“I witnessed my first ultrasound in 2013 when my nephew Javon was about six months in utero. He was being a little sneaky, so it took a minute to see whether he was a boy or girl. He also had the hiccups and you could see that on the scan. It was that exact moment I knew that I wanted to do this for a living.” — Vernicia “Nici” Crenshaw

After that introduction to her nephew, Nici Crenshaw asked the technologist who performed the scan what was needed to train for this career. She learned that it is a one- to two-year program, depending on the school. So began her research into the right school, the perfect program, and a career path that she loved. She was a junior in high school at that time. The next year, for her senior project, she chose ultra-sonography as her subject. As part of the program, she was invited to do diagnostic shadowing, choosing obstetrics — where she first met little Javon.

“The technologist I shadowed asked me if I wanted to try it,” recalls Nici. “Of course I said ‘YES!’ As I was moving the instrument on the patient’s abdomen, I could see something peculiar. We are trained to be quiet during the scan, so I didn’t say anything. After the scan was complete, I pulled the technologist aside and asked if she saw the same thing I did. She said she did. Then she let me tell the parents that we saw not only one head, but two! They were having twins, and I got to tell them. It was amazing and I was hooked!”

Nici enrolled in an online course at University of Miami. It didn’t take her long to realize that the field of radiology was not what she loved, rather, it was ultra-sonography that was her true passion. As a result, she completed her core courses at University of Miami, and eventually transferred locally to Meridian College, where she could focus specifically in ultra-sonography in their 10-month program.

Those of us who are well-acquainted with the cost of a college education can imagine how helpful the Foundation scholarships have been to Nici. In 2015, she received a General Education Scholarship, and in 2016, the Bea Davis Memorial Scholarship. She also received a variety of other scholarships, and paid the balance out of her own pocket, as she has continued as a well-respected and appreciated member of our dining staff throughout.

You might wish to know whether Nici has been successful in her educational path….you be the judge. To date, she has completed all of her coursework. She is currently studying to take two board exams, and has plans to complete a 240-hour internship in order to graduate. The internship has not been easy to find, but she is hopeful — reaching out to her network to help identify doctor’s offices, hospitals, or clinics where she could intern. She has achieved a 3.8 GPA throughout her program and has zeroed in on OB/GYN as her field of choice. She hopes to complete all of her training, boards, and internship in 2018, when she will be officially a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer!

When asked if she would recommend this field to others, Nici answers, “You must follow your heart. College will help you figure it out. Have faith and you will be successful.” Javon will be six years old in August, and Nici has accomplished so much since she first was introduced to her nephew on that screen during a scan. “He changed my life,” says Nici. “I always remind him of that!”

By: Addie Hurst

Hurricane Irma complicated Marge Melun and Ky Thompson’s well-planned move to Plymouth Harbor. Three days before the move was scheduled, they left their home in Bradenton to stay with a friend away from the water. They were doing their own packing, so it was a bit of a shock when the movers called to say they were arriving as scheduled.

Somehow Marge and Ky managed to get home and put everything into boxes in time for the move to go forward. Now they are settling into Apartment N-201, although they are still looking for some of the items packed in the last frenzied hours of getting ready to move.

Marge was born and raised in Texas, attending Ursuline Academy in Dallas. She then attended Rosary College (now Dominican University) in River Forest, Illinois, where she got a BA in history and French. She spent her junior year in Switzerland.

Upon graduation, she joined the Peace Corps and served two years in Togo, West Africa. When she returned from Togo, Marge earned a Master of Science, Library Science, from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Then began her lifelong career in libraries. After four years as a librarian at Georgetown University, she worked in the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress for 20 years. She spent the last 12 years of her career with the Foreign Service, working as a regional librarian overseeing United States Information Service libraries and cultural centers in a variety of regions. This entailed extended assignments abroad, including in Karachi, Vienna and Rome.

Ky was born on Long Island and grew up in Connecticut. His father gave him a choice of boarding schools for the last two years of high school and he chose Fork Union, a military school in Virginia. He then earned a BA in economics and history from Centre College in Kentucky. While there, he signed up for the Marine Corps, and upon graduation, began a 25-year career with the Marines.

After Officers Training School, he had his first tour of duty in Vietnam, where he was badly wounded. Upon his recovery, he took part in a Vietnam advisors course and served a second tour in Vietnam in an advisory capacity, working with the Civil Operations Rural Development Support team which included personnel from several government agencies.

His subsequent career included varied planning, research, and development assignments in a range of fields. While he was in the Marine Corps, he got a MA in International Relations from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Ky retired from the Marines in 1989 and spent the next five years as a freelance writer for various journals and other publications.

When they were living abroad during Marge’s time with USIS, Ky was involved in many different volunteer organizations associated with the embassies and consulates where they were posted.

While they were living abroad, Marge and Ky decided they needed a genuine address in the United States since they had sold their house on Capitol Hill. In 2001, at the suggestion of a friend in Bradenton, they bought a small cottage there, which they rented out until Marge retired in 2005. Then, they moved to Bradenton and bought a large home where they lived until moving here.

Marge and Ky have no children together, but they have one son from Ky’s first marriage and two delightful granddaughters. It is a pleasure to welcome Marge and Ky to Plymouth Harbor.


At Plymouth Harbor, our approach to wellness is centered around whole-person wellness — emphasizing a multidimensional approach, maintaining broad interests and a healthy lifestyle for an active mind and body. Art in particular plays a major role in wellness, keeping both the mind and body stimulated and generating personal exploration through self-expression, allowing us to experience and create.

A New Type of Artwork to Plymouth Harbor
Esther Jensen is a new artist to Plymouth Harbor, working in the Glass Studio within the Hobby Shop in the Wellness Center. Esther works with fused glass, creating colorful bowls, platters, sculptures, and jewelry. A native of Denmark, Esther has lived on the southwest coast of Florida for more than 25 years. She and her husband, Jorgen, joined us as residents of Plymouth Harbor in October 2017. You may recognize Esther’s name, as she previously exhibited as an artist in our Mezzanine Gallery. Now, as an official resident, Esther hopes to share her passion for creating fused glass with fellow residents.

What is Fused Glass?
Fused glass is glass that has been heat-processed in a kiln at a range of high temperatures. Most contemporary fusing methods involve stacking, or layering thin sheets of glass, often using different colors to create patterns or images. The stack is then placed inside the kiln and heated through a series of ramps (rapid heating) and soaks (holding the temperature at a specific point) until the pieces begin to bond together. Once the desired effect is achieved, the kiln temperature is brought down, and the glass cools over a specified time.

How Does the Process Work?
Ironically, the process is called “Cold Glass” as opposed to “Hot Glass,” which is blowing glass. But even in “Cold Glass,” the temperature in the kiln reaches around 1,500° F. Glass must be compatible to ensure the pieces can be fused properly. Esther’s glass is purchased from a supplier in Oregon for this reason. Her first step in creating an object is cutting the glass with a glass cutter, and once it is cut, she uses a variety of methods to create her pieces, such as “Tack Fusing,” “Slumping,” and “Draping.”

Interesting in Learning More?
Regardless of Esther’s approach, it is certainly a fascinating process. If you are interested in learning more about this process, Esther has offered to hold “mini tours” of the Glass Studio, where she will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Tours will be held on Thursday, January 18th, and Friday, January 19th, at 1:00 p.m., 1:20 p.m., and 1:40 p.m. Please Call Ext. 252 to sign up.


Home Instead Senior Care is a local organization that provides personalized care to seniors in our area. Each year, Home Instead Senior Care partners with local non-profit and community organizations to identify seniors who might not otherwise receive gifts this holiday season through its program called “Be a Santa to a Senior.”

The company then works with local businesses to help facilitate the purchase and distribution of gifts by placing trees and ornaments at their various locations. Each senior’s gift requests are written on a Santa hat ornament. The program was adopted in years past by our Health Services Division, and this year, we invited all Plymouth Harbor employees and residents to participate — bringing smiles and joy to seniors who may have financial limitations or be socially isolated.

To participate, residents and staff simply chose an ornament from the tree that was located on the Ground Floor of the Tower, near the Wellness Wall. Donated gifts were dropped off in the Wellness Center by Friday, December 15th, and Home Instead Senior Care delivered the gifts to seniors in Sarasota County on December 20th and 21st.

Since Home Instead Senior Care began the program in 2003, there have been over 60,000 volunteers who
have helped distribute gifts, more than 1,200,000 gifts provided to deserving seniors, and 700,000 seniors whose holiday was brightened. In December 2017, Plymouth Harbor staff and residents together donated more than 75 gifts to the program.

We are proud to participate in this important program, which certainly brought joy and holiday cheer to those in need. We look forward to seeing the impact we are together able to make in December 2018.


By: Cerita Purmort

Passion and education are two words that come to mind after your first conversation with Dr. Barbara Kelly. Details of her career in education would make all of us want to go back to school and have her be our teacher. Her passion for each level of education was, and still is, strong. She taught history, was a school principal, and was the area superintendent for a system with over 20,000 students. This system represented a microcosm of
America. The students came from families of middle to low income, students needing special programs for the deaf and blind, students with English as a second language representing 18 countries and many more specializations.

Barbara was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her mother’s parents were Swedish immigrants. Her father came from a very poor background on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He borrowed $18 so he could move to Philadelphia, where he met, fell in love, and married Barbara’s mother. He went to work for Scott Paper Company and was required to move around the country. Barbara said each move was like starting over in her classes.

Her college education began at Wells College (of Wells Fargo fame). Transportation to graduation was by real stagecoach! She received a Master’s Degree in education from Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s Degree in Latin American history from the University of Maryland. She attended University of Maryland for a Doctorate Degree in the history of education. Barbara met and married Robert Kelly in Baltimore. They were married for 55 years. Robert was an electrical engineer and his career included working to create automatic landing systems for the aircraft industry.

Barbara took six years from her career to raise two children. Her son Jonathan is an investment banker. He is the father of two of Barbara’s grandchildren. Her daughter Anne is a physical therapist, and is now at home with her husband and two children. Robert and Barbara purchased a villa in Prestancia in Sarasota in 1998 and were snowbirds for eight years. When they retired to Florida full-time, Barbara did not change her attitude toward life.

She serves on the Board of Directors of Friendship Centers. She has been a board member of Pierian Spring Academy and of Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning and participates in other organizations as well. Robert was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and Barbara became his caretaker. He passed away, and she made the decision to move to Plymouth Harbor and has been here since November. She is living in a temporary apartment while hers is being renovated. A real gift for her is that Anne and her family are moving to Sarasota into the Prestancia villa!

When you see Barbara around Plymouth Harbor, be sure to return her gracious smile and “hello.” Getting to know her will be a pleasure and you will be glad that you did!


By: Beverly Koski

Richard and Helen March have shared a life together for 63 years even though they were born an ocean apart. Richard was born and raised in New York City, whereas Helen was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

When she was three years old her family moved to Corby, a small town in England with a grand new steel plant where her father, who was a metallurgist, was employed along with many other transplants from Scotland. There she was raised and lived through World War II.

When Helen was 20 years told, her father took a position with U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, PA. Although she was trained in the culinary arts at college in England, her educational background was not recognized in the U.S., and so she took a job with U.S. Steel also, working in the human relations department for eight years before retiring to rear their three children.

Richard obtained engineering degrees from Clarkson University and Northwestern University graduate school and then joined the Atomic Energy Commission in Chicago. This was in 1951. There were no nuclear engineering courses in universities at that time, so the AEC created one in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Richard was sent there. Since graduation, he has always considered himself to be a nuclear engineer. He subsequently joined the Navel Nuclear Propulsion Program under Admiral H.G. Rickover and moved to Pittsburgh where work was underway on the first atomic powered submarine, the SSN Nautilus. He was subsequently involved in many of the naval propulsion programs, as well as the first civilian atomic plant, which was built just outside Pittsburgh under the direction of the naval program.

Richard’s and Helen’s journey together began when they met in Pittsburgh and were married in 1954. Although they have moved several times, their primary home has always been in the Pittsburgh area. They return there during the summer where they can visit with their children, who are nearby, as well as grandchildren and other relatives.

Eventually, in 1972, Helen had decided to go back to work part time and took a job with a firm, which is now called ANSYS, Inc. Richard left the naval program after over 30 years and joined Helen at the same company. ANSYS develops and sells an engineering program used by many companies around the world. Helen was the Contract Administrator, while Richard was charged with developing a network of distributors to sell and support the program around the world.

After retiring, they took a trip along the west coast of Florida and discovered Longboat Key. By coincidence they had friends who were familiar with Longboat and decided to rent a condo for a few weeks in the winter. Not long after, in 1996, they purchased a condo there. They had friends at Plymouth Harbor and have been visiting for years until they decided three years ago to get on the list and await an apartment.

Along the way, Helen had an interest in embroidery and cooking…she even took a cooking class in Italy and learned to make tiramisu. Early on, she was involved with PTA and Girl Scouts. Both Richard’s and Helen’s interests include Sarasota Ballet, photography, reading, bridge, and travel (favorites are China and Italy).

When asked their plans for the future, Richard replied, “To do only what we choose to do. We had a good and successful life and we are grateful to be in a good place, to enjoy life here at Plymouth Harbor.”


By: Ann Anderson

People move to Plymouth Harbor for many reasons. But Joyce Fitzpatrick had some especially interesting ones. She had researched other retirement communities, but the things that really appealed to her here were that she would have lots of opportunities to ride her bike long distances and also to pilot her kayak from her backyard through the beautiful, peaceful waters.

She is an energetic, positive woman, who is easy to talk to and makes friends easily. Having grown up in York, Pennsylvania, she graduated from Penn State University with a degree in child development and family relations. However, way before she graduated from college she met her husband-to-be, Tom, in high school. She was a cheerleader and he ventured over to ask her for a date. They dated for seven years before marrying – and stayed together for the next 53. The beginning of their long venture together was in Key West, Florida, where Tom, a Naval Officer, was assigned to the destroyer base. Their first child was born there during the 1961 Hurricane, Carla, a precursor, perhaps, of what was to come with Irma!

Tom joined the Foreign Service in 1970, the start of a “dream life” for Joyce, in which she was an enthusiastic and helpful partner. They served first in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, followed by postings in Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, Brazil, and back to Mexico, over a span of 20 years. She loved the life of travel, meeting new people and exposing their three children to a larger world and new languages.

When they retired, she and her husband located to the Eastern Shore of Maryland on Chesapeake Bay. At this point, she became active as a hospice volunteer working with patients and also volunteered with the State of Maryland as a mediator for 12 years. The culmination of her life there was the three years she organized for the Obama Campaign and was elected a Maryland delegate to the 2008 Denver Convention.

Joyce is widowed now but continues her beloved outdoor activities and plays competitive duplicate bridge. She plans to become a Sarasota hospice volunteer and hopes also to continue her work as a mediator in the Florida courts.

She is a new and wonderful friend for all of us at Plymouth Harbor.


Invitations have been mailed, preparations have been made, and on Wednesday, January 10th, Plymouth Harbor will hold the much-anticipated Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Celebration, marking the official opening of the Northwest Garden Building!

We sincerely appreciate all of our residents’ cooperation and encouragement since breaking ground on this important project two years ago in December 2015. We look forward to celebrating its completion with all who are able to attend.

The theme of the event is entitled “A Cruise to Remember,” which will begin with the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 4:30 p.m., to be held in the Assisted Living Courtyard. The event will also be streamed live on televisions in the Assisted Living Restaurant.

Following the ceremony, guests will be invited to embark on the cruise – enjoying self-guided tours and visiting four different ports throughout the building for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Each port will be stationed in a different wing of the new residences, showcasing cuisine local to the port’s location.

The ports will include:
Key West (Assisted Living Restaurant, Floor One). Generously sponsored by Brown & Brown Insurance of Sarasota.
Cuba (Dining Room of the Ringling Neighborhood in the Starr Memory Care Residence, Floor One). Generously sponsored by Northern Trust.
The Bahamas (Assisted Living Lounge, Floor Two). Generously sponsored by Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.
Mexico (Bistro, Floor Three). Generously sponsored by Shutts & Bowen.

Additionally, Willis A. Smith Construction has generously sponsored the guest gifts and onsite photo booth, and the floral sponsor for the event is Capstan Financial Consulting Group. More than 200 guests are expected to attend the event, including Plymouth Harbor residents, employees, members of the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. and Plymouth Harbor Foundation Boards of Trustees, local media, and key partners involved in the development of this project. Also invited to the event are the 145 donors who made gifts to the associated capital campaign, which raised more than $3.3 million for the A Commitment to
Memory Capital Campaign.

We are proud to celebrate this opening of these new residences, and we look forward to continually striving to provide the most positive aging experience possible. We hope you will join us to celebrate and get a first look at the new additions to our campus!


We are very grateful to the Sieglers for their generous gift to support A Commitment to Memory campaign. They expressed interest in supporting this project from the very beginning, knowing how important it is for our residents and our community. Their name will be associated with one of the two courtyards in the Martha Jane Phillips Starr Memory Care Residence.

Carol and Mort Siegler’s Reflections on Their Gift

to the A Commitment to Memory Campaign Mort and I have always tried to be proactive in the human rights field by attempting to stay ahead of the curve. We believe there is substantial evidence that mental illness is increasing exponentially in our younger generations. Our contribution to the memory care campaign follows our thoughts on mental health, which dictates to us the need to respond in kind.

We are so excited to be a part of making this Garden a reality! This will be a beautiful and restful place for those challenged to reflect and feel safe.

We are thrilled to celebrate the completion of the A Commitment to Memory Campaign — with more than $3.3 million committed! We received gifts or pledges from 144 donors, representing more than 198 people, ranging from $10 to $1 million — the average gift being $7,000.

We are overwhelmed with the response from our residents, employees, trustees, Harbor Club members, business partners, and the community! The additional funds over the $3 million goal will be added to the Designated Investment Fund, which will generate the annual funds needed to deliver a premier program in innovative care that this campaign made possible.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place on January 10th, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. in the new Northwest Garden Building. Invitations are forthcoming. We wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Campaign Committee and all of the donors who have made this campaign possible!