Volume 14 | Issue 5
May 2020
Moosehaven News
Heart of the Community
Upcoming Events
  • Due to precautions in response to the COVID-19 crisis, all communal activities are discontinued. Information changes daily and we will continue to keep you informed.
Did I Get The Job?
On Friday, June 1, 2007, I received a call at my home. I heard a voice say, "Marina? This is John Capes from Moosehaven." I quickly responded, "Did I get the job?" And thus began a 13 year journey! Since that day, I've been fired more times than I can count but I just keep coming back to work as I'm sure he was always joking!! Right? Um, John?

In the last 13 years, I've watched as the campus and the culture of Moosehaven changed. Moosehaven is now known in our fraternity, community, state and in our industry as a top-rated retirement community located on a stunning campus delivering the best of care. We are no longer the fraternity's "Best kept secret!"

Residents of our surrounding communities enjoy our Heart of the Community events and follow us on social media...we are on the map! Fraternal members are starting to get it...Moosehaven is a benefit of membership; the trophy awarded for service and dedication. We are no longer considered the "Poor Farm!"

The plan for Moosehaven that John implemented those many years ago is complete and he more than accomplished the tasks he set for himself and his team. Over a decade in the making, his dream to leave Moosehaven better than he found it was realized.

But our work here is far from over. It will be the role of Helen Taylor, our incoming Executive Director, to establish a new dream, a new goal for herself and her team.
And so we begin.....

Congratulations John, I truly wish for you a blessed and happy retirement, you deserve it! Don't miss me too much... I know, I know...."I'm fired!"

Marina Mathews
Director of Communications & Events
Look Who's Talking
Just John
John Capes, Executive Director
It’s sometimes said that the best time to start thinking about your retirement is before the boss does. With that in mind, I will retire as Executive Director of Moosehaven on May 31. 

Reflecting back to those early years, there was much to do and many hard changes were required. So much has changed since then. Where once stood old, dilapidated and abandoned buildings is now Brandon Place. Dementia services previously offered in a building poorly designed for such services are now provided in Katherine Smith Special Needs Hall. The new Katherine Smith Hall – yes, there was a previous Katherine Smith Hall - offers residential living in a family atmosphere to residents experiencing age-related confusion. Centennial Hall, which stands where there was once a rat infested caboose and a no longer necessary water tower, provides modern apartment style living and beautiful dining facilities to Moose Life congregate residents. Sidewalks and landscaping transformed Moosehaven’s campus into a beautiful, green and serene setting along the St. Johns River for residents to enjoy.

It hasn’t all been about buildings, though. Countless new processes enhance both the quality and efficiency of the services offered to residents. New programs, especially activities, were added throughout the years. The "Heart of the Community" program, which began life at Moosehaven, brings thousands of visitors to the campus every year. 

Thanks to the hard work, support and patience of so many, Moosehaven today is a modern and beautiful retirement community. In addition to earning and maintaining a Five Star quality rating, Moosehaven is recognized as a Best of Clay County Senior Services, Center of Excellence and US News and World Report Best US Nursing Home. 

While it’s great to reflect on the many successes and accolades of the past 13 years, my mind is also filled with other memories – some funny, some not so much. For example, there was the lightning strike that greeted visitors to the campus from the 2007 Tampa Convention and set Chancellors Halls on fire – not so funny. Oh, and what about the Moosehaven presentation at the 2010 Nashville convention when resident Isabella Meade decided to show off her “Hootchy Kootchy” dance at the end of her presentation? That was funny. But, the best was still to come as resident Julia Tucker literally took over the stage and the show by refusing to surrender the podium. I can still hear her say, “I’m not finished yet!” Bill, if you’re reading this please forgive me, but the look on your face when you turned to me and whispered “What is she doing?” That was truly hysterical.

Then there are the faces and names of so many residents. There was Ms. Lillie - always happy to pat any unwary man’s behind and Jordan Bean – man of a thousand jobs and a thousand stories to go with them. I can still picture Betty Kennedy, the former Rockette, proudly showing off her kick line skills whenever “New York New York” was played. And, of course, I will always remember Pilgrim Charley Bunn who gave Moosehaven, “another day in paradise.” Charley left his Pilgrim jacket with instruction for his wife Betty to give it to me when I earned the Pilgrim degree. Charley, I wear it with pride. There are so many friends who left their imprint on me and on Moosehaven - far too many to recite, but all remembered. 

What a ride it’s been. What started as a job truly became a passion.

Please know that this was a difficult decision. But, as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 - “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…”  Moosehaven is at the beginning of a new decade, one that will be filled with new opportunities and challenges. It is the perfect time to make way for new leadership, new direction and new ideas. 

Thanks to the foresight and might I add good judgement of that long ago search committee, I am blessed to have served the retired members of this great fraternity for the past 13 years. It has truly been a pleasure. 

And so, at the end of my final Just John, I am reminded of the words of that immortal philosopher Winnie the Pooh; “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

What will I do next? Well, “I don’t know.” 

But, now and forever, I am… Just John

Bill's Board
Bill Tippins, Director of Operations
I read a joke on the internet that went something like this: “During the COVID 19 Safer at Home order I finally had time to indulge myself in all of my favorite hobbies. Unfortunately it turned out that my hobbies are going to restaurants, going to bars and being a part of the crowd at the club.” The part about going to restaurants hits a little close to home. I never realized how many times my wife and I went out to eat in a month, that is until they closed all the restaurants and we couldn’t go. We missed going out. We tried to decide what we missed about eating out, was it different food, different atmosphere, getting out of the house, not cooking and cleaning or just being around other people. We decided it was all of those reasons. But we also decided restaurants are not what we missed the most during this time.

They say that you discover who you really are during times of stress, change and upheaval, particularly when there are circumstances beyond your control. How you behave during these times is very telling. As Helen talked about last month, do you show gratitude, positivity and loving kindness? Do you lash out at others, complain, feel sorry for yourself and generally act selfishly. Some people go to extremes of very positive or very negative behavior but most of us fall somewhere on a line in between the two. The question is how much does your behavior change and in which direction.

So here is a question to think about for today: What do you miss the most?

Is there someone you miss spending time with? Who are they to you and what do you miss by not spending time with them?

Is there an activity you miss? Do you miss fishing, dancing, playing games, working out or just working your job?

Do you miss a larger group of people? Do you miss having a meal all together in the dining room, having a drink or two at A.A., parties in the Michigan building or services in the New York Chapel?

Do you not miss a thing? Are you perfectly happy just being where you are?

I did not list these things just to remind you of what you can’t do right now. I would prefer you smile when you read the newsletter, but this time, I really want you to think about it. Your answer will be personal and private. However, it will tell you about the things that make you happy and unhappy in your life here at Moosehaven. Sometimes you don’t know what really makes you happy until it is gone. Other times you realize you can be perfectly happy even though many things you like/want are gone. Thinking about how to be happy during these hard times will pay off now and it will also pay off later, in the summer time when living is easy.

If you are going through hard times and wonder where God is remember the teacher is quiet during the test. (Author unknown)

Yes, I know it was more than one question.

Bill Tippins
Helen Taylor, Director of Resident Services, Chaplain
How do you view your life? Do you think your best days are behind you, or are your best days are ahead of you? 

“The best is yet to come.” William Shakespeare

When Executive Director, John Capes reminded me that this month’s article is his last, it got me thinking about the question I presented you with above, “How do you view your life?” 
At retirement, one may wonder, “Are my best days ahead?”  Retirement should be an exciting time; a new chapter filled with uncharted paths.  It’s not the end of the story, it’s the beginning! 

We all need to be reminded that we are defined by who we are, not what we do. 

All too often we hear people say things like, I’m a has been, I’m not as young as I used to be, back in the good ole days, I can’t do that, I’m not a spring chicken anymore and the list goes on and on. If you really think that you don’t have any more good-ole days, you might as well not even get out of bed! Sound a little harsh? Think about it; why get up if there’s nothing to look forward to?    
I choose to think differently and I dare to believe that most of you think differently too. Do you believe the last chapters of your life can be your best?  Do you believe it?  I do!  Don’t let age be an enemy; it’s just a mile marker!  Don’t let your past hold you back, celebrate the journey ahead, embrace the new and expect each day to be your best!
“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.”   Unknown

So back to Executive Director, John Capes. Happy retirement John! We pray that you and Tina embrace every day that hasn’t happened yet and may God bless you both with good health and prosperity . M ay your retirement bring you all that you hope for.  We love you both and appreciate your love and dedication to all of us at Moosehaven. 

I leave you with a few thoughts for retirement
  • Retirement is like coming home one day and telling your wife, honey, I’m home… for good!
  • Retirement isn’t the end of the road, but just a turn in the road.
  • Now Fridays aren’t the best day of the week anymore… they all are!
  • Retirement is the only time in your life when time no longer equals money.
  • You have to put off being young until you can retire.
  • Enjoy working at living, rather than living at work.
  • There really are two lives we live. The first life and then the second life when we realize we only have one life.

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. C.S. Lewis

Simply Helen   

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future .”  Jeremiah 29:11
Up Close And Personal With
Delmer Teske
Rachel Meierdierck, Admissions Clerk
This month we get up close and personal with Delmer Teske. Del was born in Leduc, Alberta, Canada to Gustaf and Hilda Teske. Per Del, it is pronounced “lah-duke” and not “lay-duck”. Del has two siblings, sister Doreen and brother Douglas who both still live in Canada where they grew up. He remembers when they finally got electricity to their home in 1954. Del attended school at Leduc High School and after graduating completed correspondence courses in business administration and accounting.

Del met Delvera through mutual church groups that were meeting for a skating get together on his family farm. He was technically seeing a friend of hers…but Del and Delvera were meant to be! Del first visited the United States in 1957 while on his honeymoon with bride Delvera. They were in Wisconsin and, on a whim; he asked if she would like to live there. She asked if he was serious and he replied, “Yes!” and they made plans to relocate! By 1962, Del and Delvera were living in Wisconsin and Del had taken a position as a city bus driver. Del and Delvera were married for 57 ½ years and had three children: Donavon, Diane and Darren. Del has 5 grandchildren including a set of twin granddaughters. He also has a set of twin great-grandsons. They all reside in Wisconsin.

Del said he tried to join the military after he was a resident of the US but they would not accept him because he had two children. Del held many different jobs over the years. While growing up he worked the family dairy farm. They always had fresh milk, butter and ICE CREAM! Del’s favorite is vanilla. He recalls his mother using the butter churn for countless hours and then selling the fresh butter in town. He worked as a city bus driver in Milwaukee, he owned a fast food restaurant, was a radio announcer, a car salesman and he worked on the Alaskan pipeline! Del worked in Saudi Arabia bringing electricity to the country. The contract was split up so he came back to the states and worked as an ice road trucker for a time then went back to Saudi Arabia for 1 ½ years.

Del finally found his niche when he began his 18 year career with Moose International. Del retired August 31, 2005.
During his time with the Moose, Del had become good friends with another Moose member called Uncle Bob. When he was told that Bob needed a kidney Del said, “If I’m a match, you’ll get it.” Del was a perfect match and he didn’t shrink away from his promise. The story was written up in the Moose Magazine and Del’s friend Bob lived another 3 years because of his selflessness.

The first time Del heard about Moose was when he was a radio announcer. Two men in his area wanted to open a lodge. They explained what the fraternity was about, how it helped its members and the community. Del liked what he heard which turned out well because those two men made him the Governor of the lodge. That was in 1968. Del has sponsored 143 members, worked as an Administrator, been on the Ritual Team and was conferred the Pilgrim Degree of Merit. Del believes his role as an active Moose member is to talk about the Moose, get people interested and explain all of the benefits of Moose membership.

Del first learned about Moosehaven when he joined the fraternity during his orientation in 1968. He visited campus when we had our dedication of Buckeye Hall. Del decided to come to Moosehaven for security and so his children did not have to worry. “I will be taken care of.” Now that Del is living at Moosehaven with his Moose family, he enjoys shuffleboard, bingo and therapy. That’s right, therapy. Del said he needs and likes it because it will help him begin bowling and dancing again. SOON!

Del’s advice to the next generation is, “Realize life is not a ME situation, it’s a WE situation, a team effort.” Coming home to Moosehaven, for Del, has meant friendship, companionship, and concern for others.
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John Vansen
Bill Puda
Richard Kortus
Charlotte Shedd
Robert Woodworth
John Diebold
Pat Gorden
Albert Delio
Bettye Creasy
Frances Lane
Barbara Gehrlein
Evelyn Diebold
Whitey Burdick
Gloria Peterson
Frank Podzimek
Dorothy Vansen
Corey Werrbach
Wynema Clendenney

Thomas & Mary Donovan
Harold & Mary Embrey
John & Dorothy Vansen
Donald & Janet Bult
Jeffery & Ethel Weiskopf
Preston & Jean Lemon

Did You Know...?
  • We currently have 121 men and 177 women living at Moosehaven

  • We currently have 46 married couples living at Moosehaven

  • Our oldest resident is Rodney Krug at 98!

  • Our youngest resident is Corey Werrbach at 62!

  • Our longest married couple is Jack & Louise Purtee at 74 years!
We are Moose Proud! Last month when we acknowledged the resident ladies making the face masks for our staff and other residents, we mistakenly left out Lori Benz.

Lori, please accept our apologies for leaving you out as well as
our thanks for your support!!!