Life at Kendal: 46 years of Love, Service, and Community

Maryann and Marion have been together for 46 years; remarkably, 23 of those years have been spent at Kendal at Ithaca. Originally from New York State, they moved to the Ithaca area from Florida in 2001 because as they both agreed,  “we missed the change of seasons.”  When asked what drew them to Kendal at Ithaca, they mentioned: “There were a few factors, but mainly, we visited a friend who was a resident at Kendal at Ithaca, we appreciate the Quaker value approach, and we want the security of knowing we will be well-taken care throughout all levels of care.”

The couple have devoted much of their lives to volunteer work and working with children. Maryann received her MSW and worked with troubled adolescents at Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center in NYC where she developed vital programming that offered alternative options to inpatient care. It is there that she met Marion, who was then the Director of Nursing and later became the Regional Director for the Division of Quality Assurance for the NYS Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Upon moving to Kendal, the community welcomed Maryann and Marion, and their Kendal neighbors helped them acclimate. It did not take them long to settle in and find volunteer opportunities on the Kendal campus and in the greater community.

In her free time, Maryann volunteers with the children’s reading and swimming programs at Southside Community Center, and they have both served on numerous Kendal committees, with Maryann also spending time as council President.

Fourteen years ago, they established the Downsizing Assistance Committee, which has helped countless families with the challenging task of downsizing while simultaneously raising funds for Kendal at Ithaca employee education and hardship programs. Currently, they are both members of the One Kendal committee which fosters interaction between independent-living residents and individuals in the health center. This committee also provides additional layers of support, and comfort, to individuals residing in the health center.

Maryann and Marion have certainly left their Mark on Kendal as well as the greater Ithaca community.  They have actively supported community groups such as the Recovery Center, the Gay Men’s Chorus and the Suicide Hot Line. Maryann has served on the board of the Recovery Center, and manned the Hot Line. 

In 2013 they invited all staff and residents to their wedding in the Kendal auditorium which was a joyous and “standing room only” celebration. They requested no gifts, that donations could be made to the Recovery Center, the Gay Men’ s Chorus or the Kendal flower fund. The Kendal community came through. making  equally substantial gifts to each of the 3 organizations.

For a few years after moving to Ithaca, and not quite ready to get reacquainted with NY winters, they continued to spend time in Florida. They love to travel and are now apparently okay with the cold as they are looking forward to planning their next trip to the Antarctic. Brrr.

Thank you for all you have done for the Kendal Community!