Lakewood Celebrates 46 Years of Heritage

Share Via Email

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Lakewood Celebrates 46 Years of Heritage

The Lakewood community celebrated its 46th Anniversary on October 19, 2023, with hundreds of residents and team members in attendance. This special event marked a significant milestone in Lakewood’s history and paid homage to the individuals who have been a part of this journey, including team members, residents and our celebrated centenarians.

Claire Rosenbaum, Chair of the Heritage Committee, opened the celebration with a welcome to all in attendance in person and those watching on a closed circuit at home. The ceremony included an invocation by Chaplain Julie Gaines Walton and insightful remarks by Rev. Dr. Nathan L. Taylor from the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. The Lakewood Singers, directed by Stacey Wilson and accompanied by Linda Hartz, delivered a moving musical selection, “Simple Thanks,” portraying the day’s theme of gratitude and reflection.

The day honored residents and team members for their long-standing commitment to Lakewood and legacy families of the community. Residents like Hazel Finch, Erma Fielden, Max Cumbia, Margaret Oliver, Jane Berkeley, Edna Paylor, Ella Johnson and Louise Motley were honored for their 19 to 23 years of calling Lakewood their home. Team members, including Denise Jones, Francisca Ntumy, Brenda Blanton, Argentina Delgado, Theresa Goodwin, Patricia Wint, Carrie Sallie, Dorothy Connor, Maxine Miller, Susan Schultz, Gloria Bolden, Julia Athey, Rosa Bates, Alfreda Turner and Kathy Fife were recognized for their 20 to 42 years of dedicated service to the Lakewood community.

At the ceremony, Lakewood’s Executive Director, Heather Crumbaugh recognized Lakewood’s long-tenured team members. “Being part of an organization that has so much proud history of serving our seniors is amazing,” said Crumbaugh. “I am proud we honor the past while preparing Lakewood for the future to continue to serve seniors for generations to come.”

Alfreda Turner, who has worked at Lakewood’s dining area for 42 years, credits her long-standing work history to her teammates and residents. “It doesn’t feel like work. I love the residents, and we are all so happy to see each other every day,” said Turner.

In addition, 40 resident legacy families were recognized at the event. These families were honored for their commitment and dedication to Lakewood, making it not just their home but a home for future generations.

“We pay tribute to our legacy residents because we owe them a great debt. Those who were here years ago left their imprint on Lakewood,” said Claire Rosenbaum. “They served on committees, participated in programs, and shared their opinions that would ultimately form and shape the Lakewood of today, just as all of us are contributing to the Lakewood of tomorrow.”

This year, eight centenarians were honored to include Jane Berkeley, Martha Dimmich, Louise Dunbar, Fontaine Fox, Betty Heuston, Ella Johnson, Laura Neale and Virginia Noble. Each of these individuals represents the rich experiences and histories that make Lakewood a special place.

The Heritage Committee was formed in 2007 to preserve and share the history of Lakewood. The committee members collect souvenirs, photographs, and written documents about Lakewood’s 40+ plus years in the Richmond Community. In 1975, the Richmond Baptist Home for Ladies merged with Lakewood, bringing all 50 ladies to reside at the community. Furniture from the home was brought over to Lakewood, and many remarkable pieces remain on display today in the Heritage Gallery at Lakewood.

The stained-glass windows in the Lakewood Heritage Gallery were designed from the hundreds of paintings Dr. Franklin Thomas Fowler made of flowers on campus. Dr. Fowler and his wife, Dorcas Hauk Fowler, had a long history of serving others through ministry and working with the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board. Their legacy continued at Lakewood by leading Saturday morning Bible study classes and uplifting fellow residents. Also added to the Gallery are some of Dr. Fowler’s original works of art.

The Heritage Committee at Lakewood, responsible for preserving and sharing the community’s rich history, is comprised of dedicated members. Claire Rosenbaum leads as Chair. Other notable members include Jackie Brooks, Max Cumbia, Nancy Elliott, Douglas Palmore, Mary Helen Simms Patterson, Hap Robson, Bette Schwall, Rita Stone, Helen Wood and Phyllis Wilson. Lori Welty provides invaluable guidance as Staff Advisor, and Jodi Leonard represents the Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation, playing a crucial role in the committee’s endeavors.

As the program drew to a close, Bette Schwall of the Heritage Committee shared closing remarks, and Julie Gaines Walton offered a benediction. In remembrance, the committee also paid tribute to the late Wayne Varner, a former resident whose vision and determination were pivotal in recognizing the importance of preserving Lakewood’s legacy.

In memory of Gil Percy, past-chair for The Heritage Committee