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.

Integrace Bayleigh Chase Presents Proceeds to Alzheimer’s Association

Representatives of Integrace Bayleigh Chase recently presented a donation of $1,806 to the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Maryland to benefit Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The funds were raised by the community’s “Fall Into Fashion” Luncheon and Show held on September 12.

Bayleigh Chase is a local leader in providing support to individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders through its residential neurocognitive support program and the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic.

Pictured (L-R): Carol Zimmerman, Eastern Shore Development and Outreach Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Maryland; Anne Neary, President of Integrace Bayleigh Chase Residents Association; Andrea Lev, Integrace Bayleigh Chase Executive Director; Sherri Brown, Integrace Bayleigh Chase Director of Sales & Marketing.

About Integrace Bayleigh Chase

Located on a 35-acre campus in historic Easton, Bayleigh Chase is a not-for-profit life plan community that affords residents a lifestyle of flexibility and choice to live life on their own terms. Bayleigh Chase offers independent living options in its villas, cottages and apartment homes, as well as a continuum of supportive living services, including assisted living, neurocognitive support, outpatient and short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing and diagnostic and treatment support through the Samuel and Alexia Bratton Neurocognitive Clinic. For more information, please call 410-763-7167 or visit www.bayleighchase.org.

About Integrace
Integrace is a forward-thinking non-profit organization that strives to ignite in all people the passion for meaningful living. Integrace oversees a family of vibrant senior living communities in Maryland, including Bayleigh Chase in Easton, Buckingham’s Choice in Adamstown, and Fairhaven in Sykesville. Integrace is also a nationally-recognized leader in the art of neurocognitive support, with the Sykesville-based Copper Ridge community and Integrace Institute, as well as two neurocognitive clinics in Easton and Sykesville, serving as catalysts to a profound shift in how we perceive, and relate to, those living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and many other forms of cognitive change. Integrace communities provide a continuum of services to support both residents and the greater community, including assisted living, skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation and more. Each of these innovative programs focuses on person-centered living, honoring the abilities, possibilities and authenticity of each individual. For more information, please visit Integrace.org.

Talbot Hospice Fetes Guthrie Members

Gigi and Steve Hershey, Jim Farrell, and Judy Gieske

More than 140 Talbot Hospice Guthrie Society members were honored at a donor appreciation party in September hosted by Jim and Maxine Farrell at their home, Canterbury Manor. The Guthrie Society is a giving society for top donors that give at a designated level each year to the Annual Campaign. Named after one of Talbot Hospice’s founders, Dr. Eugene “Buck” Guthrie, this group of dedicated donors exemplifies and honors Dr. Guthrie’s vision and commitment to the Talbot Hospice mission and his passion for making a difference in the end-of-life experience for patients and families served by hospice.

Guthrie Party Hosts Jim and Max Farrell, TH Executive Director Vivian Dodge, and Board President Steve Slack.

Canterbury Manor is a colonial revival mansion on Bailey’s Neck built in 1906 featuring sweeping views of Trippe Creek and award winning gardens. “We want to share Canterbury Manor with our community,” said Maxine Farrell.  “It brings us great pleasure to entertain this important group of Talbot Hospice supporters.”

Mary Choksi and Debbie Willse

Executive Director Vivian Dodge took the opportunity to express her appreciation for Guthrie Society members and their support for the hospice mission. “Our donors are an inspiration. They have given their time, efforts, resources, commitment, and love to Talbot Hospice. Their gifts and support make it possible for Talbot Hospice to exist and to close the gap of nearly $485,000 in care and services that is uncompensated.”

Talbot Hospice has been providing hospice and grief support services in Talbot County since 1981. For questions about our services or for more information visit TalbotHospice.org or call 410-822-6681.



  1. Talbot Hospice Guthrie Society party hosts Jim and Maxine Farrell, Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge and Board President Steve Slack, September 14, 2018 at Canterbury Manor
  2. Mary Choksi and Debbie Willse attended the Talbot Hospice Guthrie Society Party September 14, 2018
  3. Gigi and Steve Hershey, Guthrie Society Party Host Jim Farrell, and Judi Gieske enjoyed the evening at Canterbury Manor


Senior Nation: Life at Londonderry on the Tred Avon

Easton has three distinctive examples of the Gothic Revival Style; one is the rectory of Christ Church, the second is the Trippe-Beale house at the corner of South and Aurora Streets and the third example is the Magnolia Manor, located on the grounds of Londonderry on the Tred Avon and formerly known as the Manor House. Londonderry began its life as a 600-acre tract of land known as London Derry. The land granted in 1667 from Lord Baltimore to an Irish Quaker, Francis Armstrong. A portion of the land grant was sold to Talbot County and was later used to build the courthouse and the Friends Meeting House in Easton.


Magnolia Manor was built shortly after the Civil War and was designed by one of the founding members of the American Institute of Architects, Richard Upjohn, who chose Port Deposit granite, brought in by boat up the Tred Avon River, as the house’s exterior material. The distinctive polygonal shaped entrance bay that projects from the front façade, the elaborate exterior detail indicative of the Gothic Revival style with its steeply pitched gable roof crowned with an ornate cross gable, the cornice, arched windows and shutters are a few of the reasons this manor house is now a Maryland Historic Trust Property. A fire destroyed the third floor and the porches in the 1960’s but fortunately the elaborate Gothic details remain.

On April 16, 1992, ground was broken and Londonderry transitioned from a private historical residence to one of less than ninety-eight senior living cooperatives in the country. Londonderry was the first independent living cooperative established on the Eastern Shore for residents aged 62 or older.

Londonderry not only provides maintenance free living on the Tred Avon River, but a vibrant community life as well.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon has grown to over 170 residents with five different apartment floor plans and eighteen different cottage floor plans. Cottages and apartments range from 574 square feet to over 3,000 square feet. With permission, residents may modify or add features to their apartments and cottages to reflect their personal tastes and interests. Three of the cottages were designed by Easton architects. Christine M. Dayton, Architect, designed the “Bellevue” and “Royal Oak” models and Atelier 11 Architects designed the “Skipton” model. All of the original lots have now been sold.

When the community was in its incipient stage of growth, the residents used Magnolia Manor as their Community Center. While Magnolia Manor is still used by the residents, it can also be rented by the public for special events. Over the last 25 years Londonderry has added a larger Community Center including the dining room “Tred Avon Tavern”. Recently the Spy reported on the opening of the Clubhouse, designed by Atelier 11 Architects, as a center of community life including fitness, hobby, and personal care activities. All the cottages and apartments are conveniently located near the new Clubhouse and community building.

The grounds of Londonderry on the Tred Avon are surrounded by nature. Residents enjoy strolling along the waterfront, biking or relaxing on their patios. Each cottage and apartment is unique; if you had the opportunity to visit every residence in Londonderry you would see how each of them live “Your Life, Your Way”.

For more information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon or how to rent Magnolia Manor for your event, contact Rachel L. Smith, Director of Sales and Marketing at 410-820-8732 or 800-752-8732 or rsmith@londonderrytredavon.com or visit the web site at www.londonderrytredavon.com or magnoliamanormd.com. The “Bellevue” and “Royal Oak” models were designed by Christine M. Dayton Architect, 410-822-3130, staff@cdaytonarchitect.com, www.cdaytonarchitect.com. The “Skipton” model was designed by Atelier 11 Architects, 410-822-3680, info@a11architecture.com, www.atelier11architecture.com.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

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

Senior Nation: The Dixon House 99ers by Amy Blades Steward

When you meet Ellen Walbridge and Helen Crow, residents of Dixon House in Easton, you won’t suspect that they are both 99 years old. Both women are vibrant and enjoy recalling their full and rich lives. This is the case for several residents at The Dixon House in Easton.

According to Linda Elben, Executive Director, “We are seeing more and more residents coming to us later in their lives, in their 90s, still very active and living quality lives. Most just need to simplify their living and have less responsibilities.”

She adds, “These two women are remarkable. They join a number of our residents who are centenarians or who approaching 100 years of age. It is a testament to them living active lives surrounded by family and friends.”

Ellen Walbridge, a resident of Dixon House, will turn 100 in February 2019.

Ellen Walbridge, born in West Virginia, had ties to the Eastern Shore. At age 15, she followed her brother, who came to work at Fike Orchard in Skipton. While living here, she met Alvin Walbridge at a church social and the rest is history. Over the years, she supported her husband who started Walbridge Builders. Family is very important to her. She and her husband had five children, one boy and four girls. She now has 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Walbridge moved to The Dixon House in 2017 after living independently. When asked about the reason for longevity, she states that her brother lived until age 96 and she never drank or smoked. She was active in 4-H, loved to garden (she tends the flowers at The Dixon House), and enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and sewing. She also loves to bake, helping with the baking activities at The Dixon House, and lemon meringue pie is her specialty. She comments, “I don’t feel real young, but I don’t feel 99.” She will turn 100 in February 2019.

Helen Crow, a resident of Dixon House, will turn 100 in April 20.

Born in rural Ohio, Helen Crow was always physically active. Her father, a builder, was also a physically active person. Helen recalls doing handstands and headstands when she was young. Today, she doesn’t miss an exercise class at The Dixon House. She and her husband, Elmer, nicknamed “Amo” married after Amo served in the Army’s 17th Airborne Division as a paratrooper during World War II. The two had three children, and today she has three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Amo had a career as a master craftsman, training many young men who entered the flooring trade, while Helen did office work for a law firm, then a refinery.

Both Helen and Amo participated in an activities group for art in Cincinnati, where Helen enjoyed oils and watercolors and Amo enjoyed stained glass, caning, and pottery. The two also enjoyed music, attending Cincinnati Symphony concerts for 40 years. The couple retired to Florida and then to Easton, where their son, Roger and daughter-in-law Heather live. The two then came to live at The Dixon House in 2014. Crow comments, “Easton is a nice town. We were amazed at the quality of friends we have made at Dixon House.” She adds, “I have had a good life.”

The mission of The Dixon House is to provide high quality and affordable residential care to seniors in an enriching home-like environment. For further information, contact Linda Elben, Executive Director at 410-822-6661 or visit dixonhouse.org.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon’s Grand Opening of New Community Center

Londonderry on the Tred Avon will host the Grand Opening of its new Clubhouse on Tuesday, September 18th from 4:00 – 6:00pm. Londonderry residents and the public are invited to attend and enjoy food, drinks and live music. An advance RSVP is required

“All of us at Londonderry are excited to celebrate this important milestone,” said Irma Toce, Londonderry on the Tred Avon CEO. “After several years of planning and construction, the wait is finally over. We are thrilled to present this new space to our residents and offer even more amenities and gathering spaces within our community.”

The 5,000 square foot space features as fitness center, salon, large multipurpose room, catering kitchen, meeting room, outdoor deck and with seating and overlook tower.The Sales and Marketing Office has also moved into the new space.

Please RSVP for the event by visiting www.londonderrytredavon.com.

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.

“Swing Fore our Seniors” Golf and Tennis Tournament

Talbot County is blessed to have a thriving senior center at Brookletts Place in Easton.  As the only county-run Senior Center in Talbot County, the center strives to continuously expand to provide even more for area seniors over and above our well-rounded menu of available services and resources. It is with this desire that we enter into a partnership with the YMCA of the Chesapeake.  By this time next year, we will be operating senior programs and meal services to residents in the Bay Hundred area from our permanent center housed within the St. Michaels Family YMCA. In order to do this, we must continue to rely on the generosity of our loyal sponsors and supporters.

In collaboration with the YMCA, we are planning our premier fundraising event of 2018, “Swing Fore our Seniors” Golf and Tennis Tournament. This exciting event will be run on two separate days with the tennis tournament on Sunday, September 30th and the golf tournament on Tuesday, October 2nd. Our planning committee expects this event to draw in over 150 participants and numerous spectators. It is our hope that members of the community would consider supporting this event.

The Tennis Tournament on September 30th will have Mixed Doubles, Adult/ Youth and a Celebrity portion of the tournament.  The tournament will be held at the Peachblossom YMCA tennis courts and will include a picnic lunch.  Our Celebrity players will include a few of the Tennis Pros at the YMCA along with the YMCA of the Chesapeake CEO Robbie Gill. Bring the whole family to cheer on the players! The celebrity’s partner will also have a goal to raise funds for the Senior Center.  Look for these local tennis enthusiasts to be reaching out to you for your support!

The 18-hole scramble Golf Tournament will begin with a continental breakfast and registration at 9 a.m. and tee off 10 a.m., Tuesday, October 2nd from the Hog Neck Golf Course.  There will be on-course beverages, free range balls, and an after-party celebration to include the golf and tennis communities.  A contest package featuring two mulligans, closet to pin and hole-in-one will be available, as well as a putting and chipping contest.  The tournament is open to all ages.

Childlene Brooks, Manager of Brookletts Place states she is excited about the upcoming tournaments and pleased to have the support of a committee of tennis and golf enthusiast to help make this premier event a reality.  Proceeds from the tournament will not only help with the expansion into the Bay Hundred area but will also help us continue to offer quality programs and activities at Brookletts Place.

Committee member and tennis player, Eleanor Shriver Magee states, “I think this is the best idea – who does not like to play and or watch two sports (tennis and golf) over two days and have the proceeds support such an amazing cause like TCSC! I cannot wait to swing my racket at this event.  And I know my fellow golfers feel the same way.”

Wayne Wilson, said, “I’m excited to be part of the planning committee for the Golf and Tennis Tournaments to benefit Brookletts Place.  As a resident of Baltimore County, I volunteered with the Sports and Recreation Program for physically challenged children.  Now that I’m a resident of Talbot County and older, I see (and feel) the needs of our seniors in Talbot County.  My wife and I are both members of the Senior Center and utilize the fitness and computer centers regularly.  Over the years we’ve developed new friendships at the Senior Center and, unfortunately, have seen some of those new friends pass.  But fortunately, they received multiple services at Brookletts Place and did not find themselves inactive or alone in those final days.  They were able to socialize, exercise, watch TV, play cards, travel, and eat a nutritious meal at least once a day with others.  As an employee for Talbot County’s Hog Neck Golf Course and avid golfer, I can’t think of a worthier cause.  If you cannot golf or play tennis, you can always be a sponsor or, volunteer your time and talents, or come watch the event.  You will see first-hand how vital it is to keep our Talbot County Seniors happy, healthy, and productive in their golden years.”

Online registration information for tennis is available at http://mscf.givezooks.com/events/copy-of-swing-fore-our-seniors-tennis-tournament-2018 and for golf at: http://mscf.givezooks.com/events/swing-fore-our-seniors-golf-tennis-tournaments-2018 or you may contact Childlene Brooks, at 410-822-2869 or cbrooks@uppershoreaging.org for a registration form and additional information.  Sponsorship opportunities are also still available either through the online registration link or by mailing your check payable to Mid Shore Community Foundation to Brookletts Place, 400 Brookletts Avenue, Easton, MD.

Compass Regional Hospice Volunteer Trainings Scheduled for September, November

Compass Regional Hospice will offer two training sessions for individuals interested in becoming a patient care volunteer.

The first session will be an online/classroom hybrid session, beginning in September. Volunteers can complete their online classes before joining Compass Regional Hospice for the classroom segment, which will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays; Sept. 11, 18 and 25, at Compass Regional Hospice’s main office, 160 Coursevall Drive, Centreville.

Registration is required and completing the entire class is necessary for volunteers who wish to provide companionship and support to Compass Regional Hospice’s patients and their loved ones in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties.

Another volunteer session is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 6, 7 and 8, and will take place in Caroline County in the conference room at the Caroline County Chamber of Commerce (USDA building), 9194 Legion Road, Denton.

Volunteers who recently completed a patient care training are, from left, Cheryl Conaway-Dill, Michele Bennetta, Barbara Jacquette, Nancy Toy, Janet Davis, Pat Holland, Barbara Stanton and Cynda Pittcock.

“Volunteers are a vital part of the care we provide,” said Courtney Williams, manager of volunteer and professional services for Compass Regional Hospice. “It is all about helping others and being there when they need you; whether that is in our hospice centers in Centreville and Chestertown, or wherever a patient calls home.”

Topics taught during the trainings include an overview of hospice, the process of dying, spiritual care and its place in hospice care, the stages of grief, effective communications techniques, family dynamics, stress management and self-care for caregivers.

Compass Regional Hospice relies on more than 300 volunteers of all ages to support its mission of “Care on your terms.” These individuals volunteer their time in a variety of ways. Whatever your motivation to volunteer, there is a place for you at Compass Regional Hospice.

“Our volunteers provide an invaluable asset to our patients and their caregivers by the gift of their time,” Williams said. “The support that volunteers provide in our facilities allows our staff to be in more places, and our families to receive better care. Being able to offer our patients volunteer visits that provide companionship and socialization helps to improve their quality of life.”

For more information about becoming a volunteer for Compass Regional Hospice, contact Courtney Williams at 443-262-4112 or cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org, or visit www.compassregionalhospice.org/volunteers to download the patient care volunteer training registration form.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms

Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the state of Maryland and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a life-limiting illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today, the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville and Chestertown. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one, through The Hope and Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.