A Conversation with Jean: Grand Oaks of Okeechobee Resident Spotlight

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Grand Oaks of Okeechobee assisted living community and chatting with resident, Jean W. Jean has lived at Grand Oaks of Okeechobee for one year.

“What is your favorite thing about living here?” I asked.

Jean smiles. “I enjoy all the people that live here. And the entertainment here is absolutely wonderful,” she said. Her smile was genuine and it showed. Moments later, Jean shyly confessed that by “entertainment” she meant penny poker night. “I love that one the best,” she whispered with a smile.

Born in Lawrence, Mass., Jean moved to Florida with her family when she was just 11 years old. She lived in West Palm Beach before relocating to Okeechobee after marrying and having three sons.

“What made you decide to move to Okeechobee?” I asked.

“A teacher at my son’s school said it would be good for them to join FFA and 4-H,” she replied.

“Because they would like that?” I asked assumingly.

She nodded her head in agreement. “And they did!”

Shortly after moving, Jean and her husband bought four purebred Brahma cattle for their sons to raise. According to Jean, the boys really enjoyed raising and caring for the cows. All four of her sons’ cows became show cattle and won various awards in livestock competitions around the country.

After their success at raising four cows, Jean and her family decided to increase their herd. Eventually, they outgrew their current home and moved to an 80-acre farm on the outskirts of Okeechobee. They opened a cattle ranch business where they raised Brahma show cattle and other livestock for over 27 years.

Jean says that after retirement, she felt a bit lonely. Her sons helped her chose an assisted living facility so she could have, among other things, the social interaction that she missed. After extensive research and a handful of visits, her sons chose Grand Oaks of Okeechobee.

Jean has lots of social interaction at Grand Oaks. She was recently chosen as a contributing artist for the Butterfly Sculpture Project, a public work of art displayed at Hamrick Butterfly Garden in downtown Okeechobee. Jean and other local artists painted giant butterfly sculptures that were placed throughout the garden to add culture and beauty to the area.

In addition to painting, Jean has learned how to crochet since moving to Grand Oaks, proving that you’re never too old to learn new things! If you or a loved one need assisted living with quality healthcare and top-notch amenities, please feel free to schedule a tour of Grand Oaks of Okeechobee today.

To join our community or schedule a tour, call 863-692-7222