Edgar and Kathy Simmons have built their life together on the principle that each day is an opportunity to experience life to its fullest. That enthusiasm has kept the Independent Living couple lively and engaged into their mid-80s.
“We hear a lot of people say, ‘I’ll do that someday, but our feeling is that today is someday,” says Edgar, a retired science teacher who also led GED courses for individuals in prison and drug rehab centers.
The pair met at Bridgewater College, then spent their adult lives in northern Virginia, returning to live near friends and family in the area nearly 50 years later.
Travel has been a central feature of the Simmons’ “seize the day” mentality. They traversed the continental United States by motorhome, pausing to make sure that they had a photo taken in front of every state capitol. And their international resume is even more impressive. Scrolling through his mental list, Edgar estimates that they have relished in trips to more than 60 countries.
“We love learning about the people, history, and natural beauty of new places,” said Kathy, a former American history teacher.
“What we have been even more intrigued to discover is that people all over the world have the same basic life principles, struggles, and joys.” added Edgar.
What does it mean to you to “live well”?
Living well has several pieces for us. It includes being and staying physically healthy so we are able to do the things that bring us fulfillment. Our move to The Grove in 2020 was proactive – we wanted to come here before either of us had major health or mobility challenges.
Good health is definitely a big part, but to live well you also need mental, emotional, and spiritual engagement. We are very grateful that we can now take advantage of all that this exciting, active community has to offer.
Why were you motivated to give to the LiveWell Campaign?
Even before we were residents here, we would come to campus to use the fitness facility, and Edgar was on the Foundation Board of Directors, so we were aware of the vibrant lifestyle that BRC is committed to providing. We believe that being part of a community means giving back to support the team members, the programs, and the environment that benefits all of our neighbors. We like the sense of belonging that is provided by the Forever Family Endowment.
Which of the LiveWell Campaign priorities are you most eager to see come to fruition?
We were excited to see a presentation about plans for the circular walkway and nature trail on the BRC campus behind Will Lane. The trail is designed to connect with nearby Oakdale Park, and it will encourage residents to interact with the community, since it will be open to the public. The project piqued our interest because it inspires us to be outdoors, walking, exercising, and socializing.
How do you inspire others to donate to BRC?
We’ve never considered ourselves to be people who have a lot of excess income, but we believe that setting an example of giving encourages others. Until recently, we spent our lives disciplining ourselves to save money and be frugal. Now we are giving more to build on the progress already made by taking programming for residents and team members to new heights.