“25 years is a major milestone,” said Sr. Ramona Dombrowski, Interim President/CEO of Villa St. Francis. “It offers the Felician Sisters a chance to express our gratitude to those who support us as we provide for people, and for the neighborhood.”
In a time of transition and turmoil, Villa St. Francis can be a rock and a resource for family members – and a source of joy for the elderly.
“It’s interesting,” said Sr. Dombrowski, “because we still receive responses back from family members to say what a difference we’ve made not only in the life of a resident but also his or her family.”
To mark our 25th anniversary, Villa St. Francis hosted a neighborhood gathering on Saturday, June 20 with food and ¬– of course – music! It was wonderful to have residents and loved ones gather to celebrate.
Villa St. Francis is blessed to have your support. Thank you!
Dorothy has been a resident here for a month or so, and already she’s found plenty to do! She set aside a couple minutes to talk with us about “the old days,” and to describe her life at Villa St. Francis.
Tell us about your work or career, Dorothy.
“I worked for a printing company in Milwaukee, as a secretary in the shipping department,” she said. “I was there for 43 years.”
She enjoyed her work, but chose to retire shortly after the family-owned business was sold.
What did you do next?
“I stayed home for one year, and I got bored, so I went and I did cleaning part-time. I worked there for 4 years. Then I decided I was going to stay home again, for about a year. I just got too bored sitting home! So I worked at a hobby shop called Model Empire in West Allis for a couple years.”
“It’s hard,” she said, “when you’ve worked that many years, to all of a sudden: you’re there in the morning and you don’t have to get up.”
Tell us about something that makes you happy?
“I like to watch football, and I like basketball. I like to watch the Bucks, and I like, really, to watch college basketball,” Dorothy said.
At Villa St. Francis, she particularly enjoys watching the fish in our aquarium as well as playing Bingo, cards, and listening to music.
Have you ever gone to see a football game?
“I went to one Super Bowl, in California. It was really cold, we had on every stitch of clothing we owned! It’s so different than watching it on TV, amongst the crowd, with the cheering,” Dorothy said.
What advice might you give to a person who wants to be happy?
“Don’t sit around, and not try doing anything! You’ll get old fast that way,” she said.
Villa St. Francis is home to many avid Milwaukee Brewers fans! To celebrate Opening Day 2015, we wore Brewers attire, served up hot dogs and ballpark food for lunch, and watched the game together in the Garden room.
“We have a good following of the Brewers here,” said Lisa Richardson, our Director of Marketing and Community Relationships. “Residents watch baseball on TV, read the Sports section in our Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and there’s plenty of sports banter in the Dining Room.”
Floyd surrounds himself with Brewers fans.
Villa St. Francis is ready for the Crew to pick up the pace!
Villa St. Francis celebrates our 25th anniversary on June 20, 2015! Since our doors opened on June 20, 1990, we’ve provided superior resident-focused care for the elderly.
To express gratitude to the Felician Sisters, community leaders, and family members of residents past and present, Villa St. Francis is hosting a “garden party” on
June 20th, from 1:30-3:00 p.m., with outdoor mass to follow at 4:00 p.m. We’ll have hors d’oeuvres, music from the Milwaukee Hot Club, and time to mingle with the residents and Felician Sisters.
It’s going to be a wonderful day to spend time outdoors with loved ones and neighbors to celebrate the mission of Villa St. Francis!
Colleen has been at Villa St. Francis for nearly 6 years. She’s 89 years young, and spoke to us with enthusiasm about her career, children, and how to pursue happiness.
What did you do for a living, Colleen?
“I went to nursing school at St. Cloud Hospital. I was a post-op nurse, at first, and then I went to school to learn psychiatry, and spent 20 years in psychiatry, [as a psychiatric nurse].”
“When I moved to Milwaukee, I worked at the VA Hospital. I loved the interaction with the patients. I think our aim [as nurses] was to make life easier for them, and to help bring the patients into reality, and help them accept life as it was. If I could do that, I always felt I had achieved something.”
Do you have a hobby?
“When I first came to Milwaukee, I didn’t do too much until my sister taught me how to bowl. In that effort, I met my husband. Once we got married, I was so busy with children, bowling was the last thing on my mind!”
“I’m a crocheter,” Colleen added. “I crochet mostly afghans, and I make shawls.”
What kind of advice would you give about being happy?
“Be kind to others,” she said. “No matter what it is you do, when you have been kind, you walk away with a feeling of being able to help somebody.”