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Society news

Events, milestones and celebrations occur every day within the Good Samaritan Society. Here, you can read
all Society news, corporate news, center news or center news highlights.

Center news highlights

Jul 23, 2014

Horace Shankweiler made a gutsy call as a bomber pilot during World War II that saved 10 lives after the D-Day invasion.

(Hot Springs Village, Arkansas) – Horace Shankweiler was a 24-year-old U.S. Air Force captain as World War II marched toward its turning point: the D-Day invasion.


He was a lead pilot who flew B-24 Liberator bombers out of Tibenham airfield in England for 27 missions over Europe.


But the 18th mission was almost Horace’s last.


Hit by German gunfire after bombing Nazi defenses in France, Horace managed to steer his B-24 back over the English Channel before crash-landing on an emergency airstrip near the White Cliffs of Dover. All 10 crew members survived.


“We got down, and I didn’t have any brakes and our hydraulic system was shot out, and the ship was full of holes,” says Horace, 94, a resident at Good Samaritan Society – Hot Springs Village. “Fortunately, nobody was hit, and I was very, very lucky.”


For his service, heroism, and role in liberating France, Horace received a Legion of Honor medal. France’s Consul General awarded it this summer during a ceremony in Texas with 35 other D-Day veterans.

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Center news highlights

Jul 18, 2014

Some of the smiling faces found at Men's Coffee every Wednesday morning.


(Arapahoe, Nebraska) – The best coffee in this town of 1,000 isn’t served at a Starbucks.


It’s served at Good Samaritan Society – Arapahoe, where several men meet at 10 a.m. each Wednesday to talk crops and shop in the rehab/skilled care dining room.


Locals refer to the gatherings as Men’s Coffee.


Men’s Coffee isn’t formal. It’s about friendship founded on swapped stories, opinions and jokes. Recently, close to 25 men laughed and visited in the dining room.


Among those in the core group are residents who used to meet downtown for coffee and chats before they moved into Good Samaritan Society – Arapahoe. Others in the group are friends, relatives and volunteers who stop in for the camaraderie and treats baked by Arapahoe’s assisted living staff.

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Center news highlights

Jul 14, 2014

(Canton, S.D.) – Over several decades, Albert Van Laar collected and meticulously rolled more than 244,000 pennies. Earlier this year, Albert’s wife, Nancy, donated the collection to Good Samaritan Society – Canton, where Albert now lives.


“I just think this is where it belongs,” Nancy says of the nearly $2,500 worth of pennies. “It’s home ground. This is where it all began.”


Albert and Nancy met at the Canton center in 1992, when Nancy was working as a certified nursing assistant and Albert was visiting his sister, who was a resident there.


Nancy was touched by Albert’s devotion to his sister. “He was very funny and young at heart,” she says. “He is a wonderful man.” Nancy and Albert will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary next year.


With the effects of Alzheimer’s now taking its toll on Albert’s health, Nancy says it is important to her to share Albert’s legacy with the people and places he loves.


Albert’s penny collection began in the 1960s as a way of calming his nerves during difficult times.


“Besides God, Albert was my rock. That’s why his care is so important to me—now I am the one he needs.”


Click here to learn more about the services at Good Samaritan Society – Canton.


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Center news highlights

Jul 09, 2014

(Las Cruces, NM) – Trudy Lootens remembers sounds of celebration suddenly filling the air while riding her bicycle one spring day in 1927.


Sirens wailed. Church bells rang. Trudy stopped to ask a man what was happening; he said that Charles Lindbergh had successfully flown across the Atlantic Ocean.


Trudy Lootens (left) is telling her life story with the help of friend and neighbor, Beverly Granger.

"My bicycle was equipped with a siren so I pulled the lever which activated my siren, and I, too, joined the celebration riding up and down the street with my bicycle siren blowing. What an exciting day it was for an 11-year-old New Jersey girl.”


This is one of many memories Trudy, now 97, is writing about in a book titled My Life Story. Trudy is getting help with the book from Beverly Granger, her friend and neighbor at Good Samaritan Society – Las Cruces Village.

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Center news highlights

Jul 09, 2014

(Daytona Beach, Fla.) – Good Samaritan Society – Daytona’s To the Table service follows the philosophy that well-being and satisfaction increase when people can select their foods.

During each meal, kitchen staff members move our mobile hot and cold buffets through the dining room to each table so that residents can select the menu options they want. This reduces waste and makes residents feel good.


Right: Richard Bairhalter, dietary director, and Judy Shelton, dietary assistant, serve residents from our To the Table mobile buffet.


To the Table allows residents to make meal decisions based on their food preferences and is another example of our commitment to providing a supportive and homelike environment.


Click here to learn more about life on our campus.

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