Life is like a great bottle of wine. It just gets better with age.
Now for John and Marilyn Flock, they’re excited for what their next chapter will bring at Presbyterian Village Athens.
John and Marilyn met in high school in their hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were introduced by Marilyn’s cousin who was a good buddy of John’s, and as Marilyn likes to say, “The rest is history.”
After high school, John attended The Citadel. Following graduation, they married before he began basic training at Fort Hood. Soon, John was deployed to Vietnam, where he served as a surgeon’s assistant with the mechanized infantry for six months. Then he moved into a medical company that handled all the “dust offs” (the medical evacuations) for the 1st Infantry Division. John’s tour lasted exactly one year and one day. He then spent the next 30 years in the reserves and retired as a full colonel.
Back stateside, John and Marilyn started a family, while John attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh, earning his degree in exercise physiology and healthcare administration. “I never used the exercise physiology,” John stated, “but I spent 32 years as a hospital administrator at community hospitals and in university settings.”
Marilyn was a stay-at-home mom raising 4 kids, which she says was a blessing. While doing so, she taught aerobics classes on the side to “you know, keep some sanity,” she added with a chuckle. When the kids got older, she worked for a school district as a “jack of all trades” in administrative, clerical and finance. It was something she really enjoyed.
Over the years, John’s career kept the two on the move to places like Emory College in Atlanta, where he was chief operating officer. They also spent time in places such as Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and in Sterling Heights and Flint, Michigan, before finally landing at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, from which John retired in 2008.
Today, the Flocks live just outside of Greensboro, Georgia, on Lake Oconee. As Marilyn puts it, “It’s a great place for our 10 grandkids to visit where they won’t be bored to death.” However, about a year or so ago, Marilyn went to their mailbox and found an invitation to an event for Presbyterian Village Athens. “That’s how we got wind of it. We thought it might be fun to just check it out.”
“We were aware of the benefits of Life Plan Communities because my mom lived at one near Augusta,” John said, “as well as other relatives in Pennsylvania and Florida. So we had a positive impression right from the get-go.”
“We had already been thinking that our kids are getting older and have their own lives,” Marilyn added. “We thought we really should start looking for a place that offers a full continuum of care.”
As they attended a few events, the more they talked with their Presbyterian Village Athens sales counselor and learned what this new community had to offer, John knew, “this is the place we
need to be.”
“Athens is a great city. And with UGA so close, everything you may want to see or do, whether it’s sports, education or the arts, it’s all right there. Plus, having the full progression of care right on campus as needed, well, that was the real key.”
“Just having the opportunity to get and stay involved,” Marilyn also pointed out, “to socialize and make new friends with interesting people with unique backgrounds is exciting.”
They also look forward to their beautiful new cottage. It features three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and a den. “We picked a floor plan with a den to use as our wine room.”
You see, since retiring 11 years ago, John and Marilyn have mastered the fine art of wine-making. “We make it together and though we’ve made some whites,” John pointed out, “we gravitate more toward the reds. We like the blends.”
“That’s true,” Marilyn added. “We enjoy making the blends, like a malbec, Carménère and cabernet sauvignon. We’ve made that a good bit. Then we’ve made just a plain Carménère, which I’ve never made by itself before. That was superb.”
“We currently have over 21 different types from around the world and over 300 bottles in the racks. It will be a challenge when we move.”
“It’s a great hobby. We even look forward to starting a wine-making club at Presbyterian Village Athens. We think a lot of our new neighbors would enjoy that.”