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Unplanned visit results in new home at Aberdeen Village

Right before COVID-19 changed the world, Walt and Jeannine Linder had been looking around for a new place to live.

“We just stopped in, we didn’t even have an appointment,” Jeannine said. “I thought let’s see if we can get in, and fortunately someone on staff was there. Walt just fell in love with the place. It was one level, and he liked the meals.”

With COVID in full force, however, it became difficult to make changes. Once there was an opening and an opportunity, their kids told them they’d better get in while they could.

“The day after we moved in, everything shut down,” Jeannine said. “We had one night in the dining room buffet without masks. That made it a little difficult for newcomers, but we were dealt with by very friendly residents and staff who kept us guided.”

That was back in August 2021, and in the time since, they’ve doubly appreciated new opportunities for interaction.

“It worked out beautifully,” Jeannine said. “We didn’t know the old ways - but everyone was so friendly and helpful. We couldn’t go out to gatherings, but believe it or not, we felt blessed to be here.”

Before moving to Aberdeen Village, Walt and Jeannine lived in Shawnee. The couple originally lived in Nebraska, but moved to Kansas for Walt’s career with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, as the head of the hydrological engineering division.

“His career took us many places,” Jeannine said. “We lived in Holland for a year. Our son went to the little Dutch school, and he spoke like a native in two weeks. That was a marvelous year for all of us. We spent a summer in Sudan, several weeks in Taiwan doing work for them. Together we went to a conference in Pakistan.”

Walt and Jeannine have been married for 63 years and raised two children - a boy and a girl. They now have three grandchildren. Jeannine worked as a nurse.

Walt’s age - he’s now 96 - forced him to slow down, and eventually make the move to Aberdeen Village. Jeannine, at the younger age of 85, said the age difference has worked out well.

“I have extra energy, so I can help move him along,” she joked.

Though their move in the middle of a pandemic was worrisome, Jeannine feels grateful for all that her and Walt have gained in their new home.

“Thank God for places like this. Everyone I talk to feels blessed to be here,” she said. “Everyone here just goes with the flow. We were so happy to sit down with tablecloths and real dishes. Everyone is so glad to be together again. Now we have placemats and silverware.”

Aside from the returning sense of normalcy, Jeannine said she’s been thrilled to make - and spend time with new friends.

“We’ve met so many nice people,” she said. “We’ve been here long enough we’re calling each other by name. It’s been beautiful.”

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