Meet Carol Resko
She’s Called Simpson House Home Since 2017
Music makes the world go ‘round
Carol Resko was born in Pittsburgh and raised in a mill town in western Pennsylvania by parents who loved symphony, opera, and big band so she was exposed to music at an early age. Perhaps it’s not surprising that when the pandemic demanded lockdowns and distancing, Carol spread music—and smiles—throughout Simpson House.
Beginnings of life-long learning
Although many of Carol’s uncles left high school to work in the mills, “I had a whim to go to college,” she says. She earned a degree in home economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MEd from Penn State and went on to teach family and consumer sciences/home economics in the Steel Valley School District. She taught at the middle school for a few years and then at the high school—a total of 35 years. After her daughters had grown, she went back to school and earned a second masters degrees from Penn State—one in home economics education and the other in workforce education.
“My youngest daughter got interest-free loans because I became the third person in college in our family at the same time,” Carol says.
A partner and traveling companion
The same year that she graduated from college, Carol went to a funeral where she was introduced to the man who would become her husband. A few months later, they went on their first date—dinner and a show near Pittsburgh.
“Paul and I were well suited to each other from the start,” Carol recalls. “There was a lot of humor and we were very attuned to each other.”
Carol and Paul raised two daughters, Sarah who lives nearby in Bala Cynwyd and Stella who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The couple saw the world. They traveled through the South Pacific and South America, far enough south that they could see Antarctica without setting foot on it. They saw much of Europe. They visited the Scandinavian countries more than once.
“The fjords of Norway are some of the best sceneries in the world,” Carol says. “I’d put Alaska and Chile up there, too.”
In Egypt, they visited the pyramids and the Sphinx, where Carol employed a clever ruse. “I started speaking Spanish to my husband to avoid being targeted as an American to be sold everything to. It worked!” she says.
Sharing the joy of music
Carol moved to Simpson House in 2017 while Paul stayed with their daughter Sarah. A quiet and gentle man, he passed in February 2020.
“We never had a chance to have a service for him because of the lockdown,” she says. But she did memorialize him with music.
Early in the pandemic, she and other residents started sewing masks. They made more than 2,400 adult and pediatric masks and donated them to Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As Carol was working with the other resident, a conversation they shared sparked a unique idea from Carol.
“Bertha mentioned missing her hymns, so that night I downloaded hymns so she could listen to them. Someone else said they liked piano music,” says Carol of the beginnings of the Making Music/Making Art programs at Simpson House. “We were just downloading for people to keep everyone happy during that time.”
After the first lockdown ended, Carol played music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. At the end of the performance, she played a piece that she originally intended for Paul’s memorial.
“We realized we could send church services and music from the chapel via the closed-circuit TV system here at Simpson House,” she relates. “I would make music programs to send to all the buildings. I got fan mail: ‘Keep the music coming!’”
Carol downloaded music videos such as Guy Lombardo, Big Band Dance Music, and Spiritual music. They also showed different styles of art. Sharing music and art, coordinating the ushers in the altar guild, and serving the community in times of need all demonstrate how Carol lives her own advice: “Have a reason to get up in the morning—a goal to reach each day.”
Call us today at 215-878-3600 or submit the form below to see for yourself why Carol and other devoted people choose Simpson House for retirement living.