Mary’s Woods Resident
Moving to a retirement community is generally an emotional time period for residents, it often means downsizing, leaving old neighborhoods, groups and possessions that once defined their lives.
Many individuals move away from garages and sheds full of tools and projects. For woodworkers and handypeople at Mary’s Woods, there is a space dedicated to allowing them to continue their craft. Many cite it as one of the reasons they were able to move in with confidence.
The Leo Gibbons Woodshop was largely equipped by, and subsequently named for, former resident Leo Gibbons. Leo had the foresight and generous heart to ensure a space existed for those who share his passion. The space is affectionately nicknamed the “Man Cave,” though members are quick to point out everyone is welcome.
“Having access to a wood shop was a requirement for me if I was going to move, and the shop at Mary’s Woods is the best I’ve seen at any retirement community in the area” said resident Dennis Taylor. “It’s a great comfort to me knowing I can continue to build things out of wood.”
The Leo Gibbons woodshop is more popular today than ever before, thanks to an influx of residents to the Village at Mary’s Woods. Everyone who uses the space seems to share a deep appreciation for its namesake, so much so that they worked together to write thank you notes which they shared with Leo’s children. They included photos of their work, and expressed their deep appreciation for the shop and Leo’s gift that continues to give life, creativity and friendships.
“Learning of — and having access to — this treasure trove was a surprise, and such a relief!” said Man Cave member Bob Karl.
A few projects that have come out of the Woodshop include bird houses, stools, TV stands, table lamps and sculptures. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, residents created an uplifting “Thank You Staff” sign which was installed at the Mary’s Woods entrance off of Highway 43. Countless hours have been spent with Leo’s tools, and in the presence of his spirit.
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