Meet Our Donors
On behalf of the Retirement Housing Foundation,
we would like to thank all of our current donors for their generosity
and support. Here are some of their stories.
People Helping People: Bill Warrick
"My appreciation of Retirement Housing Foundation's mission and mode of operation began in the early 1990's and matured rather quickly to the high level where it continues today. The process was hastened by the opportunity to attend occasional RHF meetings and to visit their communities in California and several other states," says William (Bill) Warrick.
When asked what he thinks makes RHF so special, Bill replies, "From my earliest observations it was easy to sense the quiet dedication and spirit of the national Board of Directors and local Boards. These talented and experienced people from various walks of life are carefully evaluated before being invited to join as non-paid volunteers. Management and other key employees at the Long Beach headquarters and in the field display strong talent and enthusiasm for the mission of the organization."
Bill Warrick was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His father (also Bill) was a Civil Engineer with the Pennsylvania Department of Highways. "Dad Bill" was transferred to various cities in the state while "young Bill" was proceeding through his early school years.
After graduating from high school in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and a military tour in Europe during WWII, "young Bill" returned to earn college degrees from Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation he began work for Atlantic Refining Company, a major oil company which later
became ARCO. Over a period of 35 years at ARCO, during which the company acquired two other major oil companies, Richfield Oil Corporation and Sinclair Oil Company. Bill held several management positions in Sales & Operations, Corporate Planning, and finally as Manager, Distribution Engineering.
In the summer of 1985, business associates at ARCO Chemical Company advised Bill that a company in Spain, with which they had two major projects, was interested in his background and would like to contact Bill regarding a consulting position which could help their entry into what was then called the European Common Market. Bill met with the President and Board Chair of what is today's Repsol, accepted the position, and 10 weeks later moved to Madrid for 2 years, followed by 12 more years of consulting work in the United States and visits to Spain.
Bill and Jean Moore were acquainted at ARCO, but he knew nothing about RHF until 1991 when they were preparing to be married. He learned quickly, however, about Jean's long-time dedication to RHF's work as the first woman member of the Board of Directors. She served on the Board until her death in 2004, and was Board Chair from 1994 to 1999.
We are saddened by Jean's untimely death, but pleased that Bill remains dedicated, not only by his monetary support to the RHF Mission, but also by his continuing service on the RHF Advisory Commission and as Vice President of the RHF Foundation Board of Directors. His management experience is valuable to RHF.
During their 13-year marriage, Bill and Jean traveled together to many places in the world. One of their highlights was in 1994 when they attended the emotional and historic 50th Anniversary of D-Day on the beaches of Normandy. In 1994 Bill and Jean visited the WWI battlefields where his father saw heavy combat as an artillery forward observer.
Bill has many interests including travel, reading, golf, growing roses and of course RHF. He lives in San Diego with a large orange Tabby cat, "Mr. Miles."
He is proud to have included RHF in his estate plans. He states, "RHF is a people-friendly organization which merits broad support from those able to help! I am proud to be a Circle of Friends donor and provide help for generations to come. It's all about people – those helping and those helped."
Teri & Kiku Kawata
Rev. Dr. Teruo Kawata, member of the RHF Board of Directors, fondly remembers that fateful day in the 1970's when he met our founder, Rev. Clark Harshfield.
At the time Dr. Kawata was the United Church of Christ (UCC) Conference Minister in the Central Pacific Conference (Oregon and Southern Idaho). The Portland area was in great need of senior housing, so Dr. Kawata asked Rev. Harshfield if RHF could build in the Portland area.
Although a retirement community did not occur at that time, their meeting proved to be providential for the both of them. It was only a few short years later when Dr. Kawata, who was now the Conference Minister in Hawaii, was approached by Rev. Harshfield to join RHF in the development of Pauahi Kupuna Hale in Honolulu with 48 apartments serving-older adults. Dr. Kawata graciously agreed and a long relationship between Dr. Kawata and RHF began.
Dr. Kawata graduated from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1952, and was ordained to the Christian Ministry in June of that year. He served churches in California and Hawaii, and on the national staff of the United Church of Christ.
He was elected Conference Minister in 1976, first to the Central Pacific Conference and later to the Hawaii Conference.
He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Pacific School of Religion and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Pacific University (Forest Grove, Oregon).
It was in 1991 that Dr. Kawata kindly accepted our invitation to become a member of the RHF Board of Directors. Dr. Kawata is not only busy with his RHF board responsibilities, but he continues other important volunteer dedication to the UCC.
He has presented addresses at several UCC conferences and has served as preacher for the General Synod of the UCC. And he somehow has found the time to author two books and has had several articles published in other books and professional journals.
Dr. Kawata is married to Kiku who has served on the Advisory Commission of RHF since 1991. Kiku has a degree from Marylhurst University in Oregon, and has served as preschool teacher and social worker working with military families at the Marine Air Corps base in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
Teri and Kiku Kawata have three grown children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren!
RHF is extremely humbled and grateful for the time and financial support the Kawatas’ have given to our mission not only for the people we serve now but for generations to come, having become members of the RHF Circle of Friends in 2003.
“Giving has been written deep in our psyche as part of faithful response to God’s love. Though our resources have always been quite limited, from the earliest years of our life together we have wanted to share the abundance of God’s gifts to us,” says Dr. Kawata.
“As one big expression of that response of faith, we took early retirement in 1989 so we could go to the Silliman University in the Philippines as volunteer missionaries to serve as the University Pastor and Visiting Professor of Preaching and Worship (1989-90). In our retirement years, we were happy and privileged to be asked to join RHF. RHF is engaged in a very important ministry, so along with education and addressing world poverty, hunger and disaster, RHF was included in our estate planning.”
East is dedicated to the mission of RHF. As a member of the Circle of
Friends, he feels there is not a better feeling than knowing that his
planned gift will allow RHF’s mission to continue. When he joined
the RHF Board of Directors in 1995, he was told by Jean Moore Warrick,
a fellow RHF board member and Circle of Friends member, "When one
of our community residents takes you by the hand and says, ‘I don't
know where I would live if it were not for RHF’, then you know why
we serve RHF and why the important work of RHF must continue after we
Mr. East was born in Pulaski, VA. He worked for NBC
for 36 years mostly in the Washington DC area as the Art Director and
artist/photographer. He won and Emmy for his work in television. He did
court room sketching for several years, including some of the Watergate
Trials (he was in the court room as the only artist the morning the burglars
were arraigned). Mr. East, whose nickname is, “Corky”, retired
in 1999, enjoys tennis and photography, which he stills does commercially,
and he also serves on three other boards. He lives with his wife Caroline
in Charlottesville, VA.
Mr. East recently said, “RHF is the very best
at giving safe shelter to those who need it most. I believe in what we
do. There is a saying about charity that I love, ‘You can't have
it if you don't give it away.’ Such wisdom!”
Jean Moore Warrick
Board of Directors 1994 to 1999
Jean Moore Warrick was a RHF board member for over
25 years. She passed away on December 14, 2004. During her career, she
was Director of Emergency Planning for Atlantic Richfield Company. Her
initial involvement with the RHF family was as a member of the Advisory
Board for The Angelus Plaza in downtown Los Angeles while employed with
ARCO. She joined the RHF Board in 1983 and chaired the Board from 1994
to 1999. Ms. Moore Warrick lived with her husband in Carlsbad, CA, until
her death in 2004. She remembered RHF in her estate planning with a large
Charitable Remainder Trust that not only helps secures the future of her
family but also the mission of RHF. This is the article she wrote for
the Retirement Housing Foundation 1998 Annual Report while Chairperson.
Exploring Uncharted Waters
By Jean Moore Warrick
When I was told that the theme of the annual report this year was the ocean and things related thereto, I was "at sea," excuse the pun, as to how I would write my chairperson's message to fit with the rest of the report.
The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that the history and current operations of Retirement Housing Foundation was and are analogous to an ocean voyage.
Thirty-eight years ago, three courageous individuals with little capital started on a voyage through uncharted waters, to discover if they could make a difference in the lives of some elderly people in Northern California who were living on limited incomes. Two United Church of Christ clergymen and one layman accepted the challenge of their congregations to provide affordable, safe, clean and inviting housing and services for some of their older church members. The ship that started the voyage was rudimentary because not many ships had taken such a trip toward a similar destination. There was no prototype. There were no wealthy investors to provide the deep pockets that would ensure the success of the voyage. Indeed, our founders were sailing in murky not-for-profit waters, on a tiny ship, with limited resources. But their mission was clear and their resolve was mighty. Most of all, their faith was great because they knew they were doing God's work and He was sailing with them.
The initial trip was a success. As the years went by, it became possible to acquire a larger ship and to explore more routes on the vast ocean of opportunity. Our portfolio of facilities grew--not only were we providing residential housing for low income elderly, we were also entering the areas of skilled nursing and assisted living, and housing for low income families and for people with various kinds of disabilities. Our voyage has achieved great national recognition as perhaps the most successful of its kind.
Retirement Housing Foundation has not always found the seas to be smooth. A few times in our history, we experienced stormy weather and were in peril of being dashed upon the rocks. Too much expansion too quickly, ventures with disappointing partners, unexpected slow rent-ups, and diminishing government programs in support of housing are some factors that have caused rough seas.
The belief that we would succeed, our knowledge that we are doing God's work, and the competence and dedication of our crew has brought us through. We know that we have hardly made a ripple in the waters of need--that our more than 14,000 residents are a mere drop in the vast sea of less fortunate people who need help. And that number continues to grow.
Right now, the sun is shining down on our ship. We have had an incredibly successful year. We are meeting the challenges through creativity, dedication and hard work. The Master Trust Agreement, into which we entered recently, has taken RHF to another financing level. Opportunities for new development, both through acquistion and construction, keep appearing at our door. We continue to find ways to improve the quality of life of our residents. The future has never looked brighter.
Our voyage continues. Our ship is in "Bristol" condition, our motivation is high, and our faith is unswerving as we sail toward the new millennium in pursuit of our mission.
As I complete my fifth year as Chair of the Board of Directors and prepare to step down, I want to say how much I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve in this very special position. I also want to thank the superb RHF staff and my friends on the Board for all the support that I have received during my watch.
Lydia Cerveny, Wanda Haudek and Elsie Valek
(left to right) Lydia Cerveny, Wanda Haudek and Elsie Valek
We are nicknamed “the three sisters,”
and became charter members of the RHF Circle of Friends in 2002 when we
informed the RHF Fund Development Department of our bequest arrangement
All of us were born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and
moved to California in the 1950’s and in the 1970’s. We
moved to an RHF community Sun City Gardens located in Sun City, CA. in
2001. We have been very happy and grateful for the wonderful care we receive
each day here.
Wanda is glad that her legacy will do so many things
for seniors to make their lives a little better. Lydia is proud that her
legacy will contribute to the RHF mission by providing funds to help someone
less fortunate. Elsie receives the satisfaction of helping RHF and others
in a meaningful way for many years to come!
The gift-planning options of RHF are plentiful, enough
to meet almost every need. We recommend exploring the choices available
(RHF is sad to report that Wanda passed away in 2003.)
|Major Fitzhugh L.
Ruth and Hugh O’Neill in 1991 at their 50th wedding anniversary
We are pleased to welcome a very special
donor into our Circleof Friends, Major (Ret.) Fitzhugh O'Neil, Jr. "Hugh"
has lived at Bishop's Glen since July 1996.
Hugh was born in Norfolk, VA and grew up in New York
City during the depression. As a child, he admired police officers and
firefighters for their devotion to their community and had ambitions of
someday being in one of those professions. He also dreamed of someday
being a pilot. As years went by, Mr. O'Neill came to realize his childhood
fantasies as he ventured into his many careers.
First, he became a NYC police officer in 1942. Then
during WWII, he was in the Army Air Force as a Pilot. At the end of the
war he became a NYC Fireman and at the same time he joined Air Force Reserve
so he could continue his calling to the skies.
the Korean War he was recalled to active duty in the Air Force as a Pilot
and it was at that time he decided to make the Air Force his career. During
his aviation career he was promoted to an Operations Officer. He attended
college at night and earned his BBA degree. It was at that time he was
accepted into the regular Air Force. For many years Major O'Neill was
able to fulfill his love of flying. In 1968 Major O'Neill retired from
the Air Force to begin yet another career by becoming a stockbroker for
Bache & Co.
Through the exciting changes in his careers, Hugh and
his wife, Ruth raised a family. Ruth meanwhile joined an art club in Daytona
Beach and became the president for two consecutive years. She has contributed
numerous beautiful oil and watercolor paintings to decorate Bishop's Glen.
They have two grown children, Fitzhugh III who lives
in Apopka, Florida, and Kenneth who resides in Gastonia, North Carolina.
He has one grand child, Sandra Wright who lives in Plymouth, Michigan.
Hugh keeps himself very busy with his current hobbies
including being an avid bridge player (a Silver Life Master Player in
the American Contract League), crossword puzzles, reading Sci-Fi and historical
We are honored and proud to have Major O'Neill-a former
NYC Police Officer, NYC Fireman, a WWII and Korean War veteran and a former
stock broker residing at Bishop's Glen.
As a donor Major O'Neill is aware of and grateful for
the fine work of RHF. He is making his gift in memory of his wife, Ruth
who passed away January 2003. Creating Charitable Gift Annuity with RHF
is an investment in the future. "I am assured that I will receive
a life time income, while having the satisfaction of knowing that in the
future some deserving individuals at Bishop's Glen will benefit from my
blessings in life."
RHF regrets that Major O’Neill passed away