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Blast from the past

Shirley and Bob Thom discover old friends and new at Fox Run

Created date

March 14th, 2017
Shirley and Bob Thom have connected with several old friends and colleagues since moving to Fox Run in 2015.

Shirley and Bob Thom have connected with several old friends and colleagues since moving to Fox Run in 2015.

On their very first night at Fox Run, Shirley and Bob Thom were walking down the hallway to go to dinner at one of the on-site restaurants when they spotted a couple on the opposite side of the hall whom they recognized instantly. It was Barbara and Ernie Orchard, who the Thoms knew from the church they attended when their children were in elementary school. They had not seen each other in 35 years.

“We had lost contact completely, so that was such an interesting thing to have happen,” Shirley says. “We’ve had dinner together many times and talked about old times.”

Reconnecting with friends

That was only the beginning of Shirley and Bob’s reconnections with old friends and colleagues who also live at Fox Run, the Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich. 

Bob is one of many retired Ford Motor employees who live at the community, and there is a club for those residents to connect with one another. When Bob attended his first meeting, he knew about twenty of the thirty people in attendance from his working days. 

Shirley and Bob both grew up in Detroit, and they’ve encountered some Fox Run neighbors they went to school with. Shirley worked as a volunteer at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, and she has connected with a fellow volunteer who lives at Fox Run.

“It’s always fun to meet people at dinner,” Shirley says. “It’s amazing how many people we have connected with from our past.”

Happiness is…

Shirley and Bob, who previously lived in Northville, have a Pendleton-style apartment home, which has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a balcony. Private outdoor space appealed to the Thoms because they are longtime gardeners and keep potted plants on their balcony.

“I am an early bird, and the sunrises are gorgeous here,” Shirley says. “Then the sun is gone in the afternoon so we can sit on the balcony.”

In addition to connecting with old friends, Shirley and Bob have also made new ones at Fox Run by participating in some of the resident-run clubs. They belong to the genealogy club and the music study group. 

The Thoms may one day find themselves surrounded by even more familiar faces at Fox Run. Shirley says their daughter and son-in-law have put their names on Fox Run’s priority list.

“When they are old enough, they might come here,” Shirley says. “She was the one who initially told us to put our names on the list, and it was a wonderful thing.”