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From Charlestown to Eagle’s Trace

Maryland woman embraces life at two Erickson Living communities

Created date

April 11th, 2016

One glance at Corinne Wheeler’s desk reveals her unique association with Erickson Living.

The image on the mouse pad next to her computer features Our Lady of the Angels Chapel at Charlestown, Erickson Living’s flagship community in Catonsville, Md.

Nearby, a coffee mug filled with pens bears the logo from Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston, Tex.

“I’ve lived at both communities,” says Corinne. “I moved to Charlestown in 1995 and then came down to Eagle’s Trace in 2007.”

Leaving home maintenance behind

Corinne was living in Catonsville when Charlestown opened in 1983. 

“I heard about Charlestown, but I didn’t really consider moving there until the 1990s,” says Corinne. “By then, maintenance on my home was beginning to take a toll. When it snowed, I’d have to hire someone to shovel the driveway. Or when something broke, I’d have to find a contractor to fix it. I was ready to say goodbye to those responsibilities.”

Corinne attended a sales luncheon hosted by Nancy Erickson, wife of John Erickson, founder of Erickson Retirement Communities.

“At the time, I was still working as an executive assistant in the English department at Catonsville Community College,” says Corinne. “I continued to work for three years after I moved to Charlestown.”

Family ties

Corinne selected a two-bedroom, two-bath, Hamilton-style apartment with the idea that her mother might eventually move in with her.

“By 1998, my mother needed a little extra assistance, so I retired and she moved to Charlestown with me,” says Corinne. “She lived with me until she passed away in 2003.”

While at Charlestown, Corinne coordinated the Chapel Concert Series, which brought classical musicians to perform in Our Lady of the Angels Chapel twice a month from September through May each year.

“The chapel at Charlestown is breathtaking and provided such a lovely setting for our concert series,” says Corinne.

Texas-bound

In 2004, Corinne learned that Erickson Living was establishing a new community in Houston, Tex.

“My children are spread out across the country,” says Corinne. “I have a son in Vermont, a daughter in Wyoming, and a son in Houston. When I learned that Erickson was coming to Texas, I started thinking about moving closer to family.”

Corinne selected an apartment at Eagle’s Trace, which opened in 2005, but her plans stalled when her son was offered a job in Massachusetts. 

“Ultimately, my son and his family decided to stay in Houston, so I went ahead with the move to Eagle’s Trace,” says Corinne. “I was 80 at the time and didn’t know a soul in Texas except for my son’s family, so it was quite a transition.”

Active lifestyle

Corinne settled into her two-bedroom, Jackson-style apartment at Eagle’s Trace in March 2007. 

From her experience at Charlestown, Corinne knew the best way to embrace community life was to jump in. She served on the resident life and the general services committees. She joined a tai chi class and a Wii bowling team.

“I just bowled my fifth perfect game in Wii bowling,” she says. “Eagle’s Trace has a very active Wii bowling league, and I play with the Supersonic Eagles every Saturday.”

Corinne also says Erickson Living’s model, which offers small-town amenities under one roof, is as appealing in Texas as it was in Maryland. 

“I like the Erickson concept,” says Corinne. “I wouldn’t have moved down here if I wasn’t coming to another Erickson Living community.”

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