“It’s all good,” says Merithew Benington, about her experience at Brickstone by St. John’s. “Brickstone is the best decision I ever made. I left a house I dearly loved, but I don’t miss it at all.”
While living in Bethesda, MD, Merithew’s daughter, Eliza, sent her an article that appeared in the March 25, 2009 edition of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, introducing plans to build Brickstone. Bringing the clipping out from her files, she says, “Here’s where it all started.”
As construction progressed, she was overjoyed to get her first choice of a bungalow home, adjacent to the walking trails and overlooking the pond. Being near to her daughter in Brighton is the greatest benefit of her relocation to Rochester. Among the opportunities this relocation has provided Merithew, she gets to cheer on her grandson, Charlie, at his sporting events. Merithew’s other children–two sons– are out of town, residing in Portland, ME and Olean, NY.
Merithew grew up in Wellesley, MA until the age of seven when her family moved to Weston, MA. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she was an art history major. Merithew worked as an engineering assistant at United Aircraft from 1952-55; a computer programmer at Lincoln Lab and SDC from 1956-1959; enjoyed an assistant manager position at a fabric store in the 80s; and most recently, retired from her role as program coordinator for the National Symphony Orchestra Education Program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Merithew says, “I have just loved being retired.” Her hobbies include reading, knitting “obsessively” (mostly for charity), craft shows, and watching men’s tennis on TV. She has enjoyed traveling to Europe, Canada, and to the family’s summer cottage in Maine. In addition to volunteering at Brickstone, she also coordinates the volunteer program at the Eastman House.
She adds, “I am also obsessed with exercise.” A member of the Southeast YMCA in Pittsford, she participates in a high impact aerobics, walks, and makes healthy eating choices. “I never have potato chips,” she says.
When considering the move to Brickstone, Merithew never anticipated the social network she now enjoys. She appreciates the Friday morning chats residents can attend with Paul Bartlett, vice president of senior housing for St. John’s Meadows and Brickstone. She’s part of a knitting group, the welcoming committee, and shares her fresh cranberry bread with neighbors.
“At the time, I didn’t think at all about the associations I would have with the people who lived here. There are many people with whom I feel congenial.”