FREEPORT — Some interesting things happened in 1926: Calvin Coolidge was president of the United States. It was also the year Parkview was established as a premier place for retired people to live in comfortable surroundings.
During this span of time, it has taken committed volunteers to establish Parkview as a home for senior citizens to begin living independently -- with extra care as their medical needs arise.
In its more than 90 years of existence, Parkview has expanded and renovated, but what remains the same is the quality of care for senior citizens, who now can choose condominiums, enhanced independent living apartments, assisted living apartments, a memory care unit or a 24-hour nursing facility.
Ken Urban and Carl Zulke have served on the board of directors for years. Collectively, the two men have 80 years of service to Parkview, with Urban at 45 years and Zulke with 34 years of volunteering to ensure seniors have options for quality care.
As of this month, both men retired from the board.
"It’s time for some new blood," they said.
"I got involved with Parkview at a time when it was really the only place in Freeport to offer quality care for the aging population," Urban said. "Parkview has always been looked at well from the community, and what I really liked about it is, as a nonprofit, if people ran out of money, they could still stay where they lived to be taken care of in the manner they were used to getting."
Urban said being part of the volunteer board for 45 years was a privilege. He said he is proud to have been part of major expansion projects to ensure Parkview continues to receive positive ratings.
"For me, it has always been about the residents, and we always receive ratings above 90 percent for quality care. I am 81 years old now and it’s time for new blood," he said.
Zulke echoed Urban, saying, "It’s time for new blood. I got involved with Parkview through Ken, and for me it’s been a good feeling to be part of doing something positive for my community. I did my civic duty, but it’s time to pass the torch."
Parkview has been home to nearly 900 residents since it opened. It has an average of 120 residents, with more than 100 employees.
Administrator Deb Gitz said Urban and Zulke will be missed.
"They are both such dedicated, generous people that have been part of Parkview’s history for many years," she said. "From numerous meetings, to construction projects, to know they were only a phone call or email away is saying that Parkview would not be the premier continuing retirement community that it is today without excellent leadership.
"We wish them the best for the future and give them our deepest appreciation for their years of service."
Jane Lethlean is a freelance correspondent; firstname.lastname@example.org; @DOGWMN2