Walk through the lobby of Oakmont Manor, and there’s a good chance you’ll run into Angela, surrounded by neighbors and friends, holding court in the café. Of her many talents, bringing people together is perhaps the most evident off of the bat – but get to know her better, and you’ll realize she’s a trailblazer from the Big City who lives every moment to the fullest.
Big City Roots with a Small Town Upbringing
Life for Angela began in the Empire State. She was born right in the heart of New York City but was raised in the rural atmosphere of what was then a sparsely developed Long Island. “I enjoyed growing up there immensely,” she said of her Long Island roots. “I enjoyed the freedom of running through the tall grass with bare feet, and the whole scenario [of that lifestyle].”
With five siblings and two loving parents, the time spent with her family was some of the happiest of her life. Her mother and father, though very different in temperament, helped instill long-lasting lessons in love that have trickled all the way down to her own children and grandchildren. “My mother was a very calm, placid, and unruffled person,” she says, smiling. “She was a lady of very few words, but, in her own quiet way, could speak volumes. My father, on the other hand, was very loquacious, talkative. He loved, as we used to call it, “sermonizing,” but he always helped guide us.”
Unfortunately, Angela was just 13 when he father passed, but her mother continued to raise her and her five brothers and sisters in a happy and loving environment. She credits the strength of her family and her mother as the driving force behind the success of all of her siblings. “I don’t know if it was fate, kismet, or just luck, but we all did well.”
A Man to Marry and a Move to Michigan
Angela was serving with the USO when she met the man who would become both her husband and the father of her children – though it almost didn’t happen. She was late for their first date thanks to her apprehension, but after finally meeting, they fell quickly in love – marrying and moving to a new state together. “He had just gotten out of the Airforce, and his promise was we’d just come to Michigan for one year, get on our feet, and then go back to New York. But that last part never happened,” she said, laughing.
The year was 1953, and while her husband went to work at General Motors, Angela got a job just two days after arriving in Michigan with an insurance company – balancing the responsibilities of being a new mother, professional secretary, and loving wife all in an unfamiliar location. “I was totally lost in Michigan. I had no family, no friends – so I got a job that I worked every summer. To this day, I am still friends with the remaining people that I worked with.”
The family soon moved to Livonia, where they had four additional children, and indulged in one of their favorite pastimes: Traveling. “I came from the East Coast and we had family on the West Coast, so we used to travel across the country just like it was going around the block,” she said. “Plane travel in those days was very easy, you didn’t even need a reservation! So, on a spur the moment, you could make a plan and say ‘okay, let’s go!”
Loving Life at Oakmont
The move to Oakmont Manor wasn’t one that Angela had originally planned, but after her husband moved into Oakmont Sterling Enhanced next door, she soon realized it was the perfect fit. “They were wonderful for my husband when he moved there,” she said of the staff at Oakmont Sterling Enhanced, “and because I was here all the time, I saw a lot of this building. I believe I put a deposit down three or four times before finally selling my house and moving in,” she said.
Of her new life at Oakmont, Angela pulls no punches. “I find that life here is what you make it, and I choose to enjoy every minute of it,” she said. “I find that the whole ambiance of this particular facility is so refreshing, and the staff is totally outstanding. I really enjoy living here.”