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Pauline Ramig explains what makes South Franklin Circle an ideal combination of community and purpose.
Purpose and community are essential elements for Pauline Ramig, who moved to South Franklin Circle (a Judson Community) five years ago. “I got involved very quickly,” she says, relating that as the layout editor and by writing for The Cardinal, a publication produced by community members, “I was able to meet a lot of people because I interviewed residents.” Also, Pauline served on the Building and Facilities Committee and is currently the chair of the Dialogues Committee, another inroad to developing relationships. “I have probably met about 150 people,” she says. “I like being busy.”
Indeed, busy is the way for Pauline. She had three careers—one encore after another. She served as a professor in Case Western Reserve University’s math department and worked in the crude oil trading analysis department at what is now BP. She earned her Certified Financial Planner credentials and went on to help people think about what’s next in life as a financial planner, running her own business. While she retired as a financial planner in June, she still serves on a corporate board of trustees.
“Education was an inroad to leaving the environment I grew up in, and I feel so fortunate that I was able to get an education,” says Pauline, who is originally from Nebraska but lived in Louisville, Ky., before moving to Greater Cleveland in 1970.
Pauline uses her love for education to help those around her continue to learn and grow! As for new skills learned since joining Judson, Pauline quips: “Writing for The Cardinal when I’m a mathematician.” Plus, she has picked up computer skills to create invitations for Judson dialogues, and she now enjoys painting. “I like challenges,” she says. Serving as the chair of the Dialogues Committee has inspired even more opportunities to expand her education. Dialogue speakers cover an array of topics, ranging from science, culture, to current events. Inspired by new hobbies, Pauline customized her 5×5 closet into an art studio. “Painting is my outlet,” she relates, adding that she has created nine pieces in the abstract acrylic medium.
Home at South Franklin Circle
Pauline says she didn’t have any preconceived notions about what living in a Judson community would be like. “I came in with an open-arms approach,” she says, relating that she and her late husband initially explored South Franklin Circle. Following his passing, Pauline realized this: “I need a sense of community. I need purpose.” She remembered South Franklin Circle.
“Identify your needs and look at your expectations,” she says, offering advice to someone considering Judson’s South Franklin Circle or another community. “What is it that you want from wherever you go?” Considering what life will be like when you need more care is not easy. “When we’re in our current state, we can’t imagine the next step,” she says. Though by planning ahead, you can make thoughtful decisions that will fulfill your goals for the next chapters. Think beyond stigmas of what a retirement community looks like. “Some people might not understand the rationale—‘Why did she do that?’—or they don’t want to see people with wheelchairs and canes, but that inspires me. That takes courage. I find it inspiring that people have the courage to come out socially despite their difficulties.” There are so many gifts shared among residents—conversation, connections and realizing common interests. These bonds are part of what gives community life.
As a lifelong learner, exploring new pursuits and staying sharp are important to Pauline. “I’m not an expert in anything but I love everything,” she says. For example, Pauline didn’t begin volunteering until she was 50 years old. “Volunteer work is responsible for a lot of my progress in life,” she says. “It opened a lot of new doors for me and I met new people.” For Pauline, at the end of the day, people are what bring community to life. Her advice for living a full life at South Franklin Circle? “Explore. Be an adventurer. Try new things. Stay involved. Find a purpose.”