The maintenance-free lifestyle of an Episcopal Retirement Services community means residents have greater freedom and flexibility to pursue their interests and hobbies. For many residents, pursuing new passions means finding opportunities to benefit the well-being of others—both in their residential community and also in the community at large. Here’s how one Deupree House resident is living with purpose in creative, passion-filled ways.
Meet Deupree House Resident Pat Donaldson
For as long as she can remember, Pat Donaldson has loved art. As a young girl, she made paper dolls. In high school, she was the art editor for her school’s yearbook. When it came time to choose a major at Bowling Green State University, however, her father wisely advised her that a career in commercial art wasn’t realistic. “And it wasn’t, at the time. He was right,” she says.
So, she pursued a career in elementary education instead, teaching hundreds of children in grades three through seven over a career spanning 24 years. Meanwhile, she married her husband, JD, and the couple raised three children as his NFL coaching career took their family to New York, New Jersey, and Ohio.
All the while, Pat’s passion for art lingered in her heart, though it took a backseat to life’s other blessings of a bustling family and career. “I was a little bit busy,” she laughs.
When Pat retired and moved into Deupree House in 2009, she finally found the time and freedom to pursue her interest in art. “When you’re living here, you don’t have to worry about a schedule, necessarily,” she says. “You can spend the whole afternoon at the library—or painting!”
Today, Pat’s paintings are proudly on display throughout many of her neighbors’ and fellow residents’ homes. She doesn’t limit her creativity to any one style or subject matter, though she’s been known to paint plenty of nature scenes (a sunflower and a lamb are two pieces she remembers fondly), and friends often ask her to paint house portraits as a memento of their homes when they move.
In early October, Pat was busily churning out projects to be sold at the Auxiliary’s Annual Fall Bazaar later that month, and ERS often uses her work in the form of holiday cards sent to residents and supporters of the ERS community. Her work has also appeared in notecard form for the Parish Health Ministry, and she’s even designed CD covers for a musician in the ERS community.
And her artistic flair doesn’t end there. When the Deupree House community needed an aesthetic facelift, ERS’s President and CEO Laura Lamb enlisted Pat’s keen eye for color and design to help guide the project. “I’m all over the place,” Pat says of her creative pursuits, and that’s exactly how she likes it.
When she’s not immersed in an art project, Pat also volunteers her time on the Auxiliary committee and helps contribute creative touches for the Annual Fund Gala.
To her fellow residents and those looking to pursue new avenues in their retirement years, Pat gives this advice: “Find something that you’re passionate about. Find a bliss, something that really sets you afire or stirs something in you. Now’s the time to go after it.”
Live Purposefully at Deupree House