Londonderry’s Toce & Smith Recognized as Face of Retirement on the Eastern Shore

Londonderry on the Tred Avon CEO Irma Toce and Director of Sales and Marketing Rachel Smith were named the Face of Retirement on the Eastern Shore by Baltimore Magazine for the second consecutive year.

“Londonderry continues to shine as a premiere active retirement community,” said Irma Toce, Londonderry CEO. “The incredible relationships between our residents and staff, paired with our amenities and programs in a beautiful waterfront setting in Easton, create a truly special place to enjoy retirement. Rachel and I are proud of the Londonderry community and its growing reputation for excellence across the Eastern Shore and throughout the region.”

Toce and Smith were recognized for their success and contributions at Londonderry and in their respective fields. From Baltimore Magazine:

“CEO Irma Toce and Director of Sales and Marketing Rachel Smith each bring something special to the independent-living community, Londonderry on the Tred Avon. Irma, who has more than 25 years of executive experience in the senior-housing field, understands the importance of helping seniors after her grandmother’s dementia diagnosis. Rachel, who grew up on the Eastern Shore, has extensive experience in senior-housing sales and marketing, and enjoys sharing her love of the Shore with others. Irma and Rachel believe the key to a high quality of life for seniors is a robust and vibrant lifestyle…”

About Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62+, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information,visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Londonderry Hosts Community Hoe Down

On Thursday, May 9th, Londonderry on the Tred Avon hosted a Hoe Down for residents, guests and the community.

The western-themed event, welcomed over 100 guests who enjoyed square dancing with a square-dancing caller, line dancing, live music from The Jones Boys, and a special guest appearance by “John Wayne.”

“Our team loves hosting events such as these to bring our residents together and to show our family, friends, neighbors and community how much fun we have here,” said Rachel Smith Sales and Marketing Director.

Food for the event was provided by Blue Heron Catering and featured a hoe down menu of pulled pork BBQ with corn muffins, a chili bar, black eyed Susan cookies and strawberry shortcake shooters.

About Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62+, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information,visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Londonderry Welcomes New Executive Chef, Chelsea Coombs

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is pleased to announce Chelsea Coombs as its new Executive Chef. Coombs began her new position in January and is responsible for the community’s dining and kitchen operations.

“Chelsea has been an incredible addition to the Londonderry team,” said Irma Toce, Executive Director. “She brings incredible energy, leadership and creativity to our dining program. Her experience, education and culinary philosophy are a perfect fit to our holistic approach to wellness at Londonderry.”

Coombs strongly believes that “if you eat well, you feel well,” and her cooking is inspired by what is fresh and in season. She is an advocate for the health benefits of clean and wholesome eating and considers food to be a critical part of wellness.

“Being part of the Londonderry community has been a joy,” said Coombs. “The residents are open to trying new things and have allowed me to express my creativity on the menu. I have enjoyed working with them to reimagine their favorite dishes in a healthier way and have introduced simple changes to incorporate more fresh and seasonal ingredients into their diet.”

Prior to joining the Londonderry staff, Coombs served as the Sous Chef for Blue Heron Catering where she helped supervise a staff of 20 and managed all catering operations of all sizes ranging from small, in-home gatherings to large events of 400+ guests.

In addition to her experience in the kitchen, Coombs has also earned certifications in Food, Nutrition and Health as well as Nutrition, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion.

Coombs, an Eastern Shore native, lives in Trappe with her boyfriend, Paul, and Pug, Benny. When not in the kitchen, she enjoys being active and outdoors.

About Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62+, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information,visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Senior Nation: Ask Irma on When to Downsize

Senior Nation is committed to offering resources to help us deal with the challenges and opportunities of aging. To that end, we are launching a new monthly video blog called “Ask Irma” by Irma Toce, where we focus on all topics related to aging.

This video is approximately one minute in length. For information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

Five Champion Trees Recognized at Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Five trees on the Londonderry on the Tred Avon campus have been recognized by the Maryland Big Tree Program as Talbot County Champion Trees. Champion trees are identified at the County and State level as being the largest identified members of their species. They are measured and scored based on their circumference, height and average crown width.

The trees were identified as Londonderry was taking care of routine forestry work around its campus and were nominated for recognition by Agnes Kedmenecz of the University of Maryland Extension Service. The trees were later measured by members of the Londonderry Community, University of Maryland Extension Service and the Maryland Big Tree Program, which is a volunteer-coordinated effort sponsored by the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Service.

The five trees are in various areas of the campus with several near the Manor which was constructed at the close of the American Civil War.

The five trees identified as “Champion Trees” are the following:

• Japanese Maple measuring 5’ 8” in circumference, 33’ high and a 44.5’ average crown width
• Bitternut Hickory measuring 9’8” in circumference, 144’ high and a 68.5’ average crown width
• Nordmann Fir measuring 7’8” in circumference, 73’ high and a 34.5’ average crown width
• American Beech measuring 12’4” in circumference, 104’ high and a80’ average crown width
• Southern Red Oak measuring 20’3’ in circumference, 107 feet high and a 107.5’average crown width

“Our community is beyond thrilled to have five champion trees on our campus,” said Londonderry CEO, Irma Toce. “These trees are part of our rich history and it is wonderful that they can now be recognized by our residents and our neighbors throughout Talbot County. I’d like to thank our community members who worked so hard on this project.”

Londonderry on the Tred Avon was originally part of a 600-acre land grant known as Westmoreland which was granted to Irish Quaker immigrant Francis Armstrong in 1667. A portion of the land grant was sold to Talbot County upon which the first Talbot County Court House was built. As the property changed hands over the next 100 years, it became known as London Derry, and eventually Londonderry, as it is called today.

About Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and over, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon Celebrates the Holiday Season

Londonderry on the Tred Avon celebrated the holiday season with several outreach efforts and social activities over the past few weeks. Londonderry residents decorated a tree for the Festival of Trees, supported local toy drives, performed holiday concerts out in the surrounding community and gathered together in the Tred Avon Tavern for a holiday dinner.

“Everyone at Londonderry truly embraces the holiday spirit,” said Irma Toce, Londonderry on the Tred Avon CEO. “Everyone who lives at Londonderry makes a point to celebrate with each other and to help make the holiday a bit brighter for those in need.”

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Londonderry sponsored a tree for Festival of Trees in support of the Talbot Hospice Foundation. The tree was themed “Star Light, Star Bright, Children’s Magical Christmas Night” and was displayed at the Tidewater Inn and later at Londonderry’s new Clubhouse for the whole community to enjoy through Christmas.

Londonderry residents also supported the Easton Police Department’s Annual Toy Drive as well as Toys for Tots by donating more than 100 toys that will be given to underprivileged children this Christmas.

Londonderry’s Choral Group, the Jammers, performed and spread holiday cheer throughout Easton, and concluded their tour with a special performance for their Londonderry neighbors on December 17th.

Finally, the Londonderry community gathered together on December 11th for their Holiday Dinner. Residents enjoyed a festive evening featuring prime rib and lamb prepared by Chef Jordan Lloyd.

About Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and over, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Popular “Ask Irma” Series Expands to Video

Following the success of the “Ask Irma” online column and radio series in partnership with the Talbot Spy and WCEI, the monthly Q &A focused on seniors will add a monthly video series in January. In addition to answering submitted questions, Toce will also host experts and guests for in-depth conversations on topics related to aging and seniors. The video series will be hosted by the Talbot Spy and a new edition will be published each month.

“I am so proud of the success of the ‘Ask Irma’ series and I am excited about its evolution to video,” said Irma Toce, Londonderry on the Tred Avon CEO. “Over the past year, I have enjoyed engaging with our community and responding to their questions on aging, and I look forward to the more interactive video format in the months ahead. We have some exciting guests on the calendar for next year, and I am eager to share our discussions with our audience in hopes that it helps them and their loved ones.”

Toce has more than 25 years of experience in working with seniors. She holds a BS in social work and a MA in health management and is nationally recognized as an expert and mentor in the field of aging.

Toce has been Londonderry’s CEO since 2014. Under her leadership, Londonderry has grown and expanded its residences, recreational and gathering spaces and programming to better serve seniors on the Eastern Shore.

The video series will replace the written column on the Talbot Spy (www.talbotspy.org), but the monthly radio series will continue in its current format on WCEI (96.7 FM). Questions may still be submitted to askirma@londonderrytredavon.com. All questions will be answered anonymously.

About Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and over, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

The Residents of Londonderry: Bob Woods

One of the many questions you could ask Bob Wood about his exceptional life is, “how in the world did a graduate of West Point end up teaching Navy Midshipmen how to sail?”

It’s a great story.

When Bob Wood transferred from Brown University to West Point in 1941, the United States had yet to enter WWII. As the reality of going to war set-in as their school careers progressed, he and his classmates were excited and anxious to serve.

Bob Wood graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in January of 1943 in the top quarter of his class. This is significant as 1943 was the only year where there were two graduating classes. With the United States fully committed to WWII, it was critical to get soldiers overseas as soon as possible.

Bob entered the Army Corp of Engineers following graduation and completed additional training at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia. He was later assigned to the 7th Armored Division known as the “Lucky Seven.”

As Bob and his fellow soldiers were on the Queen Mary in New York getting ready to head overseas, the troops received news of the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. When they landed in Scotland, they traveled through Southern England and then joined-up with the Army in France and stayed through the conclusion of the War in Europe.

Following V-E Day in May of 1945, Bob remained in Europe for the next few years and was stationed in Germany to assist with the Corp of Engineers’ rebuilding efforts. His wife, Cynthia, or “Cynnie” met him in Germany and they took up residence in a resort community in Bavaria where they lived in the house of a former Nazi officer. Their first daughter, Michael, arrived soon after, and Cynthia’s mother also joined them to help with the baby.

The young family returned to the United States and Bob left the Army and took a job in Chicago. Shortly after, he was called back to West Point to join the General’s Staff to help run the school as other officers had been sent overseas to serve in the Korean War. Cynthia and Bob welcomed their second daughter, Cindy, during their time in West Point.

Following the Korean War, the Woods returned to Chicago and then moved with Bob’s career – living in New York and the New Jersey where their son, Robert Jr., called Casey, was born. Bob worked as a consultant on Wall Street for many years while he and Cynthia raised their family.

Bob and Cynthia later relocated to Annapolis when Bob accepted a new position in Washington D.C. Both Bob and Cynthia were avid sailors and enjoyed being on the water.

Following Cynthia’s death, Bob remained in Annapolis and later met his second wife, Frances.

During his time in Annapolis, Bob became a sailing instructor with the Naval Academy, a role he enjoyed immensely. While Bob didn’t boast about his Army career, he was eventually discovered when a Midshipman caught sight of his class ring and realized a West Point graduate was teaching them how to sail!

After more than a decade in Annapolis, Frances convinced Bob to move to the Eastern Shore, an area she had grown to love with her first husband, and they settled in St. Michaels in the 1980s. They enjoyed and active retirement and continued sailing.

Frances passed away in August of 2014 and Bob remained at their home in St. Michaels until he moved to Londonderry in September 2015. He continued sailing until just recently.

This past May, Bob attended his 75th Reunion at West Point with his two daughters where he was joined by another classmate, and the families of several others. They also took some time to visit their old homes in New Jersey and New York as they made their way back to Easton.

Bob will celebrate is 98th birthday this month and is a proud father, grandfather, great-grandfather and veteran.

Talbot County Council Forum October 5

A quiet and peaceful spot on the banks of the Tred Avon river will be in the mainstream of current local politics when the Londonderry retirement community hosts a forum for candidates to the Talbot County Council on Friday, October 5, at 3:00 pm.

It has invited all candidates to a new Club House to tell of their plans for the future direction of the county, and the public to come and hear them. The League of Women Voters of the MidShore will be on hand to moderate the forum. By League policy, forums it conducts are nonpartisan and serve as an important part of its mission to inform and empower voters – of making democracy work as the League likes to say.

For this event Londonderry on the Tred Avon will use its new Club House just opened at 700 Port Street in Easton. Those who drive may go to straight up to the Community Center to park and be directed by a short walk to the Club House. For further information call 515-229-0180.

Senior Nation: Ask Irma on Taking a Long Trip at 86 Years Old

Senior Nation is committed to offering resources to help us deal with the challenges and opportunities of aging. To that end, we are launching a new monthly column called “Ask Irma” by Irma Toce, where we focus on all topics related to aging.

Dear Irma,

I am 86, in pretty good health and I want to go on a safari in Africa My children are upset and my oldest daughter doesn’t even speak to me at the moment Should I stay home? I really want to go.
The Old Adventurer.

Dear Adventurer,

Your children are likely upset because they are worried about you. Have you shared your travel plans with them? Is it an organized trip and if so have you given them as much information as you could?

If you feel healthy and up to a trip and your physician has given you a clean bill of health by all means enjoy the adventure You might want to bring an iPhone or iPad so you can FAceTime or Skype with your children and that might make them feel better I am sure they’ll all get “over” it when you return and I hope your oldest daughter is going to give you a big send off

Bon voyage!

Irma Toce is the  CEO of Londonderry on the Tred Avon with over 25 years experience work with seniors. Her years of experience in the field is accompanied by BS in social work and an MA in health management, Irma not only leads the dynamic community of Londonderry, but she is also nationally recognized as an expert in the field of aging

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