Meet Henry Morneau

Meet Henry Morneau

He’s Called Jenner’s Pond Home Since 2015

An active life is par for the course

“Don’t retire. Refire!” That is Henry Morneau’s mantra for aging well. It refers to keeping “all cylinders going”: the head, the heart, the body and the soul.

A desire to stay active and engaged and firing all cylinders brought him and his wife, Virginia, to Jenner’s Pond from Delaware. In 2015, they looked at many communities within a 50-mile radius and settled on Jenner’s Pond. At the time, they were both 72.

“It was the most active adult community we found,” Henry says. It hasn’t disappointed.

Acing a date
Henry first saw Virginia on the tennis courts at a community college where they lived in Connecticut. He asked her to a formal dance and they wound up dating, eventually marrying 55 years ago. In 1968 they moved to Delaware, where Henry worked for DuPont. He started as an electrical engineer in the company’s Engineering Research Division and specialized in Industrial Automation & Robotics. Later he shifted to Information Technology and retired at 56. His last 10 years he served as the company’s director of scientific computing.

Virgina and Henry Morneau

Henry and Virginia raised three children—who are now spread out across the country. They have many happy memories of times when the children were growing up. One of the family traditions was returning to Connecticut for Christmas every year to be with grandparents, and many aunts and uncles. Another tradition were the family camping trips – one year picking a northern destination and the next a southern destination. “Camping was a great way to get away from all the distractions that keep you from having quality family time,” he says.

Golf and gold medals
At age 50 Henry was diagnosed with an acute case of multiple sclerosis (MS). Where some people might have been devastated, he started to do research. One of the books he read is Love, Medicine & Miracles: Lessons Learned About Self-Healing From a Surgeon’s Experience with Exceptional Patients by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D. The author suggests that upbeat attitude, healthy diet, exercise and spirituality all can have a positive impact on the immune system and promote healing and recovery.

Henry has taken the book’s message to heart. Two years ago, he and Virginia traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he played golf in the 2019 National Senior Games. He placed 5th among 59 players in the 75–79 age bracket in the four-day event.

“I followed Henry, walking around the course all four days,” says Virginia. “Nine miles each day at an altitude of more than 5,200 feet. I think I deserve a gold medal!”

Service and spirituality
Henry and Virginia don’t have to travel across the country to fire up their head, heart and soul. Henry is active with the Jenner’s Pond Tech Help Group, which provides support and education for residents who need help with using computer, audio, video and electronic technology so they can use these tools to enhance their quality of life. He’s also active with the Investment Club, which is currently using Zoom for its meetings. Henry is teaching people how to participate and run Zoom meetings. Virginia is part of the quilting group, and she enjoys using the community’s walking trails and taking photos of the local flora, which she documents using their Latin and common names and posts them online for people to view.

Both are leaders in Jenner’s Ponds Catholic community, which holds a weekly prayer group, monthly Mass and hosts socials as well. The group also distributes Advent and Lenten prayer books to members.

The Morneau’s are using the StoryWorth platform to document their family history. By answering a question a week, they accumulate stories that are used to create a Family History Album at the end of the year. In addition, their annual Christmas letters, which they have been writing since the birth of their first child, 51 years ago, also adds richness to the family history.

As if all that weren’t enough to keep them busy, Henry and Virginia also serve as Jenner’s Pond ambassadors, hosting prospective new residents who are thinking about moving to this active community.

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