Meet The Walks

Meet The Walks

They’ve Called Simpson House Home Since 2019

Familiarity breeds contentment

Bob Walk worked as the chaplain at Simpson House for 20 years. Now he and his wife, Kathy, are happy to call it “home.”

“Being part of a very caring community of staff and residents, Kathy and I decided to move here in 2019, buoyed by a retirement community that offers three levels of care and is close to Center City, on the edge of Fairmount Park and just down from the Mann Center,” Bob says.

“I always appreciated the camaraderie of the residents and the lovely living facilities. I was happy to join Bob in living here,” says Kathy.

Parallel paths connect
The youngest of three children, Kathy was born and grew up in the Rhawnhurst section of Philadelphia and graduated from Frankford High School. Bob was born in Philadelphia, too, although he also lived in Pittsburgh and in Salem, New Jersey, as a child. His father was an American Baptist clergy person, and his mother helped in the ministry without pay. Bob and Kathy met when they were attending Eastern Baptist College, now Eastern University, in St. Davids. Kathy majored in American Studies and minored in Early Childhood Education. Bob went on to attend Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary), and later earned a master’s degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Andover Newton Theological School.

Roles evolve
Kathy and Bob were married in 1965. They had three children—Lisa, Laurie and Jonathan. Today they remain deeply involved with their adult children and their two granddaughters, five grandsons and a step-grandson. As the family matured, the couple explored different opportunities.

“After being a stay-at-home mom, I began working at the Intermediate Unit of Pennsylvania,” says Kathy. The “IU,” as it is known, provides programs and education for children with special physical and mental challenges. “For 30 years I worked in Special Education with children from ages 3 to 20 years. The classes I taught included children with autism and learning disabilities, as well as those who needed physical and emotional support.”

After 30 years of pastoring three American Baptist churches, Bob came to Simpson House in February 2000 as the assistant chaplain.

“In my late 50s I was looking to transition from pastoring to chaplaincy to make better use of my pastoral care skills,” he says. “I was attracted by the positive, caring reputation of Simpson House and by the compassion and skills of my supervisor, Rev. David Adam.”

Bringing it all home
As Simpson House residents, Kathy and Bob have plenty of time to pursue hobbies and to take advantage of all the community has to offer. Kathy still has an interest in early American history and collects antiques from that era. She also enjoys gardening, reading, decorating and rearranging the furniture in their apartment.

“I love to collect antiques that tell a story,” says Kathy, who believes that staying involved in interests and hobbies is a key to aging well.

Bob also enjoys reading, watching movies and following all the Philly sports teams, and he is part of the Simpson House writing group. Another hobby is Zentangling—a drawing technique that combines meditation and art. On most days you can find him playing disc golf at Edgely Fields in Fairmount Park, across the street from his home at Simpson House.

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