Mary Lou M.
“It’s a really wonderful place to live with values
that I admire.”
“Every person we encountered here was caring and attentive—not in a hurry to get out of a conversation,” says Mary Lou McKee, who moved to Jenner’s Pond with her husband, David, in 2014. “It didn’t feel clique-ish. People went out of their way to say ‘hello’ and invite you to their table. We felt very comfortable here.”
At the time, they didn’t really want to move, but David was 11 years Mary Lou’s senior, and he wanted her to be safe if something happened to him. They had relatives in communities in Delaware County, and the couple looked at places in Chester and Lancaster counties. “We fell in love with Jenner’s Pond. We both knew that this place—if something happened to me, he’d be fine; if something happened to him, I’d be fine,” she says. “I know if someone asks me how I’m doing here, they actually want to know how I’m doing.”
A great blind date
Mary Lou was born and raised in Media. She was active in scouting all through school. “The troop stayed together through our senior year,” she recalls. She spent a summer in Denmark as an exchange student through the American Field Service, and later worked with the program to facilitate other exchange students. She also attended Marietta College in Ohio.
She met David, who grew up in Rose Valley, on a blind date that friends arranged. They played tennis. “I stepped on the ball and sprained my ankle, and he had to carry me off the court,” she says of that first date. “We had 57 years together.”
David worked for Sun Shipbuilding for 32 years until the company closed. Mary Lou, who had been a stay-at-home mom, went to work, first as a legal secretary and then in Medical Records at Nuclear Imaging Systems, a heart imaging company. She also served as a church secretary for 18 years. “We were in the First United Methodist Church in Media for 60 years,” she says. “It’s interesting to be in a church from the beginning, where they have seen you go through different ages.”
Mary Lou has happy memories of doing things outdoors as a family, as well as traveling after the kids were grown. They did a three-day wilderness trek in North Carolina through Slickrock Expeditions with their son and daughter-in-law “You can only bring 10 people and you need to backpack everything in and everything out,” she explains. “You need to leave it exactly how you found it. It takes two days to come down the mountain. Because it was early spring, we were trekking through different seasons. The guide was teaching us survival techniques.”
In addition to playing and learning together, the family also reached out to others. They became involved in housing church-sponsored refugees. As their own children grew older, Mary Lou and David served as youth advocates for runaway teenagers. At one point, David’s parents sold their house and bought a house in Wallingford together with David and Mary Lou. “His mom was in a wheelchair and his dad had dementia. We were in that home and we stuck with that all the way through,” Mary Lou says. “We had three generations of family in the house for 20 years.”
The people make the place
Mary Lou and David stayed in the house for a few years after his parents passed, then downsized to a rancher and eventually moved to Jenner’s Pond. It was a great move.
“It’s a really wonderful place to live. We have a diverse community of highly intelligent people with interesting stories and incredible expertise,” says Mary Lou, who has served as president of the Residents Council and also served on the Dining Committee.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, David was on hospice. The community enabled the family to visit. It was just one of the ways that Jenner’s Pond supported residents and families during that challenging time. “Having had a chance to be on Council, you have a broader picture of what it takes to keep this place at the quality that we like,” says Mary Lou. “During the pandemic, we worked really hard to tell staff how much we appreciate how hard they have worked. I think it’s exemplary.”
Call us today at 610-869-6800 or submit the form below to see for yourself why Mary Lou McKee and other seniors choose Jenner’s Pond for retirement living.