Meet Phyllis Gibson

Meet Phyllis Gibson.  Her mother came to live here at North Hill in 1984, making Phyllis a “second generation” resident.

“She had a wonderful experience and …never looked back,” says Phyllis.  “Why wouldn’t I come?

Like most people who resist a major move, Phyllis was happy in her home and not eager to make a change. Widowed for many years, she was thriving with an active lifestyle, good health and great neighbors who were there when she needed them.  “Five more years,” she’d tell her children when they suggested she sell her house in Wellesley, “five more years.”

A health scare accelerated her decision, and in 2011 at the age of 76 she sold her house, divested of a lot of furniture (remembering her mother’s good advice) and moved into a one bedroom apartment at North Hill.  Once again healthy, she enjoyed being liberated from the work that comes with home ownership Now she could relax and watch her grandchildren doing happy cartwheels and somersaults on her grassy new lawn.

Life at North Hill is different from the one she had for 44 years in Wellesley where she and her husband raised their children and ran their business, World Eagle out of  their home.  Producing maps, facts and charts for social studies teachers grew into producing a  monthly publication, with maps and atlases sold worldwide.  Soon college libraries and text book publishers were citing from World Eagle. Running the business meant traveling too, and their children came along. When her husband Duncan died in 1993, Phyllis sold the business and moved on.

Typical of the busy and active life she’d enjoyed in Wellesley, Phyllis jumped right into to life at North Hill.  She and a few other second generation residents had a lot in common, and it was fun to talk to team members who remembered their relatives.  She marvels at the memory of her mother and other octogenarians learning synchronized swimming from the pool instructor at the time!

Since then, she’s been a force to reckoned with at North Hill.  You’ll find her in the fitness center more often than not, always ready to try something new.  Symphony on Fridays is a regular treat. Shuttling grand children to crew practice and other activities is a regular event.  Too many committees to count, but one thing is for sure, Phyllis’s impact on the lives of her North Hill neighbors is monumental.

When she realized that some new residents were having trouble finding their way around, she stepped right up and offered her services to the Marketing Department and Resident Council.  Now she regularly meets new residents, arranges dinners with them and ensures they can ease into their new lives happily.

“My life at North Hill is full,” she says.  “There is always someone new to meet, a new friend to make, an activity you’ve never tried, a documentary or lecture about a new subject, a new museum.  You can be busy every day, or just sit and read a book.”

The close relationship between residents and team members is especially important at North Hill, and something Phyllis particularly appreciates.

“Team members go out of their way to help us and always greet us with a smile and call us by name,” she remarks.  “Many of us have formed special bonds with many of them.  It is a wonderful experience for all of us and we rejoice in it. “

Phyllis’s grandchildren have been coming to visit since she moved to North Hill, and have made friends of their own among the residents.  Two of them even did their service work at North Hill.

Phyllis is happy to welcome guests to her home. “I would encourage anyone to come visit.  You’ll see the camaraderie here and it’s for real!  Also, you can enjoy the wonderful food and all the baked goods made here.  But beware!  Remember the Freshman 10 we all were warned about in college?  That’s true here and worth it! 😊  You’ll have to then go and be frequent visitor at the Fitness Center or the pool. “Phyllis embodies the philosophy and lifestyle at North Hill.  Actively engaged in life,  always learning, embracing change, and extending help when it’s needed. Brava Phyllis, and thank you!