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George & Karen Arola

Where are you from?

George: I was born in a small farmhouse in Minnesota. My dad and mom had the good sense to move to Oregon when I was 11.

Karen: I was born in Ohio, and I was raised in Oregon.

Where have you lived before moving to Oak Hammock?

George & Karen: We have lived in Florida, Colorado, Washington D.C., Ohio, Germany, England and Alaska.

What was your career?

George: I spent 26 years in the United States Air Force and retired as a colonel in 1993. Then, I worked at GRU as the IT director until 2005.

Karen: I finished my working years as the administrative assistant to the director of nursing at North Florida Regional Medical Center.

What is your biggest accomplishment (professionally or personally)?

Karen: Personally, having married this wonderful man back in 1964 and raising our two awesome, handsome, loving sons together.

George: After retiring in 2005, I homeschooled our grandson two days a week from kindergarten through fifth grade. Then I homeschooled him one day a week through his sophomore year in high school. He attended Cornerstone Academy here in Gainesville and graduated in 2018.

What is your goal for retirement?

Karen: I want to be a blessing to others. My goal is to serve the Lord in our church and in our community.

George: To do as much as I can in our church, at Oak Hammock and in the community.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Karen: Singing and cooking wonderful healthy vegan meals for our family and friends.

George: If I told you, it would no longer be hidden!

What made you want to join the Oak Hammock community?

Karen & George: Having watched our parents’ journey to the end of life, we knew we did not want to go through what they did, having to move from place to place trying to find excellent care in the last years of their lives. We also did not want to burden our children with having to make the decisions that we are totally capable of making for ourselves. We were determined to find an excellent care facility into which we could move when we were still young and healthy enough to not only make the move but to be able to enjoy this wonderful community. We know that we found the best CCRC there is, and we feel incredibly blessed to have completed all the necessary research so we could be ready to make the move!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Karen: I love to work in our flower gardens, and I enjoy learning more about utilizing my Young Living Essential Oils for our health and healing.

George: I work in the garden and outside doing most anything. I also enjoy reading non-fiction.

What is one thing you would want the residents/and prospective, residents of Oak Hammock, to know?

Karen: If you are already a resident, then you know that you have made the best choice! If you are still looking around, keep looking and comparing and you, too, will soon realize what we did – that Oak Hammock truly is the best!

George: It’s a great place to live and stay active, and it’s a blessing to know the care will be there when or if it is needed.