It’s a Family Affair: Siblings at Kendal

Anne and JulieRecently four sets of siblings and their spouses gathered for a lively dinner at Kendal at Oberlin. It was especially enjoyable for brothers and sisters who, in years past, didn’t always have the opportunity to see each other so frequently. Now living at Kendal at Oberlin, they are as close as next door neighbors or a short walk away. 

While these siblings were close growing up, even in spite of some age differences, their lives took different paths, with the call of careers and family. Their lives were full and busy, with children to raise and educate, career changes and relocations.


Ed and Paul

In October 1993, Ed and his wife Ruth were among the first Founders to move to Kendal. Ed’s younger brother, Paul, and his wife Cate followed in 2007. Ed said, “With the four of us living at Kendal, we continue our relationship with greater ease and sense of well-being and security for the future. We especially cherish our Sunday evening suppers that started more than 60 years ago. We appreciate Cate and Paul’s helping hands and moral support. I just hope I can continue to beat him at bridge!” Younger brother Paul added, “In spite of an eight year age difference between my brother and me, my wife, Cate, and I have been close to Ed and Ruth since I graduated from college and started to work. Our families have traveled together, partied together, and been available for one another during life’s joyful and traumatic occasions.”


Sibling Dinner GroupJulie and Anne

As Oberlin College students, Julie and and her husband John couldn’t have imagined in 1947 that they would return to Oberlin, to retire in June 2000. Twelve years later, Julie’s sister, Anne followed. Julie commented, “Anne and I have so many common interests, it is wonderful to be together to enjoy them. We also have the joy of sharing time with our children and grandchildren. Both of our families will be together this summer in our Michigan cabin.” Anne said, “Even though we have our own cottages, it’s practically like sharing a home. When I did move here, I was delighted to hear residents call us the “Sunshine Sisters!”


Fern and Dick

Fern and husband Jay moved to Kendal from Maryland in 2005. They had watched the development of the community with interest, since Fern’s brother Dick taught at Oberlin College. Dick and his wife Dina made the move to Kendal in 2009. Fern shared, “There are those memories of things we did together as children, since my brother, husband and I grew up together and attended the same schools. Now there’s the pleasure of family gatherings. What a joy to share our children and grandchildren.” Dick mused, “Dina and I have walked by Fern and Jay’s cottage daily, stopping on occasion to chat. We frequently have a pre-dinner drink and conversation, prior to a leisurely dinner. Helping when needed and together celebrating special events has been a source of much pleasure, making ours a delightful reunion of siblings!”


Ardith and Bud

Ardith and her partner Ruth Ann moved from Chicago to Kendal in September 2011. Ardith’s brother, Bud had suggested they look at Kendal, and the rest is history. Although they had decided on Kendal before Ardith and Ruth Ann, Bud and his wife, Pauline, moved from New York a month later, and as it happened, right next door Ardith shared, “There is what I might call the comfort of familiar. We were very close growing up. Now, when I happen to look up and see Bud going past our window, it just a nice feeling. It’s interesting to experience who each of us has become, in the course of living separate lives.” Bud added, “What a delight to know that once again, in my life, I would be close to my sister. While we both maintain individual lives pursuing our varied interests, I now have the gift of easily resuming a treasured relationship, in a wonderful community that suits us both.”


The sentiments of these residents speak to the importance of family and relationships. They share childhood memories, and now create new memories at Kendal.

Story by Nancy Freed