Palm Village Celebrates 75 years of Senior Care

See a full gallery of Palm Village activities here.

By Julie Celeste Pimentel

With a grand celebration of 75 years of compassionate care for Seniors, Palm Village Retirement Community in Reedley hosted a Gala Dinner on November 16th for Independent Living and Assisted Living residents and their guests, and a luncheon for the Skilled Nursing and Memory Care residents.

The Garden Room, part of the administration building and the Health Care Center  were transformed to dining rooms that sparkled with decorations befitting the monumental benchmark.

Each table was dressed with white tablecloths, silver napkins, silvered-banded china atop silver chargers and centerpieces of glass chimneys with tiny lights inside. The dinner place settings were accented with a special 75th anniversary cookie placed over the memento of a printed menu and history. Many of the 265 attendees dressed in elegant evening attire, described the celebration venue as “Magical, a wonderland, so beautiful”.

The four-course dinner, that guests praised as “so delicious’, was created by the culinary staff of Palm Village, and began with appetizers of shrimp cocktail, cheeses, fruits and mini-quiches. The entrée for lunch and dinner was a choice of Turkey or Prime Rib for the evening dinner.

The Stardusters, a 16-piece Big Band of local musicians, played throughout the evening and inspired repeated comments of “I loved the music.”

Executive Director Jim Higbee, was MC throughout the evening, and introduced chaplain Byron Neufeld to give the blessing. Palm Village Resident and former board member, Bob Lewis, gave comments on the history of Palm Village. CEO and President, David Reimer lightheartedly gave the answer to the question often asked of the elderly  “What’s your secret?” Palm Village’s secret was the subject of the answer.

Through the vision of five men, beginning in 1938, the Home for the Aged of the Mennonite Brethren Pacific District Conference was founded in 1942. With the forty-cent donations of each member of the Pacific District, the purchase and remodel of the first two-story home was completed, with three wings added by 1955.

Pleasant View Manor, a remodel of the Sierra Kings Hospital in Reedley was dedicated in June, 1966. The original home was renamed Palm Haven. In late 1981, the first resident moved to an Independent Living Patio Home at the new campus of Palm Village Retirement Community and Patio Home construction was completed in 1989. By 1985 the Assisted Living Suites had been built and occupied, to replace Palm Haven.

David Reimer, current CEO of the 223 employees, was instrumental in the creation of the Health Care Center in 1998, the addition of 13 Patio Homes and the completion of the Assisted Living Memory Care Suites by 2012.

It’s a remarkable 75-year history, most easily described by the brick and mortar of the campus. Yet, the celebration was truly of and for the people of Palm Village – residents and their families, staff, administration and volunteers who have continued the vision of the board of directors from 1938 – who are truly responsible for the endurance and well-being of the remarkable Palm Village Retirement Community.