20 years celebrating community

Spotlight: Greenspring community member Fran Duvall

Created date

September 17th, 2018
Fran Duvall says the past 15 years she has lived at Greenspring have flown by because of all the friends and activities she enjoys on a daily basis.

Fran Duvall says the past 15 years she has lived at Greenspring have flown by because of all the friends and activities she enjoys on a daily basis.

Each day, Greenspring fulfills its motto, “sharing our gifts to create a community that celebrates life.” Next month, the Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., will recognize its twentieth anniversary with a full week of celebrations in honor of this important milestone.

“When looking back over the last 20 years, what stands out most are the people, each individual, who, in their own unique way, make Greenspring the vibrant community it is today,” says Executive Director Chandra Kumar.

Fifteen years ago, on January 1, 2003, Fran Duvall embarked on her new life at Greenspring, becoming an integral part of the fabric that makes Greenspring one of the most sought-after continuing care communities in the nation.

“I was in my 60s when I decided to move to Greenspring,” says Fran. “I was recently retired from the government. At that time, at least four of my friends from my neighborhood in Crystal City were living at Greenspring. They invited me to join them for dinner on several occasions. It was during those dinners that I was introduced to life at Greenspring.”

Overcoming stereotypes

As she began contemplating a move to Greenspring, Fran discussed her feelings with her son Roger.

“He was troubled because he thought I wanted to move to a nursing home, which, at the time, was his concept of a retirement community,” she says. “However, his anxiety quickly changed the first time he visited Greenspring and saw firsthand our vibrant and engaging community.”

Fran’s son is not alone in the misconception regarding continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), like Greenspring. In fact, CCRCs are one of the most commonly misunderstood retirement living options. Unlike a stereotypical “nursing home,” a CCRC offers independent living options for active older adults, skilled nursing care, and assisted living—care for all levels of health needs. Many even offer on-site preventive and medical care for when independent residents need it, bringing all services under one roof.

“Greenspring has lived up to my expectations in providing me with carefree living,” she says. “Most notably, as I have [gotten older] I feel I am reaping more benefit from, and appreciate more, what is offered here. That includes the on-site medical center and quick fixes to any need in my apartment home, such as replacement of ceiling lightbulbs, keeping the plumbing all running smoothly, newspaper delivery, and the trash and recycle pickup.”

Busy calendar

An avid theater enthusiast, Fran has been an integral member of the Greenspring Players drama club since shortly after her arrival on campus.

“I saw a flyer advertising the formation of a theater group,” she says. “Since I had worked with community theaters in Waynesboro and in Verna, I was immediately interested.”

Over the last 15 years, Fran has worked on nearly every one of the 33 Greenspring Players productions, serving in the roles of producer, director, stage manager, head of publicity, costume maker, set decorator, playbill content developer, and light and sound technician.

“For me, the best part about the Greenspring Players is working with outstanding and dedicated theater people, who are now dear friends,” she says. “About eight years ago, we started a weekly happy hour event that is truly happy and still going strong.”

Fran’s contribution to the Greenspring community goes above and beyond her work with the Greenspring Players. She also volunteers her time at Channel 6, Greenspring’s in-house cable television station, as a host to the daily Village in Motion television show.

She is also a member of the Democratic Club and served as an election officer for Precinct 426, the community’s own voting precinct.

“There is never a shortage of things to do at Greenspring, only a shortage of time each day to do everything you’d like to do,” she says.

Change for the better

While enjoying and participating in the bustling campus life, Fran has witnessed numerous changes and improvements designed to keep Greenspring fresh, updated, and modern.

“I appreciate how the staff are consistently working to make our life at Greenspring as full and rich as possible,” she says. “One recent change that I enjoy is the movement of the resident art wall from a small space in the Town Center Clubhouse to a more prominent location in Hunters Crossing. The art wall provides our many wonderful artists with the opportunity to display their work.

“I also appreciate the recent addition of a second elevator to accommodate guests to the theater and Accotink Room, as well as the installation of our Wi-Fi system,” she says. “It is a good service that helps us all keep our lives up to date. I am grateful for our on-site tech personnel who are always available to help with a new piece of equipment or if we require help with our computers or phones.”

Full steam ahead

As she looks forward to next month’s twentieth anniversary celebrations, Fran is thankful for the life she enjoys at Greenspring.

“Living at Greenspring has enhanced my life and probably extended it,” she says. “There is always someone, whether a fellow resident or staff member, to provide assistance as needed. I’m hoping to enjoy not only the upcoming twentieth anniversary celebration but the twenty-fifth as well.”