Irvine, California USA
When Slim retired from the University of Michigan in 1982, Slim and
Dorothy moved to Irvine, California. Their son Jim was living there at the
time and commuting to his work at Hughes Aircraft Company in El Segundo, California,
near the LAX Airport. Irvine seemed like a nice community to them; it was a
beautiful planned community, the weather
was ideal, and they would at least be close to one (1) of their two (2) sons.
They bought a brand-new two-bedroom house in the "Lakeside" neighborhood
of the "Woodbridge" community in Irvine. It was a California-style
house in a neighborhood of zero lot-line homes, but with wonderful common areas, and
recreational facilities such as neighborhood swimming pools every few
blocks. Slim and Dorothy's home was just a block from West Lake which
offered wonderful views, hike-and-bike paths, recreational facilities, and
pedestrian access to neighborhood shopping facilities. Their home had an
enclosed patio, two master bedrooms with baths, and a living-dining room
with a soaring fireplace and vaulted ceiling.
Slim and Dorothy were very comfortable in Irvine. They fixed their little
home up beautifully and their impeccable housekeeping made it a joy for
friends and relatives to visit. Slim became an officer in the homeowner's
association and they quickly had many new friends throughout the community.
There were plenty of interesting people about. The dentist son of old
friends from Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, lived down by the lake. So did two (2)
young women who regularly traveled to China for their import business.
Another neighbor was the former director of the Los Angeles water district.
In early 2000 Slim was having some health problems. Dorothy decided it
was time to leave the house and they made arrangements to enter into a
brand-new assisted living facility that was going up just a few blocks away.
It was a way to get some relief from the increasing burdens of caring for
the house and to yet stay connected with their community. They would up
moving into the Lynnbrooke Assisted Living facility on the first day that
they opened, in May of 2000.
Slim and Dorothy celebrated sixty-five (65) years of marriage in March of
2001. All of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren came to
Lynnbrooke for a wonderful party.
In August of 2001 Dorothy died unexpectedly. After fighting a number of
serious health problems over the years Dorothy fell in the apartment at
Lynbrooke and hit her head. She appeared to be "normal" for a couple of
days, but massive bleeding began on her brain. Slim found her on the floor
in the middle of the night in a coma. She never regained consciousness and
died a couple of days later, on October 6 2001. She was buried at the
Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California.
Slim continued to live at Lynnbrooke in Irvine. Both of his sons
suggested that he move closer to one of them, Jim now living in Phoenix,
Arizona and Tom still in Austin, Texas. Slim always said that he would
consider it, but both sons knew that he liked it in California and that he
still had many friends in Irvine. It was somewhat hard for Slim to stay
there after losing Dorothy. They had been sweethearts since childhood. But,
Slim seemed to continue to enjoy life in spite of his loss and in spite of
health problems that were plaguing him. Early in the year he was in
intensive care after an inadvertent overdose of Coumadin nearly cost him his
life. He struggled back with an extensive hospitalization followed by weeks
of rehabilitation. More recently he was back in the hospital when congestive
heart failure set in just after undergoing cataract surgery. Once again Slim
fought back, leaving the hospital, returning to Lynnbrooke, and seeming to
be regaining his strength. Alas, he was discovered unconscious on the floor
of his apartment early one evening. He died a few days later, of what was
diagnosed as a massive stroke. Slim never regained consciousness and we are
grateful that he suffered no fear or pain in his departure. Slim was buried
with Dorothy at the Crystal cathedral in Garden Grove, California.