Love’s Journey: A Vibrant Chapter at The Heritage of Green Hills

Nestled within the scenic hillside of The Heritage of Green Hills, a senior-live-it-up community, is home to over 250 residents. This premier senior living community is surrounded by laughter, cherished moments shared with friends and family, and timeless love stories of its 53 devoted couples. Among these tales, Marie and Ivan Shibley’s love story stands out—an enduring love that has flourished over 59 years.

Their journey began as college students attending East Stroudsburg University, where fate intervened through a mutual friend. With love as their guide, Marie and Ivan retired to a home on 24 acres in Palmerton, PA, with a furry companion named Max. Their four children – three sons and a daughter enjoyed visiting them at the property. After retiring from public education, Ivan was a professor at the University of Scranton, teaching graduate students in the Educational Leadership program. After working for several years at the University, Ivan became the Director of Clinical Practice, which required him to travel all over the world.

“Thanks to The University of Scranton, Marie and I were able to sleep in all 50 states,” Ivan quipped with a smile in his eyes. Following Ivan’s retirement from the University, The Shibley’s took a nine-month escapade, exploring the corners of the globe. Their journey included destinations like Australia, Italy, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, and most of the Caribbean Islands. The hurdles of upkeeping their expansive properties became increasingly daunting, particularly when they were traveling out of the country.

“It became more difficult,” Marie started, her thoughtful gaze fixing on the memories of their cherished home, “each day to keep the property the way we wanted. The variety of services The Heritage offers do not require us to have to maintain our home. Housekeeping comes every other week to help us maintain our apartment. The Maintenance staff are extremely helpful, promptly fixing anything that breaks. Plus, having 24-hour security guards to help anyone in need, as well as monitoring the inside and outside of the facilities, is very reassuring. There are also bus services for various activities and medical appointments.”

After living in their retirement home for more than 20 years, in 2018, Ivan and Marie decided to make a change and started their research of local communities because their family lives in Berks County. The Shibley’s discovered The Heritage through a Google search and by May 2019, they embraced a new chapter in their lives of maintenance-free living and a calendar booked with excursions hosted by the Well By Design Program at The Heritage.

The Heritage of Green Hills, Well By Design, is a community-wide wellness program that focuses on the eight dimensions of wellness: social, physical, intellectual, emotional, vocational, spiritual, environmental, and health services. Residents’ months are filled with different activities and excursions that focus on the dimensions.

Marie and Ivan have strengthened their bond by attending Well by Design events that are held in and out of the community. Ivan shared that they love the movie nights, card games, painting furniture in the woodshop, fishing, and dancing that are hosted by the Well By Design program.

The Shibleys shared that their son and daughter-in-law come over each Friday evening to play cards, and they make time to visit family and friends outside of The Heritage. “We always did what we do now. We encourage each other to stay active and help each other if we can. Prepare to make new friends by getting involved in many of the activities. You will find many friends that have common interests with you and will participate in those activities.”

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