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‘Everything at my fingertips’

Former Frenchman’s Creek resident praises Devonshire’s easy-access amenities

Created date

July 1st, 2016
Devonshire is pet-friendly. Dede Levinson shares her home with Sara, her golden retriever, and Annie, her Lhasa apso.

Devonshire is pet-friendly. Dede Levinson shares her home with Sara, her golden retriever, and Annie, her Lhasa apso.

Dede Levinson had lived at Frenchman’s Creek for 16 years before she moved to Devonshire at PGA National, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens.

“Frenchman’s Creek has everything,” she says. But taking advantage of its amenities usually entailed driving to the clubhouse.

“Devonshire offers the same amenities, but here you can put your hands on them,” Dede says. “I like the coziness of having everything at my fingertips.”

She, her Lhasa apso, and her golden retriever settled in at Devonshire last December. 

Dede had requested a first-floor apartment because of the dogs. She also wanted a den to serve as her office and a second bedroom to accommodate guests. 

The Imperial-style floor plan, which also features a screened terrace and more than generously sized walk-in closets, matched her wishes exactly. 

The Imperial offers ample wall space for every one of Dede’s many paintings, and its great room easily accommodates her massive furniture.

Dede says that her furniture pieces all have sentimental value. “And they all blend in and fit well together here.”  

When her daughters stayed with her over the holidays, they commented on how comfortable and homey the apartment is. It certainly suits Dede.

“It’s more artistically designed,” she says. “It’s more interesting, and I love the shape of the rooms.” 

None of the rooms is a rectangle, and each room has multiple windows. Because the rooms align across the widest part of the roughly wedge-shaped apartment, the windows flood the home with light and provide an expansive view of Lake Carlisle (turn to page 10 to see a blueprint floor plan of the popular Imperial-style aparment home). 

Career in theater and teaching

The artistic design echoes Dede’s own artistic pursuits. Her passion was modern dance. She studied with Martha Graham and danced in Broadway shows including Bye Bye Birdie and What Makes Sammy Run

Dede ultimately carved a career in teaching. She taught dance in Queens, headed the dance department at Purdue University, and then taught at Hunter College. 

Although she no longer dances professionally, she attends performances of modern dance; it’s still her passion.

An easy, wonderful lifestyle

Almost from day one, Dede has enjoyed Devonshire’s commitment to unparalleled service. “I had the flu when I moved in,” she says, “so I called the concierge and asked to have meals delivered to me. They made sure I had everything to my convenience.”

Situated on 26 beautiful acres and enhanced by four lakes, Devonshire comprises three residence buildings connected by climate-controlled internal hallways to a central clubhouse.

By simply walking down the hall, Dede can reach the five clubhouse restaurants, the performing arts center, the state-of-the-art fitness center, and a wide range of activities. 

Although she has her car, she can arrange for Devonshire’s transportation department to take her to PGA National’s member activities. Devonshire residents have corporate membership privileges at PGA, including golf.

“I plan to check out everything Devonshire offers,” Dede says. Her commitments so far include the fitness center and weekly canasta games. 

Some evenings she gathers with neighbors in Churchill Lounge before dining in one of the acclaimed clubhouse restaurants adjacent to it. 

“Everyone is there,” she says. Musical combos or solo musicians often perform in the lounge, adding to its festive atmosphere. 

Dede often eats at the smaller venue Piccadeli, where she requests her standing custom order: “They make the best bacon-and-cheese omelets,” she says. “At Devonshire, everyone goes out of their way for you.”