The Jolly’s: Redefining Retirement

The Jolly’s: Redefining Retirement

December 12, 2018

“We wanted to stop doing things for us and wanted to start doing things for others.”

Gretchen and Pierre Jolly have been married for over 59 years. Pierre retired five years ago as a general contractor and Gretchen devoted much of her career to Seattle Children’s Hospital in food services. When asked to describe life after retirement, both chuckled at the very word “retirement.”

“I don’t want to use the word retire,” Pierre shared. Rather than sitting back and winding down, they see their lives continually expanding with purposeful living here at CRISTA. Both simply think differently about retirement than previous generations.

The Jolly’s were drawn to CRISTA Senior Living’s community connectedness. CRISTA Senior Living is one of seven distinct organizations that fall under CRISTA Ministries, which also includes King’s Schools. Within a week or two of moving into the Garden Apartments, Pierre saw a need at the King’s library and collaborated with other staff and residents to help build shelving for books. Pierre continues to use his gifts to help King’s build production sets for high school musicals including Elf and Peter Pan.

Gretchen puts her active food handler’s permit to use and volunteers her time to serve at monthly birthday lunches. Last year, she and other residents held a potluck to fundraise for Seattle Urban Academy, another organization within CRISTA’s family of ministries. They raised $300 and drove to SUA to meet the students. They enjoyed lunch and fellowship with the students and, most importantly, listened to their stories.

Gretchen and Pierre are happy they made the decision to move into CRISTA Senior Living. They have fallen in love with the intergenerational experience, the new friendships, and their freedom to seek new experiences.

Thank you, Gretchen and Pierre, for redefining retirement.