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Nancy Freed



Nancy has been with Kendal at Oberlin since the year before it opened. What she thought would be a temporary, part-time job was transformed over the years to the point that, thanks to her writing and organizational skills, she is a key resource, particularly with marketing, philanthropy, and Publicity Plugs.


As she remembers the past twenty years, she can’t help wondering how can that be! The Kendal office was upstairs in a bank building on Main Street, and it then seemed like such a long drive from her home. The first person Nancy met in the office was Marcia Heckert, who was the “go to” person for everything you needed to know. George Bent interviewed her, and Barbara Thomas told her “this will be a unique, resident-driven community, with a philosophy you have to experience to understand. The Founders are dedicated to making it work.”


There was such a spirit and soul to Kendal, even before the bricks and mortar, and its philosophy sets it apart from other retirement communities. Nancy had not only worked at another CCRC prior to coming to Kendal, but she also visited many others and found there is nothing like this! The other great thing for her was being involved in a new from-the-ground-up project. She feels she had an added advantage in seeing it grow since she was not here every day.


Nancy really appreciates the sense of family one feels at Kendal, with the support, love and encouragement as well as growth. That applies to both staff and residents. During her years here two of her girls have married, and now she and her husband Bob have experienced the loss of parents. Nancy always felt supported through both the good and bad, as well as being able to help support others. Kendal at Oberlin is truly a family and the experience here has been a gift. She cites the marketing team members, who have been together for most of the past 20 years. It has been life-changing, and a true melding of staff and residents.


Looking forward, Nancy notes that, as a 90+ year-old friend said, “change is inevitable and not always easy, so either you move with it or become stagnant and left behind.” The philosophy here won't change, but residents – through the experiences and perceptions they bring and changes arising in KORA and its committees – will keep us evolving. It is the soul and spirit that will be the constants.


She and Bob have three grown daughters and five grandchildren. One daughter is here in town and the other two are in Tampa and New York. As for being a grandmother, it is probably the greatest role Nancy has ever known! Working here has been a wonderful ride – it is so special when you love your work and the people you work with.


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