They say “you can never go home again,” but on April 3rd
, three great-grandchildren of Francis and Henrietta Parker, the founders of Parker Home®, returned to their ancestral home to visit our River Road and Landing Lane locations. Siblings Adelaide Harris, May Bogdanovics and John Herkert were in New Jersey to inter their mother’s ashes in the family’s section of Elmwood Cemetery in New Brunswick. Their mother, Henrietta Voorhees Herkert, was the daughter of Adelaide Parker Voorhees. Family members suggested that while in town, they shouldn’t miss the chance to see their grandparent’s legacy to future generations.
Adelaide, May and John grew up in Bedford, New York. When they were children, their mother told them about her grandfather’s illness and his final wish to create a nursing home for people who didn’t have the means to afford round-the-clock care. Her grandmother, Henrietta, fulfilled that wish and left behind a legacy that has benefitted so many people in our area.
Jill Wertheim, Admissions Manager for Parker at Stonegate and Parker at River Road, gave May, Adelaide and John a tour of Stonegate, Parker’s assisted living residence as well as the skilled nursing facility at River Road. She also filled them in on plans for Parker at Monroe, a long-term living community due to open in late 2014.
Afterward, the siblings visited Parker at Landing Lane, the original skilled nursing facility that was opened by Henrietta Parker in 1907 on land adjacent to her home. They were given a tour by Linda Sue Patron, director of nursing and Parker Home historian. Linda showed them the original architecture of the home, contrasting it with later additions and modifications. When you enter the home, oil paintings of the Parkers are displayed in the living area near the entrance, welcoming visitors and residents alike. The living area also displays original medical equipment, home ledgers, visitor books, and assorted medical forms, many of which are over a century old.
“Our mother would have been so pleased to see how Parker Home has evolved and expanded over the years from the original nursing home to a vibrant active adult community and additional skilled nursing care home,” said May Bogdanovics. ”She would have been proud to learn about the expansion into Monroe,” Adelaide Harris added.
After the visit, May, Adelaide and John returned home with a greater understanding of their family history and an appreciation of their great-grandparents’ strong belief that seniors suffering from chronic illness should live in a homelike environment with excellent, affordable nursing care.