An Active Gene

A lifelong learner and study of hereditary societies, John Mackintosh Bourne shares why making the choice to move to Judson Manor sooner is empowering.

Lifelong learning is the path John Mackintosh Bourne has always traveled, and he continues to do so at Judson Manor. John boasts three successful careers- bank executive, commercial real estate broker, and now, genealogy researcher! As a member of multiple hereditary societies, John is currently writing his first book on genealogy.

John and his late wife, Judy, made the move to Judson Manor in the spring of 2015. Their decision was motivated by two primary factors: their lifelong involvement in the University Circle Community as well as evolving health challenges.

Living Full Circle

The Bournes enjoyed an active life enriched with arts and culture, church, and family. A second marriage for each, the couple had seven children and fifteen grandchildren collectively. John is a lifelong Clevelander, with the exception of attending the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a degree in economics, and then an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

John launched his business career in the commercial banking sector and became the youngest vice president of what is now KeyBank. Later, he was appointed vice president and lending department manager for Bank One, now a part of J.P. Morgan Chase.

The second chapter of his professional journey took him into the commercial real estate business as a Senior Certified Commercial Investment Member of the National Association of Realtors. He was broker and owner of the statewide Bourne Commercial Realty until his retirement in 2008.

But John is never “retired.” He dove into his interest in hereditary societies and is a member of more than fifty ranging from the War of 1812 back to the royals. Locally, he served as president of the Western Reserve Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in 2008. He has been the Ohio Society Governor of The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America since 2004—with the exception of two years in 2008 to 2010 when he was named national Governor General for the organization. He is also Governor of the Lake Erie Branch of the Jamestown Society and past Ohio Governor of the National Society of Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims.

An interesting note about John: He is an approved descendent of ten Mayflower passengers. If you’ve ever visited Cape Cod, you might have travelled across Bourne Bridge to arrive there.

Own the Decision

Judy received an early-stage Alzheimer’s diagnosis which led the couple to begin proactively planning for the future. Although Judy was still functioning well, the obligations of maintaining a household were becoming burdensome. John says, “I wanted to know that if something happened to me, someone would help Judy.” However, at the same time, the couple wanted to continue the life they loved. Judson Manor in University Circle offered the perfect solution.

John had served as a trustee of University Circle Incorporated and was heavily involved with the Western Reserve Historical Society. Judy was an active trustee of both the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Women’s Committee at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Judson Manor’s ideal location allowed the couple to continue many of their established routines, such as enjoying season tickets to the Cleveland Orchestra and attending the Church of the Covenant, where John serves as an ordained Elder and Judy was a Deacon.

Prior to moving to Judson, the Bournes lived in Pepper Pike. Thus, the transition was an extension of home and the support they would gain with the move gave both peace of mind. John considered caring for Judy on his own, but was given this advice: “You’re not prepared to help Judy and you’re putting yourself in danger.”

And as he tells others now related to pursuing independent living: “Make up your mind before somebody has to do it for you.”

With decades of active living, John knew he could continue his pursuits as a Judson Independent Living member, and Judy would get the care she needed. John quickly became immersed in the Judson Community. Given his real estate background, he first served as Safety Inspector for the Manor. He moved on to become a member of the Dining Committee and Resident Council Board. Perhaps his greatest challenge was as Chair of the Resident Council during the peak of 2020 lockdowns. John continues to be an Ambassador for Judson Manor and meets with prospective residents.

A Continuum of Care

Two and a half years after moving to Judson Manor, Judy suffered a stroke. Unfortunately, this further complicated her health conditions and she moved to Judson Park’s Skilled Nursing facility. Given the proximity of Judson Park and Judson Manor, John was able to visit her every day for her remaining two years.

As Judy’s condition advanced, John recognized he needed more support. As a friend told him, “Spousal caregivers do not have a shift end.” More importantly, Judy would not receive the professional care she needed. John followed this advice and hired a full-time aide, Gloria Moorer, through Judson at Home. Gloria proved to be a blessing. “By taking care of Judy, she was also taking care of me,” he says. Although Judy has since passed, John and Gloria continue to stay in touch.

Judson gave the Bournes a social outlet, safety net—a home with amenities that alleviates the burdens of maintenance that can take a toll on quality of life and wellness.

Of the choice to move to Judson Manor, John shares this motto as a Judson ambassador: “You decide what you want before somebody has to decide for you. Don’t lay the decision on your children or attorney.”

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