Doris Coyne brings the world to Homeland Center!

Throughout her 96 years, Doris Coyne has kept her feet moving. Whether she’s kayaking in Fiji, peeking behind the Iron

Betty Wise Mary Anna Borke Doris Coyne enjoy Root Beer Floats
Doris Coyne, far right, enjoys a root beer float with fellow residents Betty Wise, far left, and Mary Anna Borke.  

Curtain in East Berlin, or serving meals to the hungry, she is always hunting for new experiences and the chance to stay engaged with the wide world.

“I need people,” she says. “I’m a people person.”

Coyne is among the many residents who bring a wealth of experience to Homeland Center, including two decades of volunteering with Homeland. When she shares her stories of travel to 29 countries and her still-active volunteerism, it’s as if a Chinese New Year dragon, a remote Alaskan hospital, and a picturesque state park in northeastern Pennsylvania all congregate under the Homeland roof.

Coyne was born in Scranton, the daughter of a coal company safety engineer and a homemaker. Her abiding love is water sports, starting with a canoe club on the placid waters of Lake Winola. She always loved the challenge of the water, so at age 75, she tried kayaking, not in a quiet stream, but in the Jersey Shore ocean waves.

“I no sooner was seated in the kayak than it flipped over,” she says with a laugh. “The only thing to do is get back in it.”

The weather outside was hot and stormy, but on a summer Friday afternoon at Homeland Center, residents were inside enjoying a cool and universally beloved treat.

Betty Wise Mary Anna Borke and Doris Coyne Cheers to Root Beer Floats
"Cheers to root beer floats!" From left, residents Betty Wise, Mary Anna Borke and Doris Coyne.  

As resident Doris Coyne put it, “Root beer floats, my favorite food!”

Every Friday at 3 p.m., Homeland Center’s personal care residents are invited to their own TGIF get-together. They convene in Homeland’s Gathering Room, the cheery space where Homeland displays its priceless collection of Hummel figurines and plates. There, residents converse and enjoy a treat. One week, Homeland staff might serve up fresh fruit. Another week, there could be cocktails.

“This is our happy hour,” said Director of Activities Ashley Bryan, while the music of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin played in the background. “It’s a chance for residents to say hello and catch up on the week in an informal way.”

Root beer floats, it seems, were created in Philadelphia, so they didn’t have to travel far to be enjoyed by Homeland residents at this particular TGIF gathering. Made with A&W Root Beer and vanilla ice cream hand-dipped by CNA/Activity Assistant Nina Wyatt, they were an especially popular happy-hour offering.

Betty Lloyd cherishes her memories!

Golf with friends. Bridge. Travel with family. Betty Lloyd has brought a lifetime of good memories to Homeland Center.

Betty Lloyd talks to her son Greg
Homeland Center resident Betty Lloyd visits with her son, Greg. "Homeland has a lot of activities,'' Betty says. "You can join them and do anything you want to pick from. I always enjoy talking to people.''  

Betty came to Homeland in March 2015. Here, she follows politics and welcomes her son, Greg, when he visits from Providence, Rhode Island, every month.

Before Homeland, she lived in nearby Susquehanna Township, in the same home since 1961. From that house, one of the first in its development, Betty and her husband, Reese, built a life that revolved around the community. Greg spent summers at the neighborhood swim club. Betty played bridge with several groups. Reese worked selling specialized packaging tape and taping machinery to manufacturers.  

“It was about finding interesting ways to use lots of tape,” says Greg.

When Greg was grown and moved to Portland, Oregon, Betty and Reese would make annual visits with stops at interesting sites along the way – New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, San Francisco, Hearst Castle. Often, they would golf as they traveled. Though golf was a big part of their life, Betty says she wasn’t very good at it.

“There were four couples, and we played together,” she says. “We enjoyed it. The men were good, but the women weren’t good. We went along just to make it easier for them to get out and golf.”

The Lloyds were also longtime members of Zion Lutheran Church in Penbrook, Pennsylvania. Betty worked with circles of women, helping with fundraising, clothing drives, or preparing meals for receptions.

“It’s a little church,” she says. “I still belong there.”

Betty’s room in Homeland is decorated with items recalling the life she shared with her late husband. An enameled ink pot recalls his World War II service with the U.S. Air Force in China. Two duck decoys came from his time woodcarving, which he took up in retirement.

Everyone loves the signs of summer. Fresh strawberries. Flowers in bloom. Music in the air. 

Carol Sweigert and Flora Jespersen
Residents Carol Sweigert, left, and Flora Jespersen enjoy Homeland's "Signs of Summer'' party.  

Homeland Center residents and staff enjoyed them all as they welcomed the warm weather during the “Signs of Summer” gathering under the Chet Henry Memorial Pavilion.

Balloons and decorations in bright blues, greens, pinks, and yellows echoed the flowers blossoming in the adjoining Homeland Center garden. The David Winters Quartet played jazzy renditions of classic standards, from “Cheek to Cheek” to “Chattanooga Choo-Choo.”

The party, held the day after Memorial Day, kicked off a planned summer series of picnics. Organized by Homeland unit and floor, the events will help residents and as many guests as each cares to invite reminisce and relive the fun and food of classic picnics.

At the “Signs of Summer” event, resident Flora Jespersen took the hands of another resident to dance in the shade of the pavilion. On the pavilion’s fringes, resident Doris Coyne said she loved the delicious shortcake, “Especially the strawberries, they were very fresh.” She also appreciated the music from a combo she knows well.

“This is a band I used to dance to all the time,” she said. “I love that kind of music.”                                                                                                                                      

Homeland Center resident Ray Caldwell remembers the joy of French fries on a warm night. Residents enjoy fries at Homeland Center

“As a kid, I’d go to local fairs in the street,” he said. “In the summertime, people had fairs, maybe a block fair or carnival. Fries were always one of the main items. It was a good way to satisfy your appetite.”

Caldwell and fellow Homeland residents relived those memories on a rainy Friday, when a French fry truck pulled into the parking lot. The event, inspired by residents and planned by caring staff and board members, dovetailed perfectly with Homeland’s philosophy of serving nutritional meals without depriving residents of tasty favorites.

The day originated when the Homeland Center residents council, including Caldwell, asked for French fries with their meals. Sadly, their wish couldn’t be accommodated because French fries lose their heat in the transfer from kitchen to dining rooms. But Board of Managers member Kelly Lick said she “put my thinking cap on.”

“How can we get French fries to the residents?” she said. “Fresh, hot, nice, crispy French fries.”

Lick contacted York-based Bricker’s Famous French Fries, and soon, truck wheels were turning. Homeland’s dietary and activities departments joined in, collaborating to bring residents a special treat.


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