Meet the Residents

Dianne & John Dunn

Dianne and John came to Kendal at Hanover after living in Hanover for nine years, then across the river in Norwich, Vermont for over forty years.  John was raised in Larchmont, New York, a suburb of New York City.  Dianne grew up in Northfield, Ohio, midway between Cleveland and Akron.  Her family had riding horses, which became her lifelong interest.  Both attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where they met through John’s fraternity’s pet; a Great Dane.  Dianne’s widowed mother had retired to Los Angeles so they were married there at “Forest Lawn”.

John attended Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia while Dianne supported them working as an instructor of telephone company service representatives.  He also interned in the “City of Brotherly Love”.  Their first two children were born there.  On the basis of both reputation and location, John chose Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital (now Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center) for pathology residency.  They lived in “Rivercrest”, Dartmouth student housing, which, interestingly enough, was right next to the land where Kendal at Hanover would be built.

Upon finishing residency, John accepted a position with the Pathology Department serving the Clinic, Hospital, Dartmouth Medical School (now the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth), and the Veterans Affairs Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont. He also served as a Medical Examiner for the State of New Hampshire. Their younger two children were born in Hanover and Dianne became a full-time mother with volunteer work for the towns, schools, and the Montshire Museum in Norwich.

In Norwich they lived on a farm near Union Village and raised horses for riding and driving.  While the children learned about horses from Dianne, John and the kids learned to do the haying and other barn maintenance.  Hiking in the White Mountains became an important part of their lives.  They also traveled frequently to Boston, New York City, and the “Glimmerglass Opera” in Cooperstown, New York with friends (now also Kendal at Hanover residents) for opera performances.

“After practicing and teaching Pathology for forty very satisfying years and raising our children, retirement was upon us.  We applied to Kendal at Hanover not just because of the location, but because of their solid reputation as an exemplary Continuing Care Retirement Community.  The area has wonderful recreational and educational opportunities, often involving Dartmouth.  A very important aspect of Kendal, in our view, is the significant involvement by residents in various aspects of the community.  The myriad activities are all resident-run. The Residents are from a wide variety of backgrounds and they are all nice people!”

                                                                   -Dianne & John Dunn 

Why Kendal?

My husband, John, and I have known about Kendal since the early 90s, as his mother was a previous resident.  In our visits with her, we were always struck by the quality of living and loving care the residents receive and knew we desired that same care in the future.

No one should kid themselves that the transition to a new home is easy, even less so when you have to downsize and sell the residence you have probably lived in for many years. After we qualified for admission, although we thought we would like one of the largest apartments, we were shown a two-bedroom apartment, with an eastern exposure overlooking a delightful courtyard full of flowering trees and shrubs and fell in love with it. But the fun of watching the crew of careful Kendal carpenters, plumbers and painters completely renovate the apartment to our specifications made the transition interesting, even exciting. The oversight of this process by Kendal staff was superb, which enabled the renovation to be completed on time and ready for the arrival of our movers.

During the days of moving in, several members of the volunteer ‘Welcoming Committee’ called and asked to stop by and greet us, providing invaluable information to navigate the mysteries of life at Kendal. These visits introduced us to some wonderful residents and gave us information is small bites, so we were not overwhelmed.  This “orientation” continued over the following few weeks and within about a month, we felt settled into the Kendal community and were enjoying the array of evening events, yoga, aerobics, line-dancing classes, the fitness room, and the swimming pool.

One of the reasons we chose Kendal is that the community welcomes dogs, understanding how important animal companions are in our lives. Our dear 11 year old Chocolate Lab “Toby” stoically lived through our transition and quickly settled into apartment living. This Spring, we welcomed a Chocolate Lab puppy named “Guinness” into our Kendal life. His presence has brought special new life to us and we hope to other residents who love dogs, but no longer own them. He is so much a part of the community we even considered naming him Kendal.

Now that we have been at Kendal for nearly a year, we increasingly appreciate the network of support offered unobtrusively to residents in every facet of the community: caring, sensitive health care; very helpful facilities’ maintenance; an array of cultural offerings on site and in nearby Hanover; and the vitality of the interesting group of residents who have chosen Kendal as their home.