Tribune Print Share Text

Living in harmony

New Jersey couple pursues music and more at Ann’s Choice

Created date

July 6th, 2016
Ann's Choice residents Peter and Eileen Lynch.

Each of the three clubhouses at Ann’s Choice features a piano in its restaurant lounge. Peter and Eileen Lynch, who both play piano, also have a studio grand piano in their living room.

Peter and Eileen Lynch moved from Island Heights, N.J., to Ann’s Choice six years ago when they decided to give up the unending chores associated with a house large enough to hold Peter’s 100-year-old Steinway concert grand piano. 

Erickson Living’s retirement community in Bucks County, Pa., was their obvious choice for the lifestyle they sought.

For one thing, its one-level apartment homes were more convenient than traipsing up and down two flights of stairs in Island Heights. For another, one of their five children lives in Churchville, Pa., just five minutes from Ann’s Choice.

But the main reason was the medical director at Ann’s Choice, Dr. John Marcelis. 

Marcelis had taken care of Peter’s mother and his brother. And he’d been honored as the best geriatrician in Pennsylvania.

“He’d also been my student at Temple University Medical School,” says Peter, himself a physician who practiced, conducted research, and taught physiology and radiology. “I told him, ‘Now it’s your turn to take care of me and Eileen.’”

Musically minded

Since moving to Ann’s Choice, Peter has returned to his musical roots. Because his uncle had been a symphony conductor, an aunt a concert pianist, and his grandfather a pianist, “We always had a Steinway concert grand at our house,” Peter says. 

These days, the living room of the Lynches’ spacious two-bedroom, two-bath corner apartment holds Peter’s smaller studio grand. It might move to the couple’s second bedroom, which they’re converting to a music room.

Peter not only plays several instruments, he collects them. Display shelves, designed and made by Eileen, exhibit his collection of antique and unusual instruments. “We have a whole symphony orchestra,” he says, noting two didgeridoos acquired during a trip to Australia. 

Peter’s musical exploits have even led to the campus woodshop where he repairs instruments and where he’s made at least three violins from scratch. 

Invigorating activities

Eileen, who has degrees in industrial design, photography, and fine arts, patronizes the woodshop, too. That’s where she made those display shelves.

She also teaches painting and instructs her neighbors in how to shop online. 

In hopes of performing duets, Peter has given Eileen an electronic midi horn that, with the touch of a button, will sound like other woodwinds. Eileen can even prerecord her own accompaniments.

After mastering her midi, she’ll join the Second Time Around Band. Peter, who sings and plays banjo and euphonium with the band, is a longtime member.

“I never intend to give it up,” he says. “There’s real camaraderie, we play wonderful tunes, and the other members are fun to be with. The weekly practices invigorate me.” 

In hopes of writing tunes for the band, he’s now taking lessons in composition and harmony.

The Lynches are delighted with their choice of Ann’s Choice, perhaps even more so since they’ve stopped driving. Amenities like the all-season swimming pool, fitness center, and Ann’s Choice Lifelong Learning Academy lectures are all located right on campus. 

“I’m happy here,” says Eileen. “Exercise and anything that impacts my viewpoint of the world or art or music or science—those are my favorite activities.”