At Holiday Retirement, our communities are more than places to live. They are where neighbors are always willing to lend a hand. Where a laugh shared over a great meal can lead to a lifelong friendship. Where you’re free to find the right balance between being active and finding rest. A place that is a home in every sense of the word. And that’s exactly what Mary Elizabeth Parker found when she moved into Holiday Retirement’s Echo Ridge in Knoxville, Tennessee, 15 years ago.
A lifelong Tennessee resident, 101-year-old Mary Elizabeth keeps busy at Echo Ridge. You can often find her enjoying one of the many group activities the community offers, including chair yoga classes. And if you can’t find Mary Elizabeth, check the Bingo table — she’s there three times a week!
Before moving into Echo Ridge, Mary Elizabeth lived with her husband, Paul, and raised their two children, Janice and Javonne. The pair met when they were in high school. Even though he was four years older, Mary Elizabeth fancied Paul and decided to do something to get his attention. So one night at a school dance she stole his hat! Paul had gone to the dance with another date, but bold-as-ever Mary Elizabeth went through with her plan, knowing that if she took the hat home, Paul would have to retrieve it from her house. He did and, as they say, the rest was history. They were married April 11, 1935.
Mary Elizabeth was a proud homemaker and loved to entertain at home. She was also chairman of the Knoxville Women's Club, a member of the Ossoli Circle Junior Department and president of the Knoxville Bar Auxiliary and Sequoyah Garden Club. She loved leading these groups, and they kept her very busy.
But life wasn’t all baking and business for Mary Elizabeth. Never one to fear a little dirt, she often joined Paul to go fishing for snook in Florida and on hunting trips!
Now that she lives at Echo Ridge, Mary Elizabeth is still a busy hostess, often welcoming her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a new great-great grandbaby girl for visits. But she also enjoys the time she gets to relax and rest. "If I get tired, I just take a nap! I love to take naps, and I take them whenever I please," she says.
When she talks about what she loves about Echo Ridge, she always mentions the great lasagna from the kitchen, the delicious coffee and the wonderful friendships she has made. "I love my friends here, and my neighbors are extremely friendly," she says.
Convinced that many people would enjoy living at Echo Ridge as much as she does, Mary Elizabeth recommends the community to anyone who enjoys good company and great friendships.