George & Jessie Hellhake
George and Jessie Hellhake have lived in a lot of different places. Before moving to Simpson Meadows in late 2021, they had spent 16 years in a large 55-plus community in central Florida—but it was far from their three sons and their families—six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. “Our children asked us to move closer,” says the couple, who have reconnected with friends from their days of living in Downingtown and Eagle.
“We talk on the phone with neighbors we used to hang out with,” says Jessie. “We met new couples that recently moved in and have made good friends with Pat and Hank Hiddleson and Hank’s mother, Mary.” George and Mary were both born in Germany and speak German together.
A global perspective
George came to the United States as a young teenager with his mother and sister, who were American citizens. They came first to New York, then to Newark, New Jersey, where his mother had three aunts. A few years later, that’s where he met Jessie.
“My friend had a girlfriend, but no car. I had a car, so my friend and his girlfriend asked Jessie to tag along on a date,” George recalls. She was 15 and he was a few years older. “We went out on the highway to Watermelon King. It was just a place where you can go as a teenager.”
Eventually, they moved to Georgia, where they got married. George studied aeronautical and industrial engineering at Georgia Tech and went on to work for the US Air Force and ran a division at General Electric that was responsible for marketing aerospace systems overseas. Jessie worked as a secretary at the Coats & Clark thread company, supporting three sales representatives and a vice president until her family started to grow. Two boys were born in Georgia, and another was born after they moved to Dayton, Ohio, where George served with the Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The family moved several times—from Ohio to York, Pennsylvania, then back to Dayton, to Cincinnati, and then to Downingtown, where Jessie volunteered in the Beaver Creek and Uwchlan Hills schools as a teacher’s assistant and George was employed by General Electric in King of Prussia, PA. They also lived in Saudi Arabia for three years.
They traveled a lot, too. “One year we took all our children and one grandchild to Hawaii at Christmas. Another year, we all went to Germany to see George’s family and we saw Jessie’s family in Scotland. We also went to France, Austria, the Netherlands, England, and Russia,” says George, who has visited 106 countries. Israel was his favorite, aside from Germany. Jessie liked India. On their own, they visited Italy, France and Germany, too.
Staying active and engaged
They documented their travels and more on film, and that’s one of the projects that’s keeping them busy at Simpson Meadows. “George is working on putting all 70,000 photos we have ever taken into digital format. He took every photo out of all their books, and they’re all on the computer now,” says Jessie. “But now we need to organize them all.”
They’re also starting a pinochle club at Simpson Meadows and working on bringing bocce to the community. They exercise five days a week and are checking out local golf courses. They like the atmosphere here. “It’s comfortable, not overbearing,” the couple says. If they want to enjoy a touch of elegance, they can. “We’re together most of the time, in everything we do,” they say. “When we have dinner, we bring our own candles down along with music, and we dress up for dinner. It is a night out with friends.”
Call us today at 610-269-8400 or submit the form below to see for yourself why George & Jessie Hellhake and other seniors choose Simpson Meadows for retirement living.