Loretta Maley – Simpson House

Loretta M.

People are friendly here. The staff is empathetic and they listen.

Although Loretta Maley had driven past Simpson House for 50 years, she didn’t get to know and appreciate what it offered until after her husband passed. That’s when she and a neighbor started visiting communities. Loretta found Simpson to be an affordable option.

She also loved the diversity of the community she found at Simpson House—a quality she experienced during the decade she spent teaching English at Overbrook High. “That was an incredible experience—something I never imagined,” she says. “I have found that here—the friendliness.

“You never know what you’ll find out about people.”  Says Loretta

The men in her life
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Loretta was raised in a suburb on the south shore of Lake Erie. Her father was a salesman who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, but never complained about his painful condition. She remembers an “uncomplicated” childhood, watching clouds and birds (careful to avoid the blue jays), roller skating and exploring the block. As she got older, she’d walk to the library or go with neighbors to watch minor league baseball in a nearby park and get ice cream afterward. She’d swim in a pool near the lake and sat under the dining room table listening to her mother and grandmother tell family stories. There was no television in the house until Loretta was in sixth grade.

Loretta’s brother was 14 years older—when she was born, he was already a freshman in high school. He taught her the Greek alphabet before she even learned her ABC’s in English, and then brought her around to show off to people. “I was ‘chick bait’ for him,” she laughs. He eventually became a writer for military publications and settled in New York. Although she didn’t see him often, he remained a significant figure in her life.

She went on to attend Seton Hill College in western Pennsylvania, where she formed close friendships. At the time, it was an all-women’s college run by the Sisters of Charity. During her freshman year, her blind date for a Valentine’s Day Sweetheart’s Ball turned out to be another significant man in her life.

“I wore a scoop-necked red-and-white fitted dress and had the perfect pageboy fluff haircut that night,” she says of the evening she met John Maley. At the end of the night, “he was smart enough to shake my hand and tell me he had a wonderful time. He asked me if he could call again—and he did,” she recalls.

An accountant and auditor, he was five and a half years her senior. (It was the business club at his alma mater that organized the dance.) When he left again for the service, he told her to date others. “I did and I had fun,” she says, “but eventually we got back together.”

Contributing to community
In the meantime, she started student teaching in a consolidated school district near Greensboro, Pennsylvania. Her students were children from town and nearby farms, and she was startled that few were in school on the first day of hunting season. After graduation, she spent a year teaching in a public school in Cleveland.

Loretta and John married in 1967 and moved to Broomall, where she taught at Marple Newtown High School. They moved in 1970 to Bala Cynwyd, where they raised five children. They were active in the community. Loretta’s service on the board of The Belmont Hills and on committees of the Lower Merion Library Association led to her appointment to the local election board. When the kids were young, she participated in a babysitting co-op, and got to know people from throughout the township. She also helped with the home-and-school associations for her kids’ schools, with various Girl Scout troops, and spent a lot of time watching the kids play sports.

When her youngest was in middle school, Loretta started substituting in the Lower Merion School District and volunteered to coach debate. Eventually she went back to school herself, at St. Joseph’s University, and earned a Master’s degree. She spent 10 years teaching English at Overbook High School.

“I was happy and grateful to be at Overbrook High School and to have seen teenagers in multiple settings: rural, small town, suburban, and urban,” Loretta says.

Still serving

In August 2020, Loretta moved to Simpson House. The community soon took advantage of her experience, connecting her with an opportunity to volunteer in the library. “As soon as they know you have a talent, they get your number. They’re very supportive,” she says. It fits right in with Loretta’s philosophy of aging well, which is to “keep a sense of humor and stay active.”

Call us today at 215-452-5051 or submit the form below to see for yourself why Loretta Maley and other seniors choose Simpson House for retirement living.

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