Home is where the heart is. No one knows that better than residents of Mari de Villa, the Town & Country retirement community that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. “Our focus is on providing residents with the best care in an elegant, gracious environment,” says president Fred Wiesehan, who lives on the grounds with his wife, Mary Kay, vice president of the community. “Our residents know we’re available 24/7, 365 days a year. Founder and CEO Georgana Linneman, Mary Kay, our staff and I share a steadfast determination and commitment to foster human dignity with love and quality care.”

    When it opened in 1960, Mari de Villa had only 26 rooms. Today, the community rests on 25 acres, five times its original size, and serves independent seniors with multiple options, including condo-style units ranging from 1,000 to 3,000-plus square feet. It also allows for ‘aging in place’ with various levels of assisted living and skilled nursing care. “We mold our amenities, programs and services to the changing needs of our residents,” Wiesehan says. “They and their families take comfort in knowing they can transition from level to level as they age, surrounded by friends.” 

    And residents appreciate that kind of dedication. “I’m completely independent here, but help is just a phone call away if I need it,” says 81-year-old Joe Evans, who has lived at Mari de Villa two years. “When someone gets ill or has a problem, Fred or Mary Kay is always there, even if it’s 2 in the morning. This is a family affair, not a cold, corporate place.” Evans, a widower, enjoys the lively company of other residents. “Groups of us go to the Fox or the symphony, and I also started a dining group, the Dutch Treat Club, that gets together once a month,” he says. When not out on the town, he likes to barbecue on his gas grill and tend his garden with help from his grandkids. “Living here is a blast!” he says.

    Betty Fabick, 79, enjoys Mari de Villa’s beautiful grounds and warm, sociable atmosphere. “There are no crabby people here,” she says. She fell in love with her 2,700-square-foot, three-bedroom villa four years ago, but felt the kitchen was too small. “So they expanded it for me! What’s not to like about a place that bends over backward for you?” She also likes the community’s array of options. “You can cook for yourself, enjoy delicious meals at the Villa Estates Club, have meals delivered to you, or a combination of all three,” she says. “There’s a wonderful Sunday brunch, and fried chicken on Sunday nights. Fred and Mary Kay are fabulous, so friendly and compassionate. I’m thrilled to be here.”

    So is 83-year-old Betty Haake, who moved in nine months ago. “It felt like a good fit right from the start,” she recalls. “In fact, I had put down a deposit at another retirement center, but after seeing Mari de Villa, I got my money back. The high standard of care and the friendliness of the staff and other residents persuaded me. Everyone is so welcoming.” Haake cooks for herself or dines out with friends most of the time, but never misses Wednesday night’s dress-up dinner and piano music at the Villa Estates Club. “The waiters wear tuxes!” she beams. She’s also a fan of the water aerobics classes. “There are lots of perks to living here,” she says, “but the best thing of all has been meeting so many wonderful people.”  

On the Cover: Mari de Villa recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of providing high-quality care to older adults. Located at 13900 Clayton Road in Town & Country, the retirement community offers a wide range of options for seniors, from independent living villas to assisted living and skilled care services. For more information, call 636-227-5347 or visit maridevilla.com. Cover design by Erica Fisher • Cover photos by Jason Mueller