For the McEwen sisters, a sedentary retirement lifestyle was never an option. Irene was a physical therapist and worked with students with disabilities in the public schools for fifteen years. She finished her career as a professor of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.
Choosing a different initial first path, Marie started out in the Peace Corps and continued her career teaching math and science. Later, she worked for a life insurance company for 27 years in many positions before retiring as a senior analyst in the Finance Department.
The sisters have resided in different states and even different countries. But growing up in Everett, Wash., the Northwest has always left an imprint on each of their lives and influenced where they see themselves in the future.
Irene, Marie, and third sister Judy Richardson have spent most of their adult lives traveling to beautiful and remote destinations and seeing the world. In recent years, their love for adventure has led to two to three overseas trips each year. Most recently, the three spent six weeks in Italy and look forward to their fast-approaching trip to India in February. They each have a passion for immersing themselves into the different and unique cultures of the places that they visit, spending time with the local people and learning about the culture and history from a guide.
When Emerald Heights first opened in 1992, their parents were part of the first wave of residents living in the new continuing care retirement community. The sisters found comfort in knowing that their mom and dad were happy with the care that they received at Emerald Heights – the friends they made, staff, food and services provided a sense of community that felt like a small town.
Seeing the results and benefits that their parents were able to reap, Irene, Marie and Judy decided that when the time came to retire from their careers, they would carry on the Emerald Heights legacy of their parents.
True to their word, Irene moved into the community in November of 2014, and Marie a month later in December. Judy has plans to join her sisters within the next couple of years.