Community, friendship and accountability are things that make Epworth Villa special. Together, we are embarking on a 6 week challenge to add more movement to our days.
Residents have been given this indoor walking map with distances marked, so they can track and increase their physical activity. There are three stories to each building, so a resident can add the stairs for an extra challenge. Rain, snow and even the Oklahoma wind can’t stop us from getting our steps!
Challenges like this are what make us a community and make us unique. Come see what our community – our home is all about!
Many think that giving is only the sharing of our financial resources. But giving can include our time, prayers and even our emotional support.
Epworth Villa Residents and employees started these “support trees” in early November. These trees began during a breast cancer awareness event where staff and residents left messages for women fighting breast cancer. Many Residents loved this idea and felt that encouragement was a precious gift that they could give and was desperately needed.
It is the intent that a patient would pick up a ribbon of encouragement when walking in for their treatment, knowing that others have thought of them and prayed. The trees were delivered to the Coletta Center at Mercy, the Stephenson Cancer Center, and the Integris Cancer Institute.
If you were to ask anyone at Epworth Villa to name an amazing centenarian, they would unanimously answer, “Betty Harding.”
Harding was born at the Chilocco Indian School in Oklahoma where her parents were on faculty. Her second husband of 1/4 Cherokee heritage was a student at Chilocco. He would listen to her playing the piano and was smitten. Although students could not fraternize with the faculty families, years later, a set of circumstances would lead to a reunion and marriage.
Harding moved to Apache, earned a degree in piano at the Oklahoma College for Women, and pursued additional study out of state. She and her first husband owned a Ford dealership in Apache. In addition to helping with management of the dealership, Harding was the organist at the Methodist Church for 35 years and taught private piano lessons. She remained in Apache until her first husband passed away.
In 1983, she married Mike Harding, who had listened to her piano playing at the Chilocco school nearly 50 years before. During that time, he became a baker, served in World War II, and became the president of Krispy Kreme donuts.
For many years, Betty and Mike Harding enjoyed travel, golf, and family. They eventually moved to Epworth Villa in September 1991. Since that time, she has been one of the most active accompanists for worship and social events in the Epworth Villa community. And to this day, Betty Harding is still playing the piano for worship services in Epworth Villa’s Brill Chapel. Organist Wes Howl likened her devotion to preparation and study of musical score to that of a teenager in a conservatory.
“I have collaborated with many musicians through the years, but I have found Betty to be the most sensitive, musical partner of any I have known,” Howl said. “Playing with her is a delight usually found only in higher level chamber musicians. She has never sought the spotlight but appreciates the opportunities afforded at Epworth to share her gifts and contribute to her chosen community.”
On Betty becoming a centenarian, Epworth Villa’s CEO, Ron Kelly said, “God has given us a gift in Betty Harding. By being a servant and sharing her gift with her community, she has found a way to thrive. Today we celebrate Betty and thank her for a lifetime of service to the church and others.”
This video was shared this year at the Annual Conference of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church. In the video, you will see a duet with our Organist and Pianist who is our newest Centenarian! Epworth Villa provides an environment for all to THRIVE! Enjoy!
Our little Elf on a Shelf has been busy this year and is ready for the season of giving. Epworth Villa Resident, Nancie Webb is known for her compassion, generosity, and love for children.
Webb has been knitting hats that were to be used at a particular school. The hats were to be reading incentives distributed by the librarian. Several Residents visited the school prior to the pandemic and established relationships with the students. When the safer at home order was issued and schools began virtual learning, Webb kept working. She took it upon herself to contact RestoreOKC.
Kristen Hannam, Director of Restore Schools said, “I met Nancie last year when I came to Epworth Villa to share about RestoreOKC and the work we do to see equitable education in NEOKC. Our vision was connecting our students who come from hard places with the wisdom and gentle nature of older adults. Miss Nancie was quick to get involved as she was a former remedial reading specialist, and she has a passion for youth. She and many of the residents at Epworth Villa were regularly at Britton Elementary reading with the 1st grade students last spring and fall. Then COVID happened and volunteers were no longer allowed in the building. Nancie has continued to stay connected to the librarian at Britton and reached out to share that she had 50 hats she has knitted and would like to offer them to the students. Specifically, as gifts for hitting reading goals while virtually learning. We picked up the hats last week and they are GORGEOUS! We are so excited to offer them to our students. She said she will continue to knit hats! We are so blessed to have her as a partner in the schools and thankful for the ways she uses her gifts and talents to bless others! She is a GEM!
I also must share that Rev. Marsha Purtell was also a wonderful gift to our students at Britton Elementary. We are all grieving with you as we heard the news of her recent passing. Marsha was pivotal in RestoreOKC having a partnership with Epworth Villa and was my main contact for our partnership. She was a joy and filled with so much life and light. We are so thankful for the many “grand-friends” we made at Epworth Villa! Your residents are an incredible bunch!”
Only 180 calories, this flavorful dish is a favorite. 12-Clove Garlic Chicken is a cut of chicken breast and drumette served in a garlic white wine sauce. A weeknight choice or a splurge for lunch – whenever you want it, it’s available at Epworth Villa!
Keep checking back with us as we introduce you to more savory and sweet dishes that are being served up at Epworth Villa!