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Blog archive

June 2024

Telling the Whole Story
06/12/2024

Nashville
06/10/2024

One Mo Gin
06/10/2024

May 2024

Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready?
05/28/2024

Farewell from the 2023/24 Social Work Interns
05/28/2024

Gina on the Horizon
05/28/2024

Mark Your Calendars for the Healthy Aging Research California Virtual Summit
05/28/2024

Meet Our New Development Associate
05/28/2024

Putting the Strategic Plan into Practice
05/28/2024

Washington Park: Pasadena’s Rediscovered Gem
05/28/2024

Introducing Civil Rights Discussions
05/22/2024

Rumor of Humor #2416
05/14/2024

Rumor of Humor #2417
05/14/2024

Rumor of Humor #2417
05/14/2024

Rumor of Humor #2418
05/14/2024

Springtime Visitors
05/07/2024

Freezing for a Good Cause – Credit, That Is
05/02/2024

No Discussion Meeting on May 3rd
05/02/2024

An Apparently Normal Person Author Presentation and Book-signing
05/01/2024

Flintridge Center: Pasadena Village’s Neighbor That Changes Lives
05/01/2024

Pasadena Celebrates Older Americans Month 2024
05/01/2024

The 2024 Pasadena Village Volunteer Appreciation Lunch
05/01/2024

Woman of the Year: Katy Townsend
05/01/2024

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January 2024

One Villager's Story

By Bridget Brewster
Posted: 05/31/2023
Tags: bios, bridget brewster

“To thine own self be true.”  Wise words. Words to live by.

Having reached these years of ‘retirement’, it’s a great hope that we have each found our way to ourselves.  We have discovered who we are or are becoming.

Jean Owen, a Charter Member of Pasadena Village, has learned the meaning of being true to yourself through decades of life experiences.  She has gone from a little girl growing up in Pasadena to a wise woman who exudes confidence and joy.  Hers was not always an easy path (few of us walk that road), but she has been blessed with a caring family.  Following the death of her father, at the age of 15, Jean’s aunt and uncle (Fredrick March – yes, the world-renowned actor and his wife, Florence Eldridge) were a comforting and strong influence in her life.

Recently, Jean was elected as President of the Resident Association at Villa Gardens, where she lives and is happily surrounded and supported by neighbors who appreciate her leadership skills and willingness to be of service. The role entails being a voice for all the residents in various matters, having discussions with the Administration and helping to address residents’ concerns.  In speaking with a few of her neighbors, it’s quite clear why she was asked to step into this challenging leadership role:

"Jean is a friend to everyone she meets.”

"She has a smile and kind word for everyone.”

"Jean has been a helper and friend to me and I’m so thankful.”

Following the passing of her husband, Jean began to explore “being one of one, no longer one of two”.  She joined with others in conversations about how they might continue living full, interesting lives while remaining independent.  Those conversations led to the establishment of Pasadena Village, a part of the national movement to support one another as we age.  Jean stated, “I wanted to expand my horizons and meet new people.  The Village has certainly done that for me.” 

Jean has always loved music . . . both vocal and instrumental and supports various music and theater organizations.  “Music speaks to me in a way nothing else can, it is a universal language that allows us to relate to one another.”  She attended UC Berkely and graduated from UCLA.  She and her husband raised their two children here in Pasadena, and Jean is a both grandmother and great-grandmother.

In conversation with Jean, we discussed our many roles throughout our lives and how we are identified by others as mother or wife, but seldom as ‘self’.  She expressed the joy she feels in being given time as she ages to discover who she is, separate from what she does.  “Who I am now is wholly new.  I’m learning more about myself every day.  I have time to learn about me. This is why one of my favorite quotes is ‘to thine own self be true’ . . . I’m still learning to do just that.”

Jean Owen is just one example, among hundreds of Pasadena Villagers, who is discovering herself as she continues to pursue long-held and excitingly new interests.   

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