Unconditional Love From A Veteran

Vintage residents have a deep history. For many, that deep history includes memories of being an active part of the war. Each Vintage community honors these residents by putting their pictures on a “Veteran Wall.” Learn about Wallace, a veteran and his wife, Marilyn.

This story began in the city of Pasadena.  Wallace and Marilyn met when they were four years old.  They attended the same church and their mothers were friends.  Wallace lived in Montebello and Marilyn in Pasadena.  They grew up knowing each other and spending Sundays together.  They attended different schools but were friendly throughout their childhood and adolescent years.

In 1943, Wallace joined the marines and was sent to Iwo Jima with the 5th Marines.  He had just become engaged to a high school sweetheart right before departing for battle.  But after enlisting and being sent off, he reconsidered and broke the engagement, thinking it would be unfair to have his fiancé wait for him.  The next six weeks of war were very challenging ones for Wallace.  The battle was treacherous and difficult to fathom.  But Wallace persevered.

Wallace acknowledged it was a horrible war.  When the flag was raised at Mount Suribachi, he shared that a roar could be heard from all the Americans.  The point was so high, Americans could easily spot the American Flag.  “It sends a chill in me to think of it” Wallace would say.  “The flag stands for something.  It stood for a lot that day.”

Wallace was discharged in 1946.

When Wallace returned in 1946, he once again became engaged to his high school sweetheart.  Marilyn was invited to the wedding. But two weeks before, the wedding was once again called off, this time by the soon to be bride.  It was for the best as Wallace did not feel as bad as he thought he would. It simply was not meant to be and this opened the possibility of a romance with Marilyn.

Marilyn and Wallace continued to be friends throughout this time.  In fact, Wallace’s father would encourage Wallace to ask Marilyn out as he was fond of her.  Finally, after week s of prompting, Wallace did ask Marilyn out after church one Sunday.  Their first date was going to see  “I’ve Always Loved You”, a war movie.  Their courtship was quick and they become inseparable thereafter.  Their relationship continued to strengthen and their romance was alive and well!

They were married in 1947 at the Church of Roses in Pasadena (which is still there).  Marilyn was studying English literature and they moved into her mother’s home in Pasadena. Wallace found a job in the van and storage business and Marilyn found herself pregnant.  They have resided in Alhambra for 57 years with 3 children.

For 65 years, Wallace and Marilyn have been together.  They had a happy marriage, she shares, with many good times.  Wallace was firm but never got angry and never raised his voice.

They both moved to Massie Hall at California Mission Inn in July of 2011. Marilyn shared she knew it was the right place when she visited and discovered the building was built in 1926, the same year as she was born, and was originally a home for missionaries.  Her faith has always been strong.

“We love being here, it’s home” she says. “The staff is wonderful to us, from the food servers to the caregivers.  They are all kind, considerate, ready to do the next step and so good at anticipating our needs. I am so happy here!”

In March of this year, 2012, Wallace moved to Recollections.  Marilyn stayed in her apartment.  Fortunately, they are on the same floor so she can visit him frequently.  “Separating from Wallace was the hardest thing I have ever done.  But I’ve gone the road as far as I can go with Wallace and we are in the best environment now.” They still dine together as well as spend quality time together, watching Dancing with the Stars, a favorite activity.

Marilyn concludes, “We have three wonderfully supportive children and three wonderfully supportive grandchildren. We could wish for nothing more.  And here, we are surrounded by wonderful people.  We are lucky!”

For more information on how Vintage has honored our veterans, visit our YouTube channel.

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Super Soaker Alzheimer’s Fundraiser

Vintage proudly supports the Alzheimer’s Association in the fight to end Alzheimer’s. For the second year in a row Eric Dobner, Activity Director at Narrows Glen, rode his stationary bike from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on July 13th in order to raise money for the Walk To End Alzheimer’s. Donations provided the opportunity to soak Eric down with a Super Soaker. Resident Stan Allen was first in line! Eric raised $500 dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association. Thank you Eric! Call a Vintage Senior Living community near you. Join us in our efforts to end Alzheimer’s.


Resident of the Week

Rosemary Kotch, resident of the month and resident at Las Palmas in Laguna Woods, CA comes from the sunny state of Arizona. She married in 1946, and her husband decided to move to Southern California. After their move out West, Rosemary went to work as a secretary for the first J.C. Penny’s buying office when they opened their first West coast branch. Together they had four delightful children.

During the war, her husband was in the Air Force stationed in France. They decided to move the whole family to Chateauroux, France, which is 150 miles south of Paris for three years. Her favorite part of living abroad was traveling throughout Europe with their four young children. Rosemary loved boat rides on the French Riviera as well as her trips to Paris, her favorite European city.

When she returned to California, Rosemary and a business partner started a fabric store called “Fabric Lane” in Garden Grove. When they started the business, between the partners they had 10 children and neither had much business experience. They enjoyed what they did and were quite successful in their store, holding classes, selling fabric, and holding fashion shows. Rosemary and her business partner had a wonderful relationship for 16 years before they decided to sell their business.

When her husband also decided to retire, the two took some time to travel all over the world. They traveled to Europe, Asia, the Pacific Islands and throughout the United States. They frequently traveled to Hawaii since her husband got his wings there! Hawaii functioned as a second home. After traveling extensively they lived in Arizona for 30 years until Rosemary moved to California to live at Las Palmas. She loves volunteering at the hospital. Rosemary enjoys oil painting and ceramics as well as staying fit. She played tennis 3 days a week until she was 80 and she loves swimming, water exercise, and walking. Visit our Activities Page for more information about Vintage Senior Living’s Activity Program. Rosemary really enjoys Chef Louie’s cooking and delights in not having the responsibility of having to cook anymore! We are glad to have Rosemary in our Vintage family.


Spirit of ’45 – Couples in Love

During our partnership with Spirit of ’45 Keep The Spirit Alive! we have acquired many sensational love stories. In honor of Memorial Day, and our veterans we would like to share this love story:

Betty and James during their engagement on Valentine's Day, 1944.



First Lieutenant James Tipton and his wife Betty met when they were working as college students as Lassen National Park. In the Fall of 1941 James Tipton entered Columbia Law School in NYC. Shortly after came Pearl Harbor and Tipton was the first person drafted out of Columbia. Tipton would write home and occasionally visit Betty when he received leave.
On Valentine’s Day, 1944, Tipton visited Betty and proposed to Betty. That same June, Tipton received a few day of leave before he was due to be shipped out to Europe. He visited Betty in Los Angeles and they decided to marry. Tipton, in full uniform, married Betty on June 22, 1944. Shortly after and with one semester of law school left, Tipton was shipped off to the trials of the Dachau Concentration camp where he served as the Administrative officer of the trials at the age of 25.


After the Dachau Trials, he was finally allowed to return home to Betty. In the span of their 2-year marriage they had only lived as man and wife for 3 days! Tipton returned to California and finished law school at the University of California, Berkeley. Betty and James were married for a wonderful 62 years.


Vintage Senior Living Wins California Championship

On Thursday, April 26, 2012 seniors from all over California gathered at Vintage Westwood Horizons in Los Angeles, CA to compete in the 2012 California Senior Championship of the NSL (National Senior League). This year, Vintage Senior Living had eleven teams participating in western regional tournaments in California and Washington including Vintage Cerritos, who captured the National Senior League’s 2012 Wii Bowling State Championship.

Vintage Cerritos, better known as the “Cerritos Falcons” were lead by 95-year-old Bill Burd who aided the team in successfully bringing home not only the California Championship title but a title of Western Regional Finalists.

            “This significant win marks the end of a long journey that included an entire year of practice,” said Burd. “Bringing home the first place trophy was important for us old-timers who still believe one is never too old to compete and have fun.”

The Cerritos Falcons battled the South Bay Blasters from Front Porch Community in San Diego at Vintage Westwood Horizons in Los Angeles. Surrounded by cheering fans, the eight-member teams played two games resulting in the following scores: Game one: Falcons- 879, Blasters- 653 and game two: Falcons- 830, Blasters- 583.

“The team has mastered the electronic game to a degree that they see it as real bowling with all the rules and playing techniques,” said Tracy Cofield, Activities Director of Vintage Cerritos. “What they enjoy most from Wii Bowling is being together and experiencing camaraderie and competition regardless of their age.”

In today’s electronic gaming world, even seniors are having a blast in front of the big screen—reliving the glory days of the neighborhood bowling alley.  Wii Bowling is giving Vintage Senior Living residents many thrills, especially after bowling a strike.  From a health standpoint, Wii Bowling offers a new form of exercise, and more importantly, encourages seniors to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. The game has even inspired the forming of teams from retirement communities across the country.

The communities’ common areas have been transformed into an electronic-driven playground where players and spectators enthusiastically exchange tips and comments. The opportunity to be on a team and participate in a league creates camaraderie among residents who might otherwise have trouble socializing.  Wii Bowling has even spanned across generations by encouraging young volunteers and grandchildren, who are no strangers to electronic games, to participate.


Featured Resident of the Week

Our resident of the month is Gloria Klein. Gloria was born in sunny Los Angeles in 1925 as an only child to two loving parents. As a young adult, Gloria started working at MGM Studios as Head Secretary for the Music Department. She enjoyed being a young woman in Hollywood, going to all the glamorous parties and dancing the night away. But that soon changed after Gloria took a trip to New York to visit one of her girlfriends. She was set up on a blind date with a very handsome man by the name of Dick. At first glance Gloria and Dick fell in love, and ten days later the two were married. Gloria cherishes the fact that she lived a very good life. She has traveled all over the world with her husband and lived in many different places such as New York and Florida, before finally settling into the East Bay. Gloria has raised two children, many grandchildren, and just recently welcomed her very first great-grandchild.

Today Gloria lives a very active life. Her days consist of running to and from activities, going on trips and being an active member of the Berkshire’s Ambassador Club. You will always find her encouraging other residents to sign up for trips or activities. She is always willing to lend a helping hand when it comes to decorating for a special event, or even giving guidance to new residents of the Berkshire. Gloria is always smiling and has a very contagious laugh. She is what many like to call a social butterfly at its finest. We are very proud to call Gloria a resident of The Berkshire in Berkeley, CA.


Featured Resident of The Week

      Dr. Alvin Miller was born on April 30th, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois. Growing up, Dr. Miller worked in a grocery store owned by his family, played violin and took dancing lessons. At the age of 15 he won an award for his violin playing during amateur hour on a radio station.

In 1944 he joined the army and within the first week he ruptured his appendix and was unable to go overseas with his battalion. Instead, he ended up clerking for Eisenhower at the Pentagon. After being discharged in 1946, Dr. Miller attended medical school in Illinois and graduated in 1953.

He came to California to complete his residency at the L.A. County Hospital in Pediatrics. For the next 35 years Dr. Miller worked for Kaiser in the Neonatology unit, caring for premature babies.

In 1990 the government asked him to travel to Rumania to teach doctors how to care for newborn babies and he did that for 2 years with the help of a nurse. He believes it was the greatest thing he’s ever done.

Upon returning at the age of 66, he ran the L.A. Marathon with his son! Today, Dr. Miller continues to practice pediatrics 3 days a week and will only retire “when [he] is old!”

Dr. Miller loves the staff at Vintage Senior Living and he still enjoys playing piano, violin, harmonica and giving great ideas to the activity department. Vintage Simi Hills is proud to have Dr. Miller as a resident!



There are many things that can make a house feel like a home.  At Vintage the residents mention multiple aspects that help give them peace of mind. Our staff naturally creates a personal relationship with each resident and their family. Besides creating friendships with the staff, our residents thrive socially. On any given day you can find them out with the other residents at an outing or participating in one of our many planned activities. But you don’t need to take our word – hear it from the residents and families themselves.  They will share why Vintage is a place they call home.


Our Way To Senior Health and Smiles

Wii bowling is taking over senior housing across the nation! At Vintage we have created bowling teams that practice on a weekly basis and even compete against other local senior housing communities. Recently, Vintage has graciously accepted the opportunity to host the 2012 California Championships for the Spring League that begins in February. The Championship event is slated for late April and will be held at Vintage Westwood Horizons. What a great way to help our residents connect and stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.



Ask The Expert, Episode 1

Are you wondering what the difference is between a nursing home and assisted living? Or what kinds of activities assisted living communities offer? In this video Cindy Wood, the Executive Director of Vintage Brush Creek, clarifies the differences between nursing home, assisted living and independent living. Cindy also goes into detail about how Vintage Senior Living provides a comfortable environment and assesses each resident’s individual assisted living needs.