Linda and Steve Williams have a lot in common. They share seven kids, a marriage of 45 years––and on March 5, they both left their longtime jobs at the same company, Parkview Christian Retirement Community, 1825 N.E. 108th Ave. “I thought I was going to work for a couple more years,” says Linda Williams. “And then Steve and I started really talking about it and praying about it, and we decided that since we’ve marched together this long through life––let’s march off into the sunset together as well. This was decided in the last four months. Now it’s time to get out and enjoy life.”
Linda has been working with Parkview since 1985, and Steve has worked as an administrator of Parkview Assisted Living, which is a stone’s throw away across the street, since 2003. Still, Linda hadn’t always planned on staying with Parkview for as long as she did. “I started there part-time in the business office, so I was doing accounts payable stuff, and that was just two short days a week. [After] a couple years, it was half-time, and then about the time our son was a junior in high school, I was going back to school to renew my teaching license,” she says . “There was some turnover at Parkview, and I was offered the position of marketing director, but I had never done any marketing! I worked retail as a young adult, but I didn’t know that business. The executive director at the time just said, ‘So, we think you’ve got it [the skills for this position], and we’ll be there for you. You have a heart for the ministry here and the business here.’”
True enough—being able to work at Parkview was a valuable opportunity for both Linda and Steve to blend their faith with both work and community. “Because these people came from churches and such, they create new community wherever they are,” says Linda of Parkview’s residents, many of whom she’s come to know and love. “There’s beauty in that: when somebody can strike up new interests for the whole community. For example, a gentleman moves in and says he misses playing bean-bag baseball, and then he wants to get a group started up here. His wife sews up the bags and it becomes a big success. Then there’s joy being brought to other lives.”
Both Linda and Steve are lifelong Portlanders. They went to school together in the Centennial district, but they’ve lived in Parkrose since 1991. They met at Glisan Street Baptist Church, 10401 N.E. Glisan St., as teenagers, and they still attend the church today. They’ve lived in their house right by the Glendoveer Golf Course since moving to Parkrose in 1991. They’re not only leaving Parkview, however; they’re also planning on leaving Parkrose. “We’re moving out to Tualatin in the next few months to be near our son and daughter-in-law and [their] three small boys,” says Linda, visibly excited. “My memories will go with me—lots of good memories for our home, like when my son was in high school and played on the golf team for Parkrose High. He would practice across the street at Glendoveer, and then the kids would come over to the house. The house was always full of kids, which was wonderful.”
The Williams’ decision to retire has come at the right time for the couple, but some of their coworkers over at Parkview will sorely miss them. “Linda Williams compassionately worked with her seniors at Parkview Christian Retirement Community for 33 dedicated years before retiring recently,” explains Betty Fontana, a marketing associate who worked with Linda for 15 years in their two-person department. “As her marketing coworker, I could not have been better mentored, advised, challenged, forgiven and loved. Her wealth of senior knowledge will be missed, but she will seek out new beginnings and not be idle. She deserves a happy retirement. Every day is the weekend for her now!”
Linda had one major advantage due to retiring from a retirement community: all the solid advice she gained from Parkview’s residents. “[The residents] enriched my life immensely with their wisdom. I call them my ‘senior saints,’” says Linda. “They have so much wisdom, and they’ve walked through a lot of life. That’s why my retirement will be so successful, because I studied under these seniors all these years!”
To learn more about Parkview Retirement Christian Community, go to their website at parkviewretirement.org or call them at 503-255-7160.