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What are Residents Saying about FTJ?

Husband and wife hugging and smiling

As we celebrate our 95th anniversary this year and look toward opening two new buildings on our campus, we continue to live Mrs. Jones’ vision and embrace her mission and philosophy: To enrich and extend the quality of life for seniors in our community. For 95 years Franke Tobey Jones has made meaningful lives possible. Today, Mrs. Jones’ generosity and revolutionary idea live on in every building on our beautiful campus. We give seniors a meaningful life at every stage of life, and as a not-for-profit organization we invest what we receive back into our community.

Freeman and Mary Brown moved into one of our duplex cottages in 2013 and say this about our community. “Franke Tobey Jones is local and not-for-profit. Management is forward thinking. Staff is caring and competent. Friendship among its residents abounds. Its campus is beautiful, and its location cannot be surpassed adjacent to Point Defiance Park and within eyesight of Puget Sound. If the Pacific Northwest has captured your heart, Franke Tobey Jones will also.”

Being a not-for-profit community, we are governed by a local, volunteer, dedicated Board of Directors. They give of their heart, time and expertise to make sure that Franke Tobey Jones is fiscally sound and true to our mission. Phyllis Gill was an FTJ Board Member for many years, including Chairing the Board.  She and her husband, Bill, moved to Franke Tobey Jones in 2016.  Phyllis says, “It’s not easy to plan for one’s retirement years. It often means giving up a home you love, leaving familiar neighborhoods and downsizing in ways that seemed unthinkable a few years before. In 2016, my husband Bill and I made those hard choices and moved to an independent living cottage at Franke Tobey Jones. We quickly felt at home and I am grateful that Bill was able to enjoy the benefits of our new community before he died earlier this year. I am so happy that we made the hard decisions when we had the time together. I love the informality and friendliness of this community and the many new friends I have made here. I enjoy the variety of educational programs and social gatherings offered on the campus. There is also transportation for local arts and cultural events happening in Tacoma. As my needs change in the future, I am grateful to be living where, with the help of a caring and professional staff, I can plan the next steps.”

Franke Tobey Jones has also become a place for families! In 2017 Claire and Dick Griffin moved to Franke Tobey Jones from the east coast. Claire’s mom and dad had already lived in our Garden Apartments for eight years, and they were so happy here that the Griffins decided on Franke Tobey Jones as well.  “My parents, now both in their nineties and still living independently, moved to the Garden Apartments at Franke Tobey Jones in 2009,” Claire says. “Eight years later, my husband and I moved into one of the duplexes. We’ve been so impressed with Franke Tobey Jones over the past years that we moved nearly 3,000 miles to be here! It’s a blessing to be near my parents, and it’s a blessing to have us all so well cared for and thought of.” Claire is so passionate about FTJ that she is now one of our Resident Board members.

We also have several residents that like to snowbird. Because FTJ takes care of your home and yard maintenance, you can relax and enjoy your time on or off campus. The Winkles moved here in 2016 from a sunnier climate and like to spend the winters there. “We are enjoying a quality retirement in a friendly environment,” says Marcia Winkle. “The employees are the very best, making our life easy and carefree. Knowing aging needs can be met at FTJ eases peace of mind and makes a difference in our lives.” 

Making a difference in someone’s life often times means making sure their furry family members can live here too! Pat Mail moved here in 2014 not only because her mom had a wonderful experience living here many years ago, but because we welcome pets which means so much to her!  “I moved into FTJ at age 74 and found a wonderfully supportive community, great dog-walking areas, and a sense of security which I didn’t have living alone in my home. Although I live in independent living, I get to enjoy meals occasionally in the Tobey Jones dining room and find the food excellent. FTJ is planning expansions in health care, memory care and independent living. But being next to Point Defiance Park, there will always be some touch of nature available. The not-for-profit status makes FTJ affordable, even to retired mid-level bureaucrats. God Bless the community that is so accepting and supportive.” Pat has also become one of our Resident Board Members.

Ray and Marlys Mitzner moved here in 2011, and Ray says, “I am especially pleased to have the Woodshop at Franke Tobey Jones as my ’Mancave!’ This, however, is only one of the many activities here at Tobey Jones. For instance, the Art Room is next door to my ‘Mancave’ and I get to see all the beautiful creations people are making. We oooooh and aaaaah over each other’s work all the time! The Woodshop is well equipped and supplied with donations of various woods. My woodworking tends to be not truly creative but more innovative of something I have seen and want to modify and improve on.”

People find Franke Tobey Jones from near and far. The Watters lived in Texas and took many months looking across the Pacific Northwest for their most desirable retirement community. We were thrilled when they chose Franke Tobey Jones! “Franke Tobey Jones is a wonderful Life Plan Community located above Point Defiance Park in Tacoma,” says Abbie Watters. “In 2009, my husband and I began searching for where we wanted to spend our retirement years. We knew we wanted to leave the heat and drought of Texas and relocate to the Pacific Northwest. We spent 21 days exploring 20 different retirement communities between Bellingham, WA and Medford, OR, and chose Tobey Jones as our favorite. It had everything we were looking for: congenial people; private, not for profit status; and all levels of care from independent living to full health care. We have lived here since June of 2012 and are very happy with the community. All maintenance is included; there are enrichment activities available; the dining staff is outstanding; the Senior University program helps keep our minds active. Franke Tobey Jones is a great place.”

As we look to the future, our remarkable history continues as does our mission. The friendships that blossom during picnics, happy hours and field trips; the camaraderie that develops in our exercise classes; the fun of spontaneous conversations with neighbors; and the supportive community at Franke Tobey Jones plays an invaluable role in helping seniors live healthier, happier lives.  As Jan Shearer, a FTJ resident of 15 years says, “My decision to move to Franke Tobey Jones has proved to be a wise one. I expected a full range of care available. I hadn’t anticipated the warmth of new friendships with residents and caring staff. It’s an atmosphere of community and family.”

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