Judson Park just like home for Don and Dottie Kuhn

University Circle played a pivotal role in Don and Dottie Kuhn’s lives together.

The couple, now residents of Judson Park, met in 1974 while attending an Audubon Society meeting at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

“We were in line and I thought I had overheard Dottie and her friends talking about teaching,” remembers Don.  “So I asked, ‘Are you a teacher?’  That was nearly 40 years ago and the rest is history-we’ve been together ever since.”

Don grew up on a small farm in Avon, Ohio.  He enlisted in the Navy during the Vietnam War and was stationed in San Diego and the Philippines from 1965-69. After his tour of duty, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill, earning a degree in accounting from John Carroll University.  He started his career at the Ohio Rubber Company, and then joined the accounting department at Cleveland Clinic, where he retired in 1998.

Dottie grew up in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania.  She graduated from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing and Washington University in St. Louis.  She moved to Cleveland to attend graduate nursing school at Case Western Reserve University.  She was a medical-surgical nurse at University Hospitals and also taught at CWRU’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.  She returned to hands-on care, working on a PRN basis, before she retired in 1996.  “I enjoyed the flexibility and getting back to basics,” admits Dottie.

Both Don and Dottie came to married life later than others of their generation.  With no children, they felt it essential to have a plan in place for their later years.  “We wanted to make decisions under our own power,” says Don. “I’ve seen too many people forced to go places.”

Deciding where they’d spend their later years was easy.

“There was no question-Judson was it,” says Don. “We knew the place and the people really well. We’re practically in the same neighborhood in Cleveland Heights where we lived before-one mile and seven-tenths away from our old house!”

“A lot of my nursing colleagues live here,” adds Dottie.  “After moving, not much has really changed for us.  We continue to enjoy the things we’ve always loved to do.”

The Kuhns stay physically fit through regular workouts at One-to-One Fitness on nearby Case Western Reserve University’s campus.  They remain active members of Grace Lutheran Church, singing in the choir and volunteering on various committees.  Both love to cook-Dottie is expert at soups and Don bakes bread and makes fruit compotes.

They also enjoy the outdoors and spend many afternoons at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes.  Avid bird watchers, the Kuhns will gladly reference their bird directory for anyone with questions about a local species.

“We were pleasantly surprised at how well we adapted,” continues Don. “Judson was home from day one!”

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