Riding Into a New Community

Harold with his bikeHarold, an 83-year-old resident of Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Assisi Homes of Kenosha, feels lucky to be active and engaged with others, especially during a pandemic.

He was born in Germany shortly before World War II and lost his father to the war. His family later immigrated to the United States when he was a youth, and he proudly served in the U.S. Army for several years.

“I never really missed Germany,” he notes. “When I got over here, [it] was my future.” During this time, Harold met Barbara, to whom he was married 60 years. They started a family and moved to northern Illinois in 1969. Today, Harold’s family includes five children, 12 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

Sadly, Barbara passed away in 2019. Harold misses her dearly, remembering her as “a wonderful, wonderful wife.” Despite his loss, Harold was comforted by close relationships with his large family. He wanted to live closer to them, and his daughter found Assisi Homes of Kenosha, a community near her home that allows Harold to affordably live and remain active.

Harold moved into his new home in March 2020 as the pandemic set in. He is grateful to be living in a community with supportive onsite staff that check in with him regularly and help keep all residents healthy and safe. “We have very good people here,” Harold says. “It’s very comfortable.”

Whether riding halfway across Germany as a teenager or logging 120 miles in one day at the age of 47, Harold has enjoyed cycling throughout his life. “My bike is actually my transportation, and also my hobby,” he explains, noting that he still bikes roughly 40 miles each week.

Harold is thankful for the opportunity to live near his family and the ability to live life on his own terms in a supportive community. “At the age that I am right now, I’m so grateful to do the things I want to do.”

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