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Resident Spotlight: Jay and Rachel F.

Highlands residents Jay and Rachel F. are quite the dynamic duo with their humorous, outgoing, and engaging personalities. It’s not a normal day in the Highlands if you don’t see them out and about – whether it’s Rachel walking a dog around campus or Jay looking to start a game of Cornhole!

While Jay was born in Philadelphia, he considers Atlantic City, NJ, his “home” after his family moved there when he was just six months old. He spent his childhood thoroughly enjoying the beach life and the Steel Pier, commonly known at the time for its diving horse. Similarly, although Rachel was born in Toulouse, France, her family’s desire to come to America sparked the move to Washington, DC, when Rachel was also just six months old. Having spent the majority of her life in the city, Rachel describes herself as a proud Washingtonian.

Upon graduating high school, Jay attended Drexel University in Philadelphia where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Engineering. Shortly after, Jay moved to DC to work for the Federal Government in the Patent Office. After work, he would attend night classes at George Washington University (GWU), fully committed to earning his law degree. A couple of years later, in 1961, Jay and Rachel met at GWU through commutual friends, where Rachel was also studying to earn her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. Two years later, Jay and Rachel got married in DC during the summer of 1963.

Just a couple of months later in the fall of 1963, they picked up their things and moved to France, with nothing more than a week’s reservation at a hotel and a letter from a French law firm asking Jay to visit them once he arrived. They had planned to only stay for six months, however, once Jay was offered a position as a Patent Attorney, they ended up living in France for more than two years! During this time, Rachel enrolled in art classes at the Académie Julian and Sorbonne Université and earned a teaching certification in the French language. In 1965, the couple decided it was time to move back to DC to be closer to their families and expand their career opportunities.

While living back in the city in an apartment on S Street, Jay went into private practice. In 1968, they found out they were expecting their first child, so they made the decision to move to Adams Morgan before their daughter, Debbie, arrived. Although Jay and Rachel loved this part of the city, they soon realized it wasn’t exactly what they had in mind for raising their growing family, so they moved to Chevy Chase, DC, in 1970. A year later, their son Joel was born. While raising their children, Rachel also spent a lot of time volunteering within the local community, which she reflects on very fondly. The family lived in their Chevy Chase home for 50 years before deciding to move to Kensington Park shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

Since living in the Highlands, Jay has discovered his love for Cornhole, the popular and highly competitive bean bag game, and is working towards his goal of learning to play the Ukulele. Rachel, on the other hand, is a huge movie buff and animal lover, a key member of our Weekly Wordle group, and enjoys participating in anything and everything “art” related.

Rachel and Jay are such wonderful additions to the Highlands and Kensington Park family – it is hard to picture life without them!