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Get to Know Our Residents at Westminster Village Terre Haute

By June 27, 2024Blog
Residents delight in a conversation at Westminster Village in beautiful Terre Haute, Indiana

At Westminster Village, our Continuing Care Retirement Community would not be what it is without our residents. It is a privilege to be able to serve the wonderful men and women in our community and learn their stories. Each month, we put together a publication highlighting one of our residents to help our community get to know each other better. We love our residents, and we are sure you will too. That’s why we want to introduce you to some of them:

Mary Halsted

Mary Halsted HeadshotMary Halsted was born in Maryland but soon moved to Ohio before settling in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, where she spent her formative years. Mary’s father, a war veteran, eventually became a successful salesman in the auto industry, while her mother dedicated her time to volunteer work. Mary fondly recalls a happy childhood filled with books and a deep love for reading, a passion that continues to this day.

Mary’s family includes a daughter, Heather, who is the Director of Art at Kohl’s and lives in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, with her husband and their pets, Winston and Mr. Darcy. Despite the distance, Mary makes it a point to visit them frequently, enjoying her trips to Milwaukee every summer.

Mary’s academic journey took her from Grosse Pointe High School to Master College for Women, and then to the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in Russian Studies. She later pursued graduate studies in History and Guidance Counseling at Wayne State University. It was at the University of Michigan that she met her husband, an avid bridge player who later became a successful CPA.

Mary’s professional career began as an Employment Counselor for the Michigan Employment Security Commission. After taking a break to raise her children, she resumed her career as a lead interpreter at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village. Following her husband’s career move to Terre Haute, Mary transitioned into human resources, spending 20 years at Union Hospital as it grew significantly. Her career trajectory showcases her adaptability and commitment to helping others.

Upon retirement, Mary and her husband decided to join Westminster Village, a decision influenced by their positive experiences with Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). Mary quickly became an active and cherished member of our community. Her involvement spans various committees and programs, including serving as Chair of the Library Committee, Secretary of the Dining Services Committee, Executive Council member, and Marketing Committee member. Mary’s contributions to community life are invaluable, reflecting her vibrant and social nature.

In her leisure time, Mary enjoys reading, playing online bridge, watching PBS, and participating in various community activities. Her presence and dedication greatly enhance the fabric of life at Westminster Village.

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Residents enjoy a meal together at Westminster Village in Terre Haute, Indiana

Gene England

Gene England HeadshotGet to know Gene England! Gene’s journey from a small town in Texas to becoming a cherished member of our community is a testament to his dedication, passion, and enduring spirit.

Born in Luling, Texas, in 1940, Gene spent a happy childhood as the only child of a close-knit family. He began his educational journey in the public schools of Luling, culminating in a BA in English with a minor in History from the University of Texas, Austin. Gene furthered his education with an MA and PhD in English from the same university. During his graduate studies, he met Rosemary Cochran, whom he married in 1963. Their family grew with the births of their sons, Meric and Scott. Gene’s academic career led them to Indiana, where he accepted a position with the English faculty at Indiana State University (ISU) in 1969.

Over his 33-year tenure at ISU, Gene made significant contributions, specializing in American Literature and teaching various courses across several departments. His roles included Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of General Education. His dedication earned him numerous accolades, including the Caleb Millis Distinguished Teaching Award and the President’s Medal. Gene and Rosemary’s sons, Meric and Scott, have established their careers and families in Terre Haute, contributing to the community. Gene takes immense pride in his family’s accomplishments, including celebrating the artistic legacy of Rosemary, who passed away in 2009.

In 2019, Gene decided to join the Westminster Village community, influenced by positive experiences and the warm welcome he received. Here, he remains active, serving on committees for Dining Services and Community Life, and participating in the Village Singers and the Poetry Discussion Group. Gene cherishes the proximity of his family and the friendships he has formed within the community. Gene’s story is one of lifelong learning, teaching, and community engagement. We are honored to have him as part of our Westminster Village family and celebrate his remarkable life and contributions.

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Dorothy Jerse

Doroty Jerse headshotBorn in Chicago, IL, Dorothy grew up during the Great Depression. Her family moved to Des Plaines when she was two, and her household included extended family members. She attended local schools and graduated from Maine Township High School in 1944, sharing this alma mater with Hillary Clinton. Dorothy then enrolled at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she met Bill Jerse, a WWII veteran. They married in 1947 and enjoyed 70 happy years together. Their four children now live across the United States, and their extended family includes six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Dorothy and Bill’s life together was marked by numerous relocations. Starting in a small mining town in Illinois, they moved to Madison, WI, for graduate work, then to Kalamazoo, MI. Their passion for the West took them to Greeley, CO, Flagstaff, AR, and Santa Rosa, CA. In 1964, they returned to the Midwest when Bill joined the faculty at Indiana State University (ISU) in Terre Haute. Here, Dorothy completed her college degree at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in 1975.

Dorothy’s professional journey began as an assistant Welcome Wagon hostess, a role that introduced her to every area of Terre Haute and women from diverse backgrounds. She then worked with girls and teens at the old YMCA and later served as the curator of the Vigo County Historical Society Museum. She eventually became the Executive Director of the YMCA, a position she held until 1990. Additionally, she co-owned the Bridal Cottage.

A passionate writer, Dorothy contributed columns to the Tribune-Star and TH Living magazine for many years and authored or co-authored seven local history books. She and Bill also loved dancing and were active members of the German Oberlander Club. Dorothy’s collection of old valentines led to her involvement with the National Valentine Collectors Association, where she gave over 100 talks in Indiana and Illinois. Dorothy’s accolades include the “More Saga of the Wabash” award from Governor Evan Bayh, the History Maker award from the Vigo County Historical Society, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

In 2015, Dorothy and Bill moved to Westminster Village, drawn by its proximity to their Rea Park neighborhood and the engaging programs and beautiful grounds. Since moving in, Dorothy has made numerous friends among the staff and residents. Now at 97, Dorothy reflects fondly on her past, including her role as chair of the Vigo County Public Library’s “Celebrate the Century” program in 1998 and 1999. She humorously notes that she may need to start planning her own century celebration for 2026, and she can’t think of a better place to celebrate than at Westminster Village.

A happy group of friends enjoy a game of cards at Westminster Village in Terre Haute, Indiana

Join us at Westminster Village and become part of our community where every resident story is valued, and every resident is celebrated. Come meet our residents, explore our beautiful campus, and see for yourself why so many have chosen to make Westminster Village their home. We look forward to welcoming you and being a part of the next chapter of your story. Contact us today to learn more.

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