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Belmont Village Resident Stories

Belmont Village communities are home to decades of experiences, millions of memories and lifetimes of learning. Through it all, our residents are still of our favorite subjects. With photographer Thomas Sanders, we’ve created an ongoing portrait series that features residents enjoying and discussing about some of their passions – from pets to art to each other. Explore their stories and get an inside look into life at Belmont Village.


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  • Artists In Residence
  • Centenarian
  • Couples: Lasting Love
  • Pets

Marian and Dean Miller with Sadie

We met Sadie by answering a private-party and from an owner who could not keep the dog…

Perry Wolff

Perry Wolff is an award-winning documentarian with a passion for history and the arts…

Joy and Bob Lodge with Bogey and Benny

I surprised my husband with both dogs after our darling Labradors had passed…

Merle Phillips

Being 110 years old has given me the opportunity to see many things and accomplish a lot…

Maxine Manson

I admired my mother so much. As she made me feel important. She made our ordinary home into a palace. She made it beautiful with her talents….

John and Suzanne Huntoon

John and Suzanne were introduced by friends and connected right away…

Louise Pendarvis

I have spent my whole life in the Oak Park/ River Forest area of Illinois. I loved growing up here and raising my own family here…

Sue Dorskind and Buttons

My daughter Dee Dee brought Buttons as a birthday present…

Patricia Boyd

Patricia Boyd was a member of a female vocal group called The Carolinas…

Naomi Baird

I started designing jewelry in the late 1980s when…

John and Anna Ivy

The couple met on a blind date when Anna filled in for a friend who could not make it…

Dottie Sime

It was in the 1930s, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, when I began to play the accordion…

Felice Atencio

My family hails from Great Britain (father) and Northern New Mexico (mother). So I am of English-Spanish-American Indian decent…

Vincent and Rosemary Alfano

Vincent and Rosemary met at a restaurant in Del Mar, where…

Sophia Boltacz

I spent the first 40 years of my life in Pennsylvania. I was one of 13 children so there was never a dull moment…

Earle and Margarita Parsons

Earle, a former running back with the San Francisco 49ers…

Julia Segel

I was born in a fairly small town in Hungary and was the second youngest of six children…

George and Jane Takara

George and Jane met through Jane’s cousin, when a group of friends got together…

Bernice Burlingame

My idea of perfect happiness is to spend time with my family.

Dorothy Mae Cook and Bebe

Dorothy Mae Cook and Bebe have been inseparable for almost seven years. She and Bebe enjoy being out and about…

Ann Shewman Gerrish

Artistic creativity has been part of my life since I began sewing clothes at age 12…

Adele Weinstein

My motto is to have a positive attitude and stay in balance. I smile because you don’t see the wrinkles. They are wisdom lines…

Bernard “Bernie” Sachs, M.D

In 1987 I started to sculpt in aluminum and bronze casting and then in 1993 I switched to stone…

Glynis Johns

Glynis Johns is a Welsh-born stage and film actress, dancer, pianist and singer…

Trudy Richards

Being creative is the most important thing that you can do for yourself…

Darrell Schermerhorn with Coco Chloe and Toto

Both dogs have thrived since being brought into a loving home. Coco Chloe is very affectionate while Toto is more independent…

Ted and Marna Harbert

Ted and Marna have lived in many places – from Pound Ridge, New York…

Wes and Carla Hauschildt

Wes and Carla met in October 1948 in Lansing, Michigan…

Andrew “Fred” Willis

Fred Willis, a World War II veteran in the U.S. Marine Corps, credits his service…

Liz Stevens

The first time I danced was really on ice. We had a snowstorm…

John Galey and Mistie

Everyday is a day to celebrate, as she is a good part of my life…

Wes and Susan Foreman

Wes and Susan met as teachers at Shafter High School in Shafter, California…

Ruth Meyrowitz

My husband Alvin was the greatest love of my life. We met while he was a student at Cornell University…

Dean and Marian Miller

Dean and Marian met in their mid-twenties through a mutual friend…

Beth Ward and Maharani (Rani)

Rani visits her grandmother Beth at Belmont Village several times a week where the two enjoy watching television together…

Karin Jaeger

I was 17 years old when I moved to the U.S. from Bergen, Norway. My friend and I came over on a Norwegian military ship in 1934….

Siegfried “Sigi” Kornbluth

“My motto is to have good luck –“Mazel Tov”– and I think that it has been true for most of my life…

Margie Schoen

Forty years ago, I decided to learn to square dance and I have not stopped…

Nicholas V. Korda

Nicholas V. Korda was a Sound Editor for seventy films during his forty-year career…

Audrey Cottingim and Sheba

Audrey and Sheba got together when Sheba was a puppy – just five weeks old…

Martin Elkort

Martin Elkort worked in advertising art and photography. He studied fine arts…

Art and Alice North

Art and Alice met on a double date with other partners…

Robert Cortez

My inspiration was the lady who ran the El Centro (CA) Men’s Chorus…

Helen Joy Berretta

I must create! It’s what drives me. I have always had such a strong desire to paint…

Sara Smith

Aesthetically pleasing surroundings are important. I wanted my clients to enjoy…

Tan Tan Sun

Music performance has been a central part of Tan Tan Sun’s life…

Michael Bellardo

My idea of perfect happiness is sleeping, watching the Warriors win basketball games and seeing my kids anytime…

Bob Costen, M.D.

I do not consider myself an artist because I do not create anything new. I used to repurpose…

Sylvia Lieberman

It’s never too late to realize your dream. I published my book while in my nineties….

Alma Fisher

I love to express myself through painting as it is both fulfilling and a great source of comfort…

Ruth Matthias

I’m a tried-and-true Cubs fan. My late husband was scouted by the Cubs as a pitcher in 1934…

Jean McCrea and Sophie

I want to be the kind of person the dog thinks I am…

Yvonne Theobald

Yvonne Theobald came to Chicago from Louisiana on a vacation as a teen…

Harold and Lil Fischer

When Harold met Lil at a high school party at the age of 15…

Babs Shindler and Shayna

Shayna is a trained service dog who is licensed to help people with disabilities…

Loyce Tatum

When she retired as a high school teacher at age 58…

Douglas Clark

I traveled to more than 130 countries – from Morocco and Libya to Singapore and Australia – preaching the gospel…

Gerry Breitbart and Tanner

I wanted to adopt Tanner after seeing a photo of him on the Internet…

Eva Altkorn

My family emigrated from Russia. I was the youngest of seven children, the only one of my siblings born in the states…

Lillian “Lilli” Diamond

Lilli Diamond started dancing as a child and then joined a professional dance troupe at sixteen…

Lucille Graves

I’ve had many jobs throughout my lifetime, from being a cook at Henry Booth House to a seamstress at Saks Fifth Avenue…

Gerry Thompson

Gerry Thompson started painting in oil and acrylic in middle school…

Jean Burja

I was born in Johnson City, Illinois where I lived on a farm with my family. I was the second youngest of five children…

Ross and Gesa Clark with Spencer

Spencer adopted us from the Rancho Coastal Humane Society…

Joan Ceragioli and Louie

I first saw Louie in a litter of puppies at a neighbor’s house…

Susan Lindenbaum

My motto is to look forward and think positively. I don’t believe there is perfect happiness other than happiness to be with friends and family….

Ted and Barbara Bernstein

Ted and Barbara met when Ted served in the Marine Corps with Barbara’s brother…

Ethyl Katz

For me, art is a joy. It’s a fun, fulfilling creative outlet…