By: Michele DiPasquale
Located in scenic western Morris County on Schooley’s Mountain Road in Hackettstown, Heath Village Unique Retirement Community is perhaps the very best choice for today’s retiree who wants to remain active, involved, and independent. A bucolic, one-hundred-acre campus, Heath Village has independent apartments, a cottage community, chic hotel-style apartments, plus a large residential healthcare facility and comprehensive skilled nursing center. Village apartments and cottages are nestled within “miniature neighborhoods” scattered throughout the campus, offering enchanting views of the grounds and surrounding mountains. All residents receive a 24-hour
personal security pendant to provide safety and peace of mind. HVRC offers myriad activities so residents can fill their days doing whatever they want while dedicated staff members stand ready to assist. Residents can enjoy a friendly game of tennis or Bocce, join friends for a leisurely afternoon hike on nature trails, or they can find solace in the extensive community garden or woodworking shop. In the summer there is a fabulous heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi, and on rainy days, residents can play billiards, indoor shuffleboard, ping pong, exercise in the fitness center, or choose a book from the extensive library collection.
Heath Village residents love the retirement community, and this year HVRC is proud to celebrate the birthday of their 100-year old resident, Lena Rowe.
“Staying busy and active, exercising, eating right, being involved in so many projects and with so many friends is the secret to life,” Mrs. Rowe is happy to share.
A NJ native, Mrs. Rowe lived most of her long and happy life in Rockaway for 94 years. During World War II Mrs. Rowe worked at the Picatinny Arsenal in manufacturing, and after the war married the love of her life, Donald. They had a great life together for 64 years (Donald passed away in 2012) and had two children. Mrs. Rowe and her husband owned an ice cream store, where she worked and managed the shop during the day. A nostalgic and iconic place, Mr. and Mrs. Rowe’s shop, Hershey’s Ice Cream Parlor of Rockaway, boasted a soda fountain, juke box, penny candy, and the best ice cream around, it was the place for kids to hang out at after school. Later, Mrs. Rowe worked at APW Company in Rockaway, which is still in business, creating product lines of standard electromagnets used in applications that include security door applications, automatic fire door applications, dentist chairs, and medical diagnostic equipment.
When she and her husband retired, Mr. and Mrs. Rowe were actively involved and hugely instrumental in the creation of the Rockaway Senior Club, where Mrs. Rowe reigned as president for 21 years.
Mrs. Rowe claims the secret to living a healthy life is to keep moving, stay busy, help others, and eat well, chowing down on very few processed foods and lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Plus, a piece of chocolate every day.
“I just did what needed to be done in life and kept right on living. And always keep a good sense of humor,” Mrs. Rowe says.