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Resident Highlight: Marie V.

Portrait of Kensington Senior Living resident Marie VMarie V. is an exceptional resident of The Highlands independent living community. Born in Washington, D.C., she attended Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, located in Bethesda, where she was among the first graduating class of 1948. After high school, Marie attended Trinity Washington University, where she majored in English. Upon graduation, Marie went to work as an editor of the Catholic Youth Organization’s bi-monthly publication. She spent one year in that role which, according to Marie, was because she had only one year of ideas for the publication!

Not long afterwards, at the tender age of 23, Marie met Derek V. and the two were soon married and moved to Hondo, Texas, where Derek was stationed at Hondo Air Base for U.S. Air Force pilot train- ing. Marie and Derek moved around the United States, leaving Texas for Rapid City, South Dakota, and then Dayton, Ohio, where their son Christopher was born. When Derek received orders sending him to Fairbanks, Alaska, Marie did not go with him, as they decided it was best for her and Christopher to return to Washington, D.C., to stay with her family until Derek’s 18-month tour was completed. Of all the places they lived, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in Newburg, New York, where Derek was stationed as a graphics instructor, was Marie’s favorite. Marie explains that she enjoyed the company of fellow military wives, the relief of not having her husband in a war zone and the fact that life there felt carefree.

Unfortunately, Marie and Derek parted ways after he ended his military service and Marie returned to Washington, D.C., where she went to work for the federal government at the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). At the ICC she formulated the routes which interstate truckers were required to follow in transporting regulated goods. After a year she took the federal civil-service entrance exam which qualified her for professional government-level jobs. After passing with flying colors, Marie began a job as a public health analyst, where, among other things, she helped develop a board game that illustrated how the new Medicare program would work. Thinking that this was a special project, Marie was disappointed when it proved only semi-successful and she left after a year to take a position as a grants management specialist. In this role Marie reviewed grants for schools training physical , occupational and speech-therapists, medical technologists and dietitians for the Medicare program. After passage in 1965, Medicare was rolled out for implementation and Marie was transferred to the Bureau of Standards in Gaithersburg, MD, where she worked as an operations officer, and later for the inspector general’s office, until she retired in 1990.

Marie has a passion for community service and, upon retirement, she volunteered at the Ascension Episcopal Church in Gaithersburg, as well as the Montgomery County Ombudsman’s office, where for five years she helped ensure that nursing home residents were properly cared for. In 2016, after experiencing several falls, Marie realized that she needed to sell her home and move to a retirement community.

After looking at several local possibilities, she fell in love with Kensington Park. According to Marie, “I just knew that Kensington Park was the place for me.” At Kensington Park Marie is very active and continues to pursue her love of giving back to the community. She is a member of the Highlands Community Volunteer Committee and has a special enthusiasm for reading to kids. Be sure to watch for “Storytime with Miss Marie,” coming in 2017!