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Exceeding expectations

Couple’s chance encounter with Devonshire residents leads to new life

Created date

March 21st, 2016
Devonshire residents Kathy Blanchard and Joe Kopicko

Devonshire residents Kathy Blanchard and Joe Kopicko

Last year, Kathy Blanchard and Joe Kopicko visited retirement communities near their home in Jupiter, Fla. “We weren’t serious. We were just looking,” Kathy says.

None of the communities met their expectations, and then they visited Devonshire at PGA National, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens. 

Devonshire more than exceeded expectations. “Wow,” says Kathy. “It looked like a resort community. I was spoiled from that first visit. Nothing else compared.”

She and Joe returned several times, and when Sales Director Wendy Paige showed them a Dalton-style apartment home, Kathy knew it was the one. “We reserved as soon as we saw it,” she says.

The Dalton floor plan, a contemporary style upgraded last year with the latest finishes, features two spacious bedrooms, each with its own generous bathroom and extra-large walk-in closets, plus a cozy den off the entryway. 

The home’s impressive great room flows from the entrance all around the apartment’s open kitchen and ends at a screened and covered patio. 

“It wasn’t what I was envisioning,” says Joe. “It was beautiful! It was a regular home.”

The views convinced Kathy: One direction offered a green oasis surrounding Devonshire’s outdoor swimming pool and the other framed a pond and fountain. 

Devonshire offered another advantage: The couple’s house in Jupiter was in a hurricane evacuation zone, and they’d had to evacuate in 2004.

But Palm Beach Gardens is situated farther inland, and Devonshire is not in an evacuation zone. Plus, Devonshire is considered hurricane-safe due to its infrastructure and its vigilance in terms of preparedness.

Life in paradise

Kathy and Joe moved to Devonshire last May. 

Like his neighbors, Joe has led a one-of-a-kind life. 

In the post-Sputnik 1960s, Joe worked with the Smithsonian Institution’s astrophysical observatory as part of a satellite-tracking team. “You might be in a foreign country for a year or two and be the only American on the team,” he says.

Maybe that’s where he learned Texas Hold-em. He and Kathy both play it at Devonshire.

Joe uses the putting green and works out on state-of-the-art equipment at the clubhouse fitness center. 

“But I’ve become lazy,” Kathy says. “What I like best about Devonshire is that I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to.”

She loves the community’s pampered lifestyle that includes amenities such as weekly housekeeping, valet and concierge services, a clubhouse movie theater, performing arts center, and live entertainment multiple evenings a week.

If not for an earlier chance encounter, she likely wouldn’t be enjoying any of them right now. 

One evening, as she and Joe sat in a restaurant lounge in Juno Beach, “A very handsome, very well-dressed couple came up and started talking to us,” Kathy says. “They said they lived at Devonshire—‘and you should too!’” 

Neither Kathy nor Joe ever expected to see the couple again. 

They’d also never heard of Devonshire, but they added it to their “some day” list and now are ever so glad they did.

Those serendipitous restaurant tipsters, by the way, do indeed live at Devonshire and are Kathy and Joe’s neighbors.