John South has been a resident of Kendal at Lexington for almost 8 years, and still says no two days are the same!
John was born 80 years ago of American parents living in Panama. When he was 8 years old, they moved to Rio de Janeiro. It wasn’t until college at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, that John lived full-time in the United States. In all, John has lived in 7 countries outside the U.S., for 27 years. He says having worked and lived in different cultures has helped him with people skills. After college, three years in the Air Force, and an MBA at Dartmouth’s Tuck School, followed by work in the medical industry took him all over the U.S. and abroad.
John has been retired for 20 years, and says his days are busier in retirement than when he was working. He says Kendal appealed to him and his late-wife, Martha, because it is a “doing” kind of place, not a “sitting” kind of place.
And he’s not kidding about “doing!”
Mornings: John’s day begins with breakfast, exercises and reading newspapers, what he calls the “on ramp” to his day.
In between: John is a golfer. “18 holes, 3 days a week. I used to walk, now I ride. But I’m out there.” John is also a volunteer golf course rater, going out 4 or 5 times each year to different golf courses in Virginia to gather information about the course and then play the course before writing up his rating. He has also audited classes at both VMI and W&L. His primary interests are history and maintaining a modicum of fluency in his three foreign languages. He also is in his third year of participating in the Memoirs project at VMI.
As a Kendal resident, John has served on several committees, including Finance, Strategic Planning, and the Connections newsletter. This year, John got to put his interest in information technology to use, launching CATIE Web, a resident communication and engagement digital platform. John’s role has been everything from providing some of the content to ongoing administration and teaching residents how to use CATIE Web. And, if that’s not enough, John also serves as co-editor of the monthly Connections resident newsletter.
Evenings: As a widower, John and Resident Dianne Herrick, a widow herself, have become close friends. “Dianne and I have dinner together and watch TV or enjoy activities on campus when available. I spend a lot of wonderful time with Dianne. That has been a blessing.”
John and Dianne have also traveled together extensively, with trips to Brazil, Panama, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, and all over the U.S.
Asked what he likes best about living at Kendal at Lexington, John says, “It’s all about the people who live here, the community.”