The Woodlands Retirement Community Resident’s Story: Dan Feighery

Photo caption: Dan Feighery, Don Allen, and Jean Feighery welcome Don Allen to the Bistro and neighborhood. Don was a student of Dan’s and in April, will be a neighbor!

The following story was shared by Dan Feighery during a recent presentation by three residents at The Woodlands to a group of prospective residents considering moving to a retirement community.

“We started with a small two-bedroom house in 1966 and by 1984 we had a three-level, plus basement, house, an acre of land and a 200 foot long driveway. With each move we accumulated more things!

About 15 years ago a medical procedure required my having a short rehab which made me think that, at some point, staying in our house might become a challenge. As we age, our house ages!

In the early 2000s Jean’s mother lived alone in their rural Monticello, New York house. Then in the fall of 2004, we had a phone call from the hospital saying they could not release her to live by herself and that they suspected Alzheimer’s.

We needed to find some place near where we lived. We were appalled at what we saw. A FFX Government Center advisor mentioned a new place called The Gardens at Fair Oaks. Mom moved into their Memory Care Unit. After a few months of proper food, care and medication alignment, she moved upstairs to an assisted living apartment. She lived there happily for about two years before she died in 2006. This was a textbook case of an elderly person trying to care for themselves day-to-day, that had not worked out.

When I was in my early 70s, we were still active with the Lifelong Learning Center at George Mason University. We learned about senior housing, activities of daily living and Continuous Care Retirement Communities ranging from Independent Living to nursing care and the costs involved.

I thought to myself, I’ll probably die before my wife, Jean, and I didn’t want her living alone in the house like her mother had in her later years. I put together an Excel spreadsheet to project costs versus income and investments.

When I was almost 76, we decided instead of paying taxes, as well as heating and cooling unused spaces, and clearing fallen trees, etc, we would review literature from various facilities, planning to sell our home when I turned 80. Over the next few years, we visited several communities and fine-tuned our thinking.

This is Not Just a Real Estate Decision. It is a Way of Life Decision!

We met a retired official from the Federal Emergency Management Agency who said he moved into The Woodlands in 2011 and had a glowing opinion of the community. Since both The Gardens and The Woodlands are run by The Bainum family, he suggested we visit with Ellen.

After an initial conversation with Ellen, we focused on understanding The Woodlands as a possible retirement home. It was a relatively small population of retirees from diverse jobs. We downloaded the Residence and Care Agreement which had “rules to live by.”

Jean and I attended an informal resident/management get-together over coffee and snacks. Chatting with some of the residents, we got the feeling that The Woodlands was more like a friendly neighborhood rather than a hotel or senior apartment.

We attended a weekday dinner and Sunday brunch and a couple of “Community Meetings” with updates by the staff on what was happening in the community.

Before making a final decision, we also took a copy of everything we would have to sign to our lawyer to be sure we understood and needed to get clarification on a couple of things. I was 76 when we then finalized which apartment design we preferred and paid the $1,000 to be on the waiting list, anticipating a year or two wait.

A few months later we had a phone call from Ellen advising us we were number three on a waitlist for an Oaks II design which was becoming available in about three months. We looked back over our notes and financial projections. European Opera and photo trips had to be cut. We said yes and called a real estate agent.

seniors enjoying a Valentine's Day event

Making the Decision to Move to a Senior Retirement Community

Our decision came down to three quality of life factors, plus the cost considerations.

  • We would be close to places important to us. We wanted to stay involved with old friends, churches, George Mason University and a newborn We wanted indoor parking for one car since we remained active in the Northern Virginia area.
  • The Woodlands was a relatively small retirement community with a diverse population of people we thought we would like to know better.
  • The We just had a good feeling when we visited and spoke with both folks who lived here and staff as well.

Special Features that Convinced Us We Made the Right Move

The Dining Room – The Bainum family has made dining a high priority in their senior living communities. Small details add up to a wonderful experience, such as:

  • Tablecloths in the dining room
  • You can reserve a particular table
  • Servers call you by name
  • Menus are published for the following week and you can also ask for adjustments to the day’s menu.
  • You can order the meal to go and eat in your

One meal per day is covered by the fee. You can carry over or use a meal credit for a guest, etc. The Bistro is open for lunch. You can charge, pay or use a meal credit.

Sense of Community – We enjoy getting to know other senior residents and becoming friends with some. Not all our neighbors were born in the United States. Some of the other countries include Australia, England, Germany, and Switzerland.

Casual Social Interactions – a variety of daily, weekly and annual events create a very active independent living lifestyle for residents. Morning round tables, ROMEO’s (a group of Retired Old Men Eating Out that go to a diner each Friday morning), Juliet’s coffee, outdoor barbecues, craft showcase, Great Courses, Senior Olympics, table games and family swims are just a few of the many activities that make The Woodlands such a special place to live.

The Setting: The views out the windows in this 17-acre community can include woods, walking paths and pond, plus individual gardens in the back. All of the amenities are conveniently located in one building including the indoor pool, fitness center, yoga studio, library and movie theater.

Maintenance-free Living – The snow is cleared off residents’ cars, or the cars are moved inside to clear driveways parking. Beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens, all cared for by a professional team of friendly workers who take pride in the appearance of The Woodlands.

Scheduled Transportation – Bonita Lestina Concert Series and other entertainment venues, Oakton Library and museums are just some of the area attractions which are easily accessible with several Woodlands vehicles including a large van and sedans. Regularly scheduled routes to nearby shopping and scheduled medical appointments are convenient with The Woodlands available vehicles.

There are many options for senior living in the Fairfax-northern Virginia area. But the combination of the Bainum family’s extensive experience in senior care communities and their values and priorities of creating a family-oriented living environment for each of their residents convinced Jean and me that we made the right decision.

Contact them today to see if they are the right senior living community for you!

Meet Our Residents and Enjoy Lunch On Us

Join Us for Our Lunch & Learn Event On January 25th

The New Year is the perfect time to join us at The Woodlands. Our residents would like to cordially invite you to an exclusive “Lunch & Learn” event, where you can learn first hand why “Never Retire” is more than just a slogan; it’s a way of life at The Woodlands.

During our special panel discussion you’ll have a chance to ask questions about what inspired our residents to select The Woodlands, what they love about the lifestyle and more. Their presentation will be followed by a complimentary lunch. Reserve your seat today!

Register for Our “Lunch & Learn” Event
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2024
Time: 11:00 – Resident Panel Discussion
12:00 – Lunch with Residents
1:30 – Tour of our amenities and select residences
To reserve your seat, call 571-559-7294 or email Ellen at or Karen at

Never Retire Your Ability to Make a Splash!

Dive into our awesome aquatics classes — available Monday through Friday, mornings and afternoons. The pool temperature is always set at an inviting 90 degrees. Classes are limited to eight per session. For more information about our class schedule and to sign up, please contact our class coordinator, Yene, at 703-667-9800.

Never Retire Your Love for a Great Deal

Enjoy two months’ free rent!

We’re kicking off the New Year with some significant savings. Now, when you move in within 60 days of placing your deposit, you’ll receive two months’ rent for FREE! This offer is only available for select apartment styles.

To tour available residences and discover our luxury lifestyle, call 571-559-7294 or email Ellen at or Karen at

Short Stories of Christmas Memories by Charles Spasaro

The Old Lady at the Bus Stop

I was about 15 years old. A few days before Christmas I was out riding my bike up the street I lived on to the main road, a four-lane road with a medium strip in between. I stopped my bike at the intersection and surveyed the busy traffic going in both directions. I noticed an old lady on the other side standing at the bus stop with both arms full of packages. I dropped my bike and ran across the main road and asked the lady if I could help her. “Oh yes,” she said, “that would be wonderful.”

I grabbed the packages and told her to hold my arm. We slowly, carefully, made our way over the first road to the median strip. She was very frightened. I assured her we were going to be all right. We then crossed the second road and stepped up onto the sidewalk. I asked if she wanted me to carry the packages to her house. She said it was a short distance and she could make it. As she walked off toward home, she turned to me with a look of affection and said, “Thank you my son, have a Merry Christmas.” I felt a warmness come over me that I’ll never forget.

Remembering Christmas Past

One year we took Stephanie and Paul to see the Santa at the Merrifield Nursery. I overheard what the kids told him they wanted. I didn’t hear Stephanie ask for a dollhouse, but I thought it would make a good gift from her mom and me. I bought a kit and began putting it together, working down in the basement almost every night in December after the kids had gone to bed.

On Christmas Eve, I still hadn’t finished it. After I read the kids “The Night Before Christmas,” I went down to the basement and worked on it. About 2:00 o’clock, I was sure I heard a noise upstairs, and then another noise. I thought, could that be Santa? I was very tempted to go up and peek – but I was worried that if he saw me, he might leave. I didn’t go and missed my one chance to see Santa.

Anyhow, I completed the dollhouse about 3 o’clock and half asleep I carried it upstairs and drearily went to bed. The next morning about seven the kids came in jumping on the bed shouting Santa’s come, Santa’s come. My wife and I dragged ourselves downstairs to watch the kids tear into the toys Santa had left. After a while, I said to Stephanie “Look at the dollhouse we made for you.” She walked over, looked at it, said “Thanks, Dad,” and went back to the other toys.

I don’t think she ever played with that dollhouse. But that’s okay, it was a labor of love.

The Thought Behind the Gift

We’ve all received a lot of nice gifts or are going to, and sometimes we lose sight of the “thought behind the gift.” Someone who cares about you, who loves you… thought about what to get you, not just any old gift but what you would like or need. That someone then spent time shopping for the gift and then wrapping it with care.

So, when you look at a gift you are about to open – think about the person who gave it to you and the “thought behind the gift.”

Making Spirits Bright All Season Long!

Please be our guest for a magnificent lineup of talented entertainers throughout the month of December and be sure to mark your calendar for very special open house event on December 14th! Mix, mingle and be merry all season long.

Reserve your spot today for any or all of these festive, fun events. Call 571-559-7294 or email Ellen Limburg at or Karen at


Think of This as Our Holiday Gift to You

Join us for a festive Holiday Social & Open House Event at The Woodlands.

Date: December 14, 2023
Time: 2:00 PM   – 4:00 PM
Location: The Woodlands, 4320 Forest Hill Drive, Fairfax, VA

From twinkling lights and festive decor to music, merriment and morethe magic of the season comes alive at The Woodlands. Come experience it for yourself at our special Holiday Social and Open House event.

  • Mix and mingle with current residents
  • Private self-guided tours of select residences
  • Complimentary refreshments, including vegan and vegetarian options
  • Holiday music and breathtaking decorations 
  • Ask about our special year-end incentives on select, available residences 

Please RSVP by December 12th to let us know how many will attend. Call 571-559-7294 or email Ellen Limburg at or Karen at

Thomas Pandolfi

Piano Recital
Friday, December 1st at  7:00 PM

Living Room

Thomas Pandolfi is one of the leading pianists of our time, hailed a “phenomenon.” He began his career early on while at The Juilliard School (BM & MM) where the young prodigy caught the influential ear of Vladimir Horowitz, who would become his mentor, and legendary composer, Morton Gould. Since then, he has been an audience favorite, selling out the world’s most prestigious stages, including LincolnCenter’s Alice Tully Hall, Strathmore, The Kennedy Center, Kiev Opera House, Bucharest’s RomanianAthenaeum, London’s Cadogan Hall, and many others.

Mr. Pandolfi is a Steinway Artist and will begin recording for Steinway Spirio later this year. Mr.Pandolfi’s performances have been broadcast by PBS, WETA (Washington, DC), WQXR (NYC), WRCJ (Detroit), DCN TV (China), The Sound (DC), and many others worldwide. During his 2019-2020 season, he completed a 20-state tour of the USA, his fourth tour in China, third tour of the UK, and seventh tour of Romania and Moldova.

Good Queen Bess Live!

By Award-Winning Actress & Smithsonian Scholar Mary Ann Jung
Thursday, December 7th at 2:00 PM
Community Room

If playing football’s a crime and roasted peacock’s for supper, it can only mean one thing- QueenElizabeth Tudor is regaling her subjects with tales about life in Renaissance England! Enjoy a royal romp as Her Majesty delightfully describes the foods, pastimes,  clothes, and even manners of her realm. Huzzah!

Les Zazous Concert

Saturday, December 9th at 7:00 PM
Living Room

Inspired by the raw energy of gypsy jazz, the sensual pull of French chanson, and the heat of Latin ballads, all rolled together with stylish American swing, a musical chord was struck. Les Zazous has performed for a long list of notable events from coast to coast, including the Beverly Hills Concert Series, The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, and The French Embassy in Washington, DC.

The Borisevich Duo

Sunday, December 10th at 4:00 PM
Living Room

The Borisevich Duo, featuring pianist Margarita Loukachkina and violinist Nikita Borisevich, is an internationally acclaimed violin and piano duet, frequently performing across the United States and Europe.

Abbie Palmer on Harp

Friday, December 22nd at 7:00 PM
Living Room

Abbie Palmer is a multi-genre musician, composer, recording artist, music therapist, teacher, meditation facilitator, and music director. With roots in World music, Classical training, and a contemporary writing style, Abbie brings an eclectic and eccentric flavor to any stage.

A Winter Year-end Incentive That Will
Move You

Available Now!
Our spacious Elm III apartment — save up to $40,000 off the entrance fee.

We’re excited to announce that our beautiful Elm III apartment home is currently available and waiting for you. Ideally located, this oversized, open-concept, two-bedroom apartment has a striking northern exposure.

Spacious and modern, the residence features a large, eat-in, fully-applianced kitchen, two large bathrooms and ample closet space throughout. What’s more, if you reserve by December 31, 2023 and move in by March 1, 2024, you’ll enjoy UP TO $40,000 OFF THE ENTRANCE FEE!

Don’t miss out on this limited-time opportunity. Take an in-person tour at our December Open House. For more information about this exciting offer, call 571-559-7294 or email Ellen Limburg at or Karen at

Enjoy Music & More at The Woodlands in November

At The Woodlands, we invite you to “never retire” your zest for the good life. That’s why we’ve created an amazing November line up of special entertainment that you’ll surely be thankful for. From a wide variety of exciting musical performances to a dramatic portrayal of Mark Twain, these events are free to attend and are truly not to be missed.

Space is limited, so please reserve your spot today for one or more of these events. To RSVP,  email Ellen Limburg at or Karen at, or call 703-782-4762.


Thursday, November 2nd – 2:00 PM

Gary Robertson as Mark Twain

Don’t miss Gary Robertson’s portrayal of Mark Twain —an American original whose wisdom and humor have endured for generations. Gary is a former reporter and columnist for Virginia’s largest newspaper where he earned a reputation as a popular banquet speaker.  He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Richmond.

Sunday, November 5th – 7:00 PM
Living Room

Violinist Benedict Goodfriend  

Praised by the New York Times for his “individual virtuosity “ and called “fascinating” and “passionately expressive” by American Record Guide, Benedict Goodfriend is well known to audiences worldwide, having performed well over 1,000 concerts on major concert series in 200 cities.

Monday, November 6th – 3:00 PM
Living Room

Musical—Let’s Give Thanks with Terry Lee Ryan

Saturday, November 11th – 7:00 PM

Living Room


Les Zazous Concert

Inspired by the raw energy of gypsy jazz, the sensual pull of French chanson, and the heat of Latin ballads, all rolled together with stylish American swing, a musical chord was struck. Les Zazous has performed for a long list of notable events from coast to coast, including the Beverly Hills Concert Series, The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, and The French Embassy in Washington, DC.

Saturday, November 18th – 7:00 PM

Sean Mahon Piano Recital

Sunday, November 19th – 7:30 PM
Living Room

Musical—Let’s Give Thanks with Terry Lee Ryan

Wednesday, November 29th3:30 PM

Hymn Sing with Bill Perry

To learn more about these special events and The Woodlands’ vibrant lifestyle and to take a tour of our many on-site amenities like our fitness center, yoga studio, indoor pool and outdoor bocce court, please email email Ellen Limburg at or Karen at or call 703-782-4762.

Maureen Kennedy

Maureen was born in County Offaly in the Irish midlands 93 years ago.  Her parents were teachers, but her mother had to give up her school when her baby Ford had been put up on blocks in the garage and she couldn’t get tires for her bicycle, due to the war.  A family escaping Germany lived in their area, and the English wife gave violin lessons to Maureen and her brother, and then taught her when they were able to get a piano.

Education was important and in 1944 she went to boarding school for three years at Mount Sackville Convent by Phoenix Park in Dublin. It is still a vibrant school today, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny, the nuns with the big white hats.  Maureen was the leading soprano in the operas and was noticed by the local opera people. However, when her mother became very ill, she had to run the household until her parents passed.

After the war, in the fifties, there was little opportunity for single women to make a living wage. Maureen went to ‘jolly’ London and worked as a bank clerk, where the books had to be balanced by hand every day. Renting a typewriter, she taught herself to type and used her mother’s old textbook to learn Gregg shorthand.  A school friend working in NYC invited Maureen to come stay with her, and she arrived in 1963. Maureen remembered her father telling her brother that the oil industry was the place to work and make money.

Several jobs in the big city gave her enough skill to one day confidently walk into Mobil Oil HQ on 42nd Street and apply for a job. Maureen was hired immediately as a legal secretary typing contracts.  Reading a flyer circulated only to men, she learned they intended to train employees to be computer programmers.  Three years later, she studied the books, passed the qualifying test and started her climb up that ladder.

At NYU she was certified by the Data Processing & Systems Analysis Institute in 1977, became a Registered Professional Nurse at USNY, received a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Nursing (cum laude) at Hunter College in 1979 and an MBA at Fordham in 1983; all while enjoying life from her apartment with her own piano in Stuyvesant Heights.  Maureen had joined the tax department and moved with HQs to Fairfax.  Arriving at the airport, she picked up a Ford Taurus, and started a new life that included playing Irish tunes on the fiddle every Saturday with The Breakfast Club in Alexandria. She never lost that Irish lilt in speaking.  After 21 years Maureen retired from Mobil as a Tax Accountant.

Renewing her friendship with a doctor in Towson, MD, her first boyfriend in that Irish high school, they traveled back to Ireland many times. From her townhouse condo near the Government Center, Maureen often walked the grounds of The Woodlands and knew this was where she wanted to be when the time came not to be on her own.

Her plans are that one day she will join her parents and sister in that Irish cemetery.  Meanwhile, she enjoys the Great Courses classes, breaks out in song whenever she can, and digs in her brain for the answers to the questions along Memory Boulevard on Wednesdays. Starting a career in the early days of women’s liberation, Maureen always has been a woman of great independence and determination to succeed on her own. Well done!

MY BRUSH WITH HISTORY - Dave Smith, USNA Class of 1957

I am sure many classmates have either “brushed” history or “made” history.  In my case, I had an early “brush” that was quite interesting—I was present at the meeting of President Eisenhower and Nikita Khrushchev in September 1959, when Khrushchev became the first Soviet leader to visit the United States.

After graduating from the United States Naval Academy, I entered the Air Force in the Technical Intelligence career field. This was during the white heat of the arms race with the Soviets, and just before the Bay of Pigs adventure. The Air Force was, understandably, very interested in Soviet technology, especially their development of fighters, bombers, and missiles. The launch of Sputnik I on October 4, 1957, only sharpened this interest and definitely caught our attention!

So, when Nikita Khrushchev, as the First Secretary of the Communist Party, agreed to make a visit to the United States, we set in motion a broad and detailed intelligence-gathering plan. Several of us went “undercover” as aircraft maintenance technicians working at Idlewild Airport (now J.F. Kennedy).  Khrushchev arrived in a new and giant (first time out of the Soviet Union) Tupolev TU-114 turboprop-driven aircraft. He was accompanied by several TU-104 twin-engine jets. We wanted to get as close to these airplanes as possible to record engine stages for subsequent analysis, assess their communications equipment, examine the construction, and overall assess the level of technology. We did a close-up look at the airplanes, and I even worked my way into the belly of one of the TU-104s.

When Khrushchev landed, I was in a follow-me vehicle at the tail of the airplane. I had a front-row seat to watch him deplane and be embraced by President Eisenhower. Since the plane screened off from this event from the terminal, the press was not present. I have never seen a photo of this greeting, but I suspect a White House photographer must have been present. However, there was no picture in the newspapers. Oh, had I thought to have had a camera!

Concurrent with Khrushchev’s visit, the Soviets sent a Sputnik II satellite to New York to show it off in a trade show. So, during the next few days, we conveniently “borrowed” Sputnik II to make a close-up examination of its construction and technology.

From my standpoint, very early in my career, it was a real and successful, cloak and dagger operation that yielded much valuable information on Soviet military technology.  However, the Khrushchev visit is probably more notably remembered by his visit to an Iowa farm, and his not being permitted to visit Disneyland in Los Angeles. Sorry!

Betty Gore

Betty was only a toddler when the stock market crashed in 1929.  Her father, engaged in the NY markets, lost his clients.  She remembers feeling lucky that they were able to stay in their home, but there were no new clothes, only hand-me-downs from her sister or cousins.  In 1942 her father was able to get a position with the Department of Agriculture, hugely important at that time, and they moved to Alexandria, VA.

Attending George Washington HS, she worked as a file clerk for the Navy Department the summer she was sixteen.  News of the war was limited to the radio and Movie Tone news, but the military presence was the central part of life in the US capitol and its growing suburbs.  As a teenager, there was no driving around in cars on weekends because gas was rationed. Near a wartime city, she remembers the East Coast ‘brown outs’ where the shades were closed every night to hide the lights inside.

Another memory is watching from Long Island Sound the German Hindenburg airship, with big red Swastikas painted on it, fly overhead in 1936, and she could see the passengers on the observation deck.  She still remembers wondering how the accommodations in that dirigible were arranged and the speculation everywhere as to whether it was on a mission to take pictures of the East Coast shoreline.

Betty graduated from Mary Washington College with a degree in Art. She taught elementary classes for two years in Alexandria. In 1951 she married Herschel Gore. He was a Marine Corps veteran from World War II, serving as a Marine tail-gunner on B-25s during the war in the Pacific.  After he graduated from UVA, Betty taught four more years in Charlottesville while he attended medical school.  Herschel joined the US Public Health Service with assignments in New York, Greece, and Washington DC.  They ended up living in the heart of Fairfax City with their four children.

In 1978 Betty had time for her intense interest in history and art by working as a docent at the Robert E. Lee Boyhood Home in Alexandria.  She stayed there for 17 years.  In 1981, her schedule added a weekly DC trip to docent at the Hirshhorn Museum. In 1993 she retired as a professional volunteer docent.

Along the way, Betty started water color classes at NOVA.  She was active in the McLean Art Club and the Art League of Fairfax.  Her travels to art workshops include trips to Italy, Greece, France, Tunisia, Mexico, and many at Springmaid Textile workshops in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Herschel died of cancer in 1989, and in 1993 Betty bought a home near her daughter in Charlottesville. After 14 years there, she moved to an apartment in Oakton VA near her three other children in the area, and six grandchildren.

Betty came to The Woodlands in 2015.  Her home is filled with memories:  the small Victorian table that meets you at the door is from her grandfather’s antique collection, her grandmother’s gold mirror inside provides one last look before you leave, the brass and copper displays include a mortar and pestle collection, the Marine plaque over one door, and the Public Health Service over another.  Most of all, a visitor can enjoy Betty’s own lovely watercolors.

Hank Eckel

Hank Eckel was just an infant when Hitler’s Army marched east past his family’s home at the Baltic Sea near the Polish border. He was born on his mother’s wealthy family estate in the state of Thuringia in a lovely house built as the result of the successful family business. This was only a few towns away from where Martin Luther lived and it became one of the five German states that ended up behind the Iron Curtain. Hank visited the area in 1992 to see dilapidated factories and six families living in his birth house.

Originally from a German colony in South West Africa, Hank’s father was a sailor on the most famous German tall ship (the Gorch Fock) sailing off South America, but was drafted at the beginning of WWII into the Luftwaffe, when it was learned that he was a glider pilot. He was assigned to the airplane and rocket testing grounds at the Baltic Sea shore and the family moved there into a house and his mother’s parents provided a DKW car, a motorcycle with side car, and a riding horse. Everything was wonderful until the end of the war, when the Russians roamed through the area and evacuated Hank, his mother, and his younger brother to the nearby city.

Meanwhile, Hank’s father was taken prisoner by the Russians, but was able to escape and find his family. The home and all belongings were lost. The family decided to move to the western part of Germany. At age 6, Hank remembers that the family, and many other people trying to get away from the Russians, crowded into a cattle train heading west. The family ended up in a small village, living with a farmer. Many people were poor in those days. The Iron Curtain went up. Hank’s mother gave birth to two more boys and she desperately missed her sister and parents, now in East Germany and unreachable. She died at age 30, when he was 10 years old with three brothers.

Hank was able to go to school from age seven to 16 and spoke German, English, and French. He made every effort to improve his school English through frequent interface with American GIs. He applied for work at Standard Oil, Germany, in Frankfurt. His training in all aspects of the company, offices and hand-on at the airport, Main river harbor, trade school, company schooling, etc. led to excellent business knowledge. At 19, he was promoted to the Corporate Headquarters in Hamburg, where he applied for immigration to the USA and also met Christa, whom he married two years later.

A friendship with an American girl in Germany led to her family sponsoring him as an immigrant. Standard Oil (ESSO, Germany), gave him his voyage across the ocean to Canada, from there he took a train to New York city and rode a Greyhound bus to Ohio in late 1959. A survivor of war-torn Germany in rubble and the disgrace of Hitler, he decided to build a new life and career in the United States.

As a 20-year-old immigrant he was drafted into the US Army and moved rapidly to the rank of Staff Sargent. He served a year in Korea, maintaining correspondence with Christa. Her experience as a two-year-old in the war was to seek shelter in the basement of their house with her mother during an air raid, which destroyed the house and all their belongings, leaving them homeless. Her father was traced to Stalingrad, but was never heard from again.

Whenever possible, Hank earned credits in universities, and while stationed in Germany, returned on leave to Ohio to become an American citizen after just three years from the date of his US arrival. Being interested in flying, he attended helicopter flight school and served two years in Vietnam flying helicopters. He had a satisfying, diverse military career, retiring as Colonel with 33 years of service.

Christa retired from Government service as a GS-14 Contract Audit Manager with a Virginia CPA. He and Christa have one daughter, a judge in the PA court system, and two granddaughters.

Jim Wescoat

Jim dropped out of high school and joined the Marines one month after Pearl Harbor. He served as an anti-aircraft machine gunner in the Marine detachment aboard the light cruiser USS Denver, in the Japanese waters of the Southwest Pacific. The most noteworthy single occurrence was when the ship was torpedoed and very nearly sunk, dead in the water with the engine room blown out. Managing to stay afloat, an ocean-going tug towed the Denver back to Guadalcanal.

Jim served 45 months as a Marine, ending as an artillery buck sergeant preparing for the invasion of Japan. Hiroshima ended the war and our servicemen headed home. His service opened new opportunities for doing well in life, and he immediately worked to get the high school diploma he sorely lacked. Determined to get an education, on the GI Bill, Jim received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia. A friend had introduced him to the love of his life, Bonna, and they entered his life in the petroleum industry.

Jim’s professional service involved working for several companies at their refining and marketing facilities. The most recent and rewarding assignment involved making numerous short duration inspection and consultation visits to each of the Mobil International marketing terminals and refineries. Retiring at 75, Jim enjoyed volunteering at the Lamb Center and at schools.

Jim and his late wife, Bonna, were blessed with 72 years together and a close-knit family of four married children, eight grandchildren and one very new great grandson. While geographically located along both coasts, the Mid West, Europe and Africa, the bonds are still strong. With Bonna’s invaluable guidance and encouragement, all are happily on track following his or her own North Star. Jim, Bonna, and their late chocolate lab, Lucy, came to The Woodlands in 2018. Now at 101+ years, Jim is fully comfortable with modern technology, following his sailing son via satellite, and gladly will show you pictures of his wonderful new great-grandson.

The Woodlands is Alive with the Sound of Music in October

Join us for One or More of the Following October Musical Events and Our Special Open House on October 26th

The Woodlands’ events in October are sure to please every musical taste with a broad range of musicians providing everything from a piano concert in the Living Room on October 12th to Oktoberfest-style German accordion music at our Special Open House on October 26th.

Enjoy refreshments and then take a self-guided tour of our residences

Come meet residents of The Woodlands and hear first-hand what makes this such a wonderful community.  Take a self-guided tour of our apartment homes, at your leisure, and learn more about the special incentives being offered at select residences during October. As you tour each residence, a Woodlands resident will be available to answer questions you might have about what it’s like to live at The Woodlands.

Date: Thursday, October 26, 2023
Time: 11:30 AM – 3 PM
Location: The Woodlands, 4320 Forest Hill Drive, Fairfax VA

Complimentary refreshments will be served at a reception hosted by The Woodlands residents.

RSVP: Please RSVP by October 22nd to let us know how many will attend:
Email Ellen Limburg at or Karen at or call 703-782-4762.

Don’t miss these other exciting events happening at The Woodlands in October. Call or email us to reserve your seat(s) for one or more events.

Thursday, October 12th – 7:45 PM
Living Room

Jerry Roman Concert

Friday, October 13th – 4:00 PM

Happy Hour with Steve Kenley

Sunday, October 15th – 7:30 PM
Living Room

“Country Through The Years” with Terry Lee Ryan

Thursday, October 19th – 2:00 PM
Community Room

Clara Barton Live!

Clara Barton, America’s greatest heroine, faced bullying and bullets with astonishing bravery to save the lives of others as a courageous Civil War nurse. She then went on to create The Missing Soldiers Office and the American Red Cross despite formidable obstacles. Audience members become naysayers and believers to discover what these struggles and accomplishments meant on a personal level. This award-winning show inspires all of us to “Never Give Up!”

Sunday, October 22nd – 4:00 PM
Living Room

David Pedrazza & Friends in Concert

Tuesday, October 24th – 3:00 PM

Living Room

Hymn-sing with Bill Perry

Thursday, October 26th – 11 AM
Community Room

Special Open House and German Accordion Music featuring Justin Paschalides

Justin is an active performer in the Metropolitan area. He has led rock groups, once opening for the famous Jefferson Starship.  He has conducted orchestras for musical theater, coordinated and performed church music programs, plays accordion for farmer’s markets, restaurants, Oktoberfest, coffee houses, plays jazz for private events, hotels, embassies, weddings, leads Christmas caroling, and studied classical Indian Hindustani music to perform on harmonium and sitar, once even for the Kennedy Center. Justin is a member of the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society

Friday, October 27th – 4:00 PM

Happy Hour with “Jumpin Joe” and his Motown/Oldies Show

Performing all the classic hits of Motown from The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Martha & The Vandella’s & lots more………
You may also hear “Jumpin Joe” tributes to Elvis, Sinatra, Micheal Jackson, The Drifters, Platters, and the Coasters.

Sunday, October 29th – 7:00 PM
Living Room

Ronn McFarlane

Ronn is a Grammy-nominated lutenist whom The Washington Times describes as playing “…..some of the most ravishing lute playing to be heard anywhere.”

Seating at these events is limited. To reserve your seat(s) for any or our October events, email Ellen Limburg at or Karen at or call 703-667-9801

Anny DeBoeck

Anny Is proud to be 97 years old and was born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium. During the war she went to a boarding school in Brussels.  When the railroads were bombed, she, along with four other girls, rode their bicycles four and a half hours to get home for the weekend.  They often were tooted at by the German soldiers passing by.

Totally overcome by German bombing that blew out the windows and doors of her home, her family decided to stay in Antwerp. The Belgians endured food and other shortages, loss of their private vehicles, and the governing by Germans.

Her older brother, Pierre, served a short time in the Belgian army, fought in France, and was captured, but was able to go home because his captors couldn’t wait for the trains to take away prisoners of war to Germany.

Her favorite war story is when she played Saint Nicholas dressed in a bishop’s robes and a high mitre hat on a school stage when an air raid took place.  Everyone took shelter except for Anny in that cumbersome outfit restraining her. And after all – she was St. Nicholas!!

Anny married Jean DeBoeck in the Belgian foreign service, who was sent to DC to work on the Marshall Plan.  Six years later he was hired by the World Bank.  During that time, Anny taught the Dutch language at the Foreign Service Institute. They became US citizens after his retirement.  She visited Belgium every other year until about six years ago.  She thinks in French, still enjoys reading French books, and sings heartily in French, when possible, in living room musical nights at The Woodlands.

Anny has a son and a daughter living close by, six grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.  They have big holiday gatherings! Prior to coming to The Woodlands as an original resident 14 years ago, Anny lived in Annandale.