Resident Bios & Testimonials

From Our Residents...

Read to learn more about the experiences of few of our long-time residents.

Harriet

Harriet has always been one to see a need and fill the need. She was raised in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. She loved the little town and grew up with a group of twelve girlfriends who might have gotten into little trouble. When the war came she had family serving and felt the desire to do her part, at the time not old enough to serve the country she assisted in the victory gardens to provide food for her community in the time of need. She talked to a recruiter for the Marines who told her she should not enlist until she was twenty years old. After high school she attended college at Stillwater for one year and worked in the payroll department as a secretary. When she finally turned twenty she enlisted in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve and was sent off to boot camp wearing a bright yellow suit, hat, and gloves. After she completed a hot and brutal summer of boot camp she was stationed in Washington D.C. at the Marine Corps headquarters in Arlington. Harriet was thrilled to find out they did not have a typewriter available and she was able to become a clerk. She spent her time inventorying personal effects than later handled officers discharges. When the war ended she moved back to Oklahoma and decided to finish her degree at Oklahoma A&M using the G.I. Bill. Harriet completed her degree in sociology and began work at the V.A. as a keypunch operator. Harriet went on a blind date where she met her late husband Ben who was a WWII veteran. After they married they moved to Konawa, where her husband owned a department store. They had three children which have blessed her with three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Harriet feels her children are her greatest accomplishment. When her daughter was a senior in high school, Harriet began working as a social worker for Department of Human Services then became a supervisor in Ada, Oklahoma. Harriet said the secret to a long life is simply being fortunate, things happen out of your control, no one gets sick or injured on purpose. She currently spends her time volunteering at the Temple sewing pillows for mastectomy patients here in Tulsa.

Ed

Olen Edwin is a focused, driven man who has never let anything get in his way. Ed was born and raised in Altus, Oklahoma, which is where he met and began dating his wife, Susan, in high school. He took an interest playing football and exercising. After high school, Ed attended Oklahoma University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Geology and a minor in Chemistry and Physics. His wife, Susan, followed him to Oklahoma University. They later got married and had three children and now have nine grandchildren. Ed joined the Air Force and became a pilot flying Beechcraft T24’s, B25’s, and C119 airplanes. He was deployed to Korea and was stationed at K-6 P'Yong Taek Airdrome. When he returned home, Ed went back to Oklahoma University to attend law school. Ed was the Note Editor for the Law Review. After finishing his law degree he began working as a law clerk in the office of the Chief Federal Judge, eastern Oklahoma district, and became licensed by the Bar in three states. Throughout this period Ed was called back twice for active duty; once to fly for the Berlin Air Lift, and again during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ed later began working at Exxon in Memphis, Tennessee. He was always favored and was sought after by other companies. While practicing international law, a highlight was spending six weeks in Greece negotiating an oil deal with the Grecian government. Ed says his greatest accomplishment is being married to his wife, Susan, for 60 great years. Ed has never let age hold him back. He said: “Perhaps that is because I still perceive myself as a kid. My goal has always been to be fit, active and enjoy the moment and a long life if that is the Lord's will. I think I can quantify that into these words: "Don't worry, avoid stress, and get plenty of mental and physical exercise. It's all about mind, body, and spirit" That realization came to me because I have always found that at the end of the day if I found myself worried, stressed or upset I would go for a long run during which I would let myself meditate, focus on breathing, solve problems & relax. Afterward, I would be happy, feeling good and wonder why I had been worried, stressed or upset.” Ed has run 13 marathons, 4 triathlons, and over 100 races. He continues to put his wife and his health first every day.

Iris

Iris is a lady with a mission. She is always on the go not just to improve her own health but to impact those around her. She was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska where she spent a lot of time with her father. She also became involved in Girl Scouts. During World War II women went to work while their husbands were away at war. Iris began volunteering during the summer at a kids day care center to help out the mothers in her community. She also volunteered her time doing the makeup for the high school productions. After she was married Iris moved to Pierre, South Dakota and two years later had her only daughter Cheryl who now has two sons. While Cheryl was in school Iris was the president of the PTA and worked at the Capitol building in South Dakota. In 1971 Iris moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to be closer to her family. She began working at Public Service Company of Oklahoma and transferred to Trans OK Pipeline as the first woman in the gas accounting department. Later she transferred to PSO where she continued to work for 23 years in various accounting areas. One of the highlights of Iris’s life was attaining her Bachelor degree in accounting from Langston University at age 61. Iris feels that the secret to a long life is staying mentally and physically active according to your ability. From high school until now Iris has always made an effort to take time out of her busy schedule to volunteer somewhere. You will currently find her volunteering at six different places including Temple Israel, Social Justice Committee and she just got her 20-year pin for volunteering at Saint Francis. Through her whole life, she has given her time to over 20 different organizations. Iris keeps her body and mind active through water aerobics, reading and connecting with people. We are proud to have Iris as a part of our community. Congratulations Iris.

Ray

Ray is a man of knowledge, education, and self-improvement. He has always believed you can be anything you want to be. Ray instilled this belief into his five children at a very young age. All of his children became very successful. He continues to influence boys and girls attending Clinton Middle School where he organizes men and woman to speak and inspire kids to continue their education after High School. Ray attended the University of Tulsa where he earned a degree in Physics. He later graduated from Pepperdine University with his MBA and went on to pursue his MS in management at the Army Command and General Staff College. He also received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the National Defense University. His greatest accomplishment was para trooping in WW2 and being on the forefront of the Delta Space Launch where he was the Assistant Project Engineer. Ray was the equivalent of today’s Green Beret; he spent two years in Japan teaching and training the military. Ray has always been resourceful. When he lived in Louisiana he caught and sold alligators, then living in California he grew avocado and macadamia trees until the water usage was greatly cut in 2001, at which time he moved to Tulsa. Ray takes pride in leading the discussion group because he is able to provide a way for people to stay engaged with the world around them and not focus inward on all the problems you might be facing. He believes the secret to a long life is exercising your mind and body every day. Ray is passionate about his desire to help people of all ages, evidenced by the time he devotes as a volunteer and as a board member here at Tulsa Jewish, as well as his work throughout the city. Congratulations Ray!

Peggy

Peggy fully embodies our vision for Tulsa Jewish residents. She continues to live every day with passion, radiance and a smile that you could never forget. She studied sociology at Auburn University, where she met her future husband, Ed. They were married for thirty-eight amazing years. Peggy has dedicated her whole life to putting others first whether that was her four children, husband, or strangers. She impacted everyone she met whether by volunteering at her Unitarian Church, being Cub Scout Leader, or Blue Bird Leader. A couple of highlights of her life was running for State Legislature and spending a year sabbatical with her husband, Ed, in Mexico where she gained a love for the culture. Peggy and Ed always had a passion for education since Ed was a history professor at the University of Tulsa. Peggy says her greatest accomplishment would be raising her children and helping them earn an excellent education. Peggy currently has nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren whom she is very proud of. She said, “having a happy disposition, being optimistic, exercising, eating right and liking everyone is the secret to a long life.” Peggy takes any chance to go out and have fun, she spends her days exercising in our pool, going to the symphonies and attending ballets with friends and family. Congratulations Peggy!

Isrella

Isrella is a perfect example of living life to the fullest. Anyone who comes in contact with her could agree she is unforgettable, not just because she is always dressed to the nines but her creativity shines true through her whole life. Isrella was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents and grandparents primarily spoke Yiddish, which she quickly learned as a young girl. While in Brooklyn she met her late husband Seymour, who was a World War 2 veteran. After meeting for the first time they quickly fell in love, got married and had two daughters. Isrella feels completely blessed to have one daughter still living, who has given her three wonderful grandchildren. She said her greatest accomplishment is raising her daughters to be such amazing women and in return, her daughter has done a great job with her own children. While in New York Isrella enjoyed working as an administrative assistant at the Montessori School. At age 46 Isrella and her husband packed up and moved to Tulsa Oklahoma, where they opened a New York style restaurant in Woodland Hills Mall. They were able to adapt to Tulsa with ease since everyone was so friendly and welcoming. While adjusting to the new pace and lifestyle of Oklahoma they quickly learned they had to add biscuits and gravy to the menu at their restaurant. Although Isrella is shy in certain group settings she has always taken every chance she gets to sing, dance, or perform. One of the highlights of her life was performing in Fiddler on the Roof at the Tulsa PAC. She has also sung with the Klezmer Band led by D. Hurewitz and was the leader of a Yiddish Club. Today you will find Isrella plugged into the community, whether that’s volunteering at the synagogue or with the Mizel kindergarten class. Isrella stays very active here at Tulsa Jewish. She exercises three times a week, attends many activities and outings, and is a valuable volunteer. Isrella loves shopping, connecting with friends, and taking some personal time to read or watch PBS. She says the secret to a long life is thinking young, and never dwelling on your age. It is just a number! Isrella surrounds herself with younger people to keep herself young. Congratulations to Isrella, our resident of the month.

Norm & Shirley

For 41 years we lived in our home where we raised 3 children and welcomed 6 terrific grandchildren. Due to some medical issues and the urging of our doctor, we needed to move to a "stairless" home. The solution was easy, Norm and I had been volunteers at Tulsa Jewish for years and Norm works here full-time still today, so we knew what a great place it was.

We moved into our apartment on our 59th wedding anniversary and what a fantastic anniversary gift that move has been. In no time we became a part of the family here and began enjoying all of the amenities and services. It’s great eating in a beautiful dining room where an accommodating staff serves us delicious meals in a friendly and cheerful atmosphere. To say we made the right move is putting it mildly. We are comfortable, content and enjoying our golden years. Our children no longer have to worry about us. In short…. we are blessed.

Judy Gayle & Barbara Jean (Mother & Daughter)

When mom and I looked at The Villas we liked the idea of living in a small community that would not expand any larger. We were drawn to the privacy and security provided in the homes. We were attracted to the aesthetics of the home complete with box ceilings, beautiful countertops, crown molding, huge closets and nice cabinetry.

We liked it so much that we now live next door to each other at The Villas. To say the least we enjoy all of the amenities and who wouldn’t want weekly housekeeping and complete lawn maintenance.

Bill & Marilou

We have now been living in the Villas At Zarrow Campus for a little over 2 years and can’t begin to tell everyone how happy and delighted we are to be here. Our villa is all we expected and much more. The comfort, layout and amenities are great and our utility bills are much lower than we expected. This proved to be the best decision we’ve ever made.

However, no matter how great the facilities are, the real test is the staff and their support, which has been outstanding. But the best thing of all is all the wonderful friends we’ve made here and the real sense of family that has developed.

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918.496.8333
to set up an appointment.