors in 28 one and two-bedroom apartments for those who want options for personal care along with their freedom of movement. We also offer 19 memory care suites that provide a long-term option for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.


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