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The next book of my life'

Maris Grove a new adventure—interesting people, intriguing opportunities

Created date

June 8th, 2015
Maris Grove resident
Maris Grove resident

When Dushanka Keane, known as Dolly, moved to at a younger age than most residents, she discovered the best of everything. 

So as a resident ambassador for Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa., when she talks with people who attend the community’s sales events, she encourages them to move earlier rather than later. 

“Why move from a house to a condo and then here?” she says. “What’s the plus in making multiple moves? You can still have a lot of activities outside of Maris Grove, but living here makes life much easier.”

Before her move, Dolly maintained a four-bedroom house in West Chester, Pa., cared for a large yard, and worked at DuPont. “It all got to be too much,” she says. “After 60 bags of mulch one year, I’d had it!”

Immediate comfort

Then a fortuitous series of events occurred. 

Dolly sold her house to her daughter Mary and found her ideal home, a bay-windowed light and airy two-bedroom floor plan at Maris Grove. 

Moving just 20 minutes away from Mary also made it simple for Dolly to babysit her two grandchildren twice a week.

Maris Grove’s 90% refundable entrance deposit, which will eventually go to Dolly’s estate (the Residence and Care Agreement has all the details), has even helped her to plan for the future for her grandchildren’s college educations.

She felt immediately comfortable at Maris Grove. It features maintenance-free living, and many of her DuPont friends live there, too.  

Unlike at some 55-plus communities, “I don’t have to go outside to get to dinner,” Dolly says. Maris Grove’s buildings all are connected by interior hallways and climate-controlled bridges, so the lifestyle is weatherproof.

Best of all, “For so many years I had work and family. I also took care of my parents,” says Dolly. “Now I can do things I’m interested in.” 

Art trumps science

When Dolly retired from DuPont last year, she replaced science with art. 

She serves on the board of the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, Del., and is a member of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Driving to New Brunswick, N.J., and crossing the street to hop on a suburban bus gets her to the Metropolitan in two and a half hours. 

Most of her artistic interests relate to her Russian heritage and Serbian Orthodox religion; Dolly collects Kornilov Brothers prerevolutionary Pan-Slavic china as well as Faberge books. She also speaks four languages.

Petit point needlework, Russian family heirlooms, and religious icons so decorate her home that she seems to live surrounded by ancestors. 

When her older daughter visits each month from Baltimore, the décor welcomes her to a familiar, nostalgic setting. 

Not that Dolly lives in the past. A vivacious and spontaneous people person, she’s rooted in the present. 

Fun-filled outings with friends

When the Art Museum of Philadelphia mounts special exhibits, Dolly gathers friends from DuPont and Maris Grove to attend pre-exhibit docent lectures and festive lunches in Center City. 

When a popular Chinese restaurant near Maris Grove announced it was closing, she helped assemble a group of neighbors to eat there one last time.

“You get opportunities here that might not occur if you lived in a condo or were alone in your house,” she says. 

Another case in point: when Dolly’s Maris Grove neighbor Rena Miller learned that Dolly and two friends from outside Maris Grove were planning a river cruise in France, she asked to join them. They welcomed her aboard. 

So this August, Dolly and Rena will lock their doors and head to the airport knowing that, thanks to Maris Grove’s 24/7 security, they needn’t worry about a thing. 

Well-rounded lifestyle

Residents can be as involved or uninvolved as they like at Maris Grove. Because Dolly is so active off campus—for example, her church is in Elkins Park—she makes a point of participating at Maris Grove.

She’s modeled in one of its fashion shows, belongs to its DuPont club, and enjoys chef-prepared meals with her neighbors at Maris Grove’s four on-site restaurants. 

If she has an evening commitment, she can pick up her meal to go from Maris Grove’s Cardinal Express carryout. 

Another convenience? When her hallway neighbor finishes reading The Wall Street Journal each day, he leaves it at Dolly’s door. That kind of small-town neighborliness exists throughout Maris Grove. 

Dolly describes her lifestyle as a new adventure filled with interesting people and intriguing opportunities.

“Maris Grove is the next book of my life,” she says. “I’ve lived the first book; now I’m ready for the second. And I have a lot of years to go.”