The Brennity at Vero Beach Senior Living resident Johnnie S. is celebrating quite a milestone next month.
A native of North Carolina, Johnnie turns 100 on June 10th. Johnnie, who has lived at the community since 2016, has become a fixture for residents and associates alike. They love being around her and feeling the warmth that she radiates, the love that she has for others.
“She’ll look right at us and say, ‘I love you,’” The Brennity at Vero Beach Memory Care Director Trish Kelly said. “She’s special. Everyone loves Johnnie.”
When Trish walks through the community, she knows where she’ll find Johnnie, even if she doesn’t know her exact location. She’s always soaking in the sun, sitting by a window or on the porch, somewhere where she can enjoy the sunshine.
“She loves the sunshine and loves the outdoors,” Trish said. “Florida is really the perfect place for her.”
Johnnie grew up in the country, along with her three siblings. Her parents were farmers, growing crops like cotton, corn, wheat and peanuts on the land. But that wasn’t all – the family also raised chickens and dairy cows in addition to other sorts of livestock.
In the small town of Earl, North Carolina, located just north of the South Carolina border, Johnnie made quite the name for herself. She was her high school’s valedictorian, and in an era where a college education wasn’t available to many women, Johnnie’s academic prowess allowed her to attend college at Appalachian State, located in Boone, North Carolina.
At Appalachian State, Johnnie earned her teaching degree, setting the foundation for a long career in the field. More than that, however, she met her husband, Jim. They got married in 1943 and in more than 60 years of marriage, supported one another as they raised a family together. Unfortunately, Jim passed in 2005, after 62 years of marriage.
Though her roots are in North Carolina, Johnnie has been a Floridian for the vast majority of her life. She moved to the Vero Beach area in 1956, teaching second grade for more than 20 years. During their time in Vero Beach, Johnnie and Jim raised two sons. Her family includes two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Johnnie credits some of her longevity to her active lifestyle. For many years, she was very involved with her local church, First Baptist of Vero Beach, and belonged to Vero Beach Country Club. Her hobbies included golfing, water skiing and traveling across the country in an RV.
Since becoming part of The Brennity at Vero Beach community, Johnnie has earned a special place in the hearts of residents and team members alike. That’s why they’re so excited to celebrate her birthday next month.
Trish can already picture the event. Johnnie will be sharing her warmth with those around her, waiving like British royalty to residents and associates alike.
“She’s the community matriarch and she knows it,” Trish said. “She is what makes this community such a special place to be.”
With 61 communities across the country, Sagora Senior Living provides residents with a high standard of care and inclusive amenities across Cottage, Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care programs. To learn more, visit your local Sagora Senior Living community today!