After talking to Bev Ellis, you'll probably find yourself craving some dark chocolate—because that is what this vibrant Fox Run community member says is her secret to staying sharp as she gets older. She also credits her father's good genes and a positive attitude, but she adds in the chocolate for good measure.
"When I have a choice, I always have dark chocolate," she says. "I keep it on my coffee table, and I have a Dove dark chocolate with almonds every night."
Bev moved to Fox Run in 2013. She had been living in a condo in Farmington Hills, Mich., for many years. Now that she has discovered the convenience, comfort, and security that Fox Run offers, she encourages others to move to the community sooner rather than later.
"I am always touting this place to anyone I can tout it to, mostly to people who are just retiring," she says. "You can come and go as you please here and have the same activities you would have anywhere else and not have to move twice. We can play golf, go to the gym, go away for the winter—I think it's the best thing in the world."
Artist at heart
Bev has had a lifelong love of art. A Detroit native, she studied at Wayne College (before it became the University of Akron-Wayne College) and earned bachelor's and master's degrees in art education and special education. She went on to work as an art teacher in Detroit schools and later served as an art consultant, then as the head of elementary art for Farmington Schools.
Bev was a charter member of the Farmington Community Arts Council and served for many years as the president of the Farmington Area Arts Commission. She was also invited to join Delta Kappa Gamma, an international organization honoring "key women educators."
"I am still a member," she says. "I just got a certificate for being the oldest and longest-time member."
In the 1980s, Bev started making art in stained glass and sterling silver. She later got into making necklaces and earrings.
"I still have enough necklaces that when we have our craft show here next month, I have jewelry to sell," Bev says.
Bev and her late husband Jim had two children. In the '80s, they took in a Yugoslavian exchange student named Saveta. Although she was too old to actually be adopted, Saveta became an unofficial member of the family. Saveta lives just a few miles from Fox Run, so she and Bev visit each other frequently.
"I couldn't be in a better place at this stage in my life," Bev says of Fox Run. "I always tell new residents what a wonderful, friendly place it is."