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Resident Spotlight: Dolores O.

Born and raised in Reading, PA, Highlands Resident Dolores O. was the eldest of two daughters. Her father, George, was a “full fashion knitter” and made stockings out of silk (prior to the days of nylons and pantyhose) while Florence, her mother, was a home maker and the family matriarch. Her younger sister of 10 years, Sandra, adored Dolores and wanted to be around her constantly – even on Friday night dates! As the two grew older, their relationship grew stronger and they remained close until Sandy’s passing in 2007.

While attending Reading Senior High School, Dolores worked at the Bell Telephone Company of PA.  It was during her junior year that she noticed Edward, a senior.  At the recreation center dances, Dolores kept her eye on this tall, well dressed, young man. Finally, one night, Edward asked Dolores to dance. One dance led to another… and that was the beginning of a wonderful romance.

During the second year of Edward’s four-year Naval enlistment, Dolores and Edward married on Valentine’s Day! The newlyweds then moved into Dolores’s parents’ row house.  Shortly after Edward’s Navy discharge, the couple welcomed daughter Susan. Two years later, they purchased their first home and welcomed their second daughter, Debbie.

Life was wonderful as Dolores remained at home raising her girls and Edward continued his employment at the Dana Corporation and promoted to the plant manager. The family enjoyed vacations at Wildwood Crest, NJ and they hosted family dinners and socialized with wonderful neighbors.

As the girls grew, Dolores went back into the workforce. Resilient Dolores took on her new role as family matriarch, following the example her mother and her Grandmother Francis had set, and carried on family traditions with pride. She went back to school and got her real estate license. She and Edward traveled and continued to enjoy dancing.

Sadly, the couple lost their youngest daughter, Debbie, in 2014, a pain that still aches today.  Within a few years, Edward began to have health issues, and they sold their large family home and settled into a more manageable home where Edward passed in 2017.  Dolores stayed in Reading for another year, enjoying visits from her family, but finally agreed to move closer Susan and the grandchildren.

As 2019 began, so did a new chapter for Dolores with her move to Kensington Park.  Her desire to continue her independence was important and her ability to support her family continued to be a priority.  Dolores always had kind, loving, compassionate role models and has become one herself.  She states that though there were rough times, she would not have changed a thing.

All the makings of a wonderful person, and one we are so very lucky to have as a member of our KP family.  Here’s to you, Miss Dolores!