At 83 and 86, Don Tillberg and Trudy Chaney are feeling like kids again. Thanks to Trudy’s recent move to Salina Presbyterian Manor, not only are the siblings living under the same roof for the first time in over half a century, they’re right across the hall from each other.
“We never dreamed we’d even be living on the same floor,” said Trudy. “We haven’t had any fights yet, but if we do, I’ll just go home.”
Despite Trudy’s status as the new kid on the block, it was actually her husband, Jack, who was the first member of the family to move into the community—where he has lived in health care for the past year and a half. Don and his wife, Dannie, followed Jack’s lead by moving into independent living last October.
While the living arrangement is going to take a little time to get used to, the benefits are already obvious.
“We sat for an hour yesterday just visiting. It’s just unreal to me,” said Trudy. “And it really helps Jack to know that I’m with family.”
Growing up on a farm just outside of Salina in Hedville, Don and Trudy lived a life of adventure and mishap.
“We liked to do things that other people thought we shouldn’t,” said Trudy. “One time, Don got a nail stuck in his hind end sliding down the chicken coop after being told not to.”
Today, the Tillberg’s daily lives are a bit more leisurely. Don enjoys attending the men’s coffee and ice cream socials while his wife plays dominoes and tours the grounds on a six-passenger golf cart. However, initially they had some reservations.
“Don thought it was going to be like living in a motel when they first moved in, but I think he couldn’t be any happier now,” said Jenni Jones, marketing director of Salina Presbyterian Manor. “I have really enjoyed working with the entire family as they have transitioned into our community.”
In the photo at the top, Don and Dannie Tillberg are the couple on the left. Jack and Trudy (Tillberg) Chaney are the couple on the right.