By: Judy Stanford

When Tom Bulthuis says he is of Dutch heritage, we can tell that is more than just a matter of family descent — he was born in Grand Haven, Michigan, which he describes as “small-town America,” a beach town on Lake Michigan and part of a larger regional community of Dutch residents. Idyllic.

Tom grew up with four siblings who each married and had four children. Although he has no children of his own, he became “Uncle Tom” to 16 nieces and nephews. He is clearly Midwestern and Dutch.

After attending parochial schools through high school, Tom received his B.A. from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and his M.A. in Library Science from the University of Michigan.

Tom’s professional life began as a college reference librarian. He was later director of library services at Ramapo College of New Jersey and vice president of Microfilming Corporation, a New York Times subsidiary. He then became self-employed in graphic design, primarily working with the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Meanwhile (after marriage and the birth of two sons), Edy was enjoying a varied and extensive career in healthcare. Born in San Francisco and raised in Arlington, Virginia, she was educated at the University of North Carolina and the University of South Carolina, where she received her BSN degree.

Over time, Edy held nursing positions in labor/delivery as well as psychiatry. She served as assistant director of nursing, director of managed care at Travelers Insurance, and nurse consultant for wound and incontinent care for Kendall Healthcare.

Most rewarding of her career accomplishments? She developed and implemented the first infection control program in the 250+ bed acute care hospital where she was employed. In 1993, Tom and Edy discovered each other at their Chapel Hill condo community swimming pool. They married two years later. That was 22 years ago.

While in Chapel Hill, the Bulthuises were active community members. In addition to Edy’s efforts for the Chapel Hill Service League and the American Cancer Society, they volunteered at Family House — a hospital hospitality facility, much like Ronald McDonald house, built for adults. Together, Tom and Edy were volunteer ushers at UNC basketball games for 15 years. Tom also served as a board member of the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. They were ardent hikers and kayakers. Edy is a Ruby Life Master bridge player and has played duplicate bridge for many years.

The Bulthuises arrived in Sarasota in 2016. They lived downtown while waiting for just the right apartment in Plymouth Harbor to become available. Happily, they joined us in August 2017. All settled now, Tom and Edy look forward to sharing their lives with their new Plymouth Harbor family.