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September 02, 2021

130 Stories: Elaine Scheelk

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Elaine Scheelk, C’92, Biblical and Theological Studies

“The Adopt-a-Grandparent program that I participated in for outreach has impacted me in ways I never expected. I made a later in life career change into the Senior Living industry, and I credit my time visiting my “Grandpa Pete” at Covenant Home with preparing me for a career that inspires me daily.

“Grandpa Pete was a lifelong bachelor and ran the elevator at the old Covenant Home (so he could see all the ladies). He was a tall man who gave big hugs and always offered to buy ice cream or to give you a piece of candy. We spent much of our time together walking and talking or just sitting and visiting. He would introduce me to other residents as his “adopted granddaughter.”

“Grandpa Pete took away some of my own fear of growing old. When you asked him how he was doing he invariably replied, “fit as a fiddle and ready for love.” I knew that I wanted to have that kind of zest for life as I aged. Now in my work, I look for opportunities to give more seniors and their families joy in their later years.

“North Park gave me urban experiences with a small community as home base. Now, as I travel between nearly 40 senior living communities, I am more at ease in whatever city or area I am visiting. I didn’t realize the passion that I had for seniors during my college years, but God was cultivating that passion even back then.”

We’re celebrating 130 years of North Park community. You’re invited to share your own story at www.northpark.edu/share130


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