Meet Our Residents
Lillian Jacobson likes to point out to CEO Kyle Nordine that she’s tried all the living options that Northfield Retirement Community offers, except the new Northwood Pines assisted living residences. She and her husband, Paul, who passed away about a year ago, moved to NRC’s ParkView West independent living apartments 12 years ago and transitioned to a variety of settings and levels of care as their needs changed. Lillian now lives in SouthView Suites, a cluster of private rooms that share a family-style living area and kitchen.
Lillian is known by her childhood nickname of Dinky (a reference to her small stature). Lillian hailed from Red Wing, Minn., and Paul was from Madison, Minn. The couple found each other in Northfield, graduating together in 1941 from St. Olaf College, where Lillian majored in physical education and biology. The night before graduation, Paul and Lillian strolled through the park, where Paul presented her with a diamond and asked her to marry him. Lillian taught school for a year until they were married, after which they lived in a number of locations, from Los Angeles to Boston, though they spent most of their years in Hershey, Pa., and in Minnesota. The couple raised four children – Ann, Stan, CJ and Jan – and Lillian now has eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
When it was time to choose a retirement community, Lillian and Paul looked at several options in the Twin Cities. Already familiar with Northfield Retirement Community, Lillian had learned of its fine reputation from a favorite college P.E. teacher who had retired at NRC. Paul decided, “We began there [in Northfield]; why don’t we end there?”
Lillian says she really appreciates the convenience of having so many services under one roof, whether it’s attending chapel, using the library, walking, attending Bible study or visiting friends who live in other units of the complex. She enjoys reading and using the Dakim Brain Fitness™ system, an individualized computer program of mental exercises and games that residents sign up to use for 20 or 30 minutes at a time.
Lillian is a faithful and generous donor to the NRC chapel and the chaplaincy
endowment, notes Ingrid Anderson Sampo, vice president of fund development, at the Northfield Retirement Community Foundation.
“Paul was very much into giving,” says Lillian when asked about her history of giving to the chapel. “We both believe in Christ and our church. It’s been a part of our life, and important to us.” She observes, “The older we get, the stronger our faith becomes,” and she says the faith she and Paul shared was an important element of their strong marriage. “When Paul was dying, Pastor Kristine offered us a lot of help.”
Looking at photos of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she concludes, “God has blessed us very much.”