LIGONIER, IN — Early years of Dorothy “Dottie” Weil’s life were tough. She spent most of them in foster care. But she turned the lessons learned into a blessing for many others and became a teacher and foster parent of dozens of emotionally disabled children for decades.
Throughout her life, however, she struggled with debilitating illness. The illness finally forced her into long-term care. She is now a resident of Avalon Village in Ligonier.
Because she served others so many for so long, Avalon Village recently granted her a day during which her wishes would be granted. Mrs. Weil, who is 62, will spend Friday, Nov. 15 visiting the campus of Grace College, where she received her degrees, shopping and swimming at the YMCA in Warsaw.
We invite you to cover this warm story. You can follow her from Avalon Village:
Friday, Nov. 15
Mrs. Weil and her escorts will leave Avalon Village, located at 200 Kingston Circle, Ligonier.
Lunch at Winona Lake
Shopping at The Village at Winona
Tour of Grace College
Swimming at the YMCA on Smith Street in Warsaw
More about Dorothy “Dottie” Weil
From ages 4 to 18 she lived in foster care in California and after “aging out” moved to Iowa with her grandmother who needed her help after a fall. The pastor of the church she attended and her grandmother encouraged her to attend Grace College in Warsaw, Indiana. This was a move that would be life-changing.
Dorothy attended school at Grace College for two years and transferred to Parkview School of Nursing to finish her degree in Nursing. She became ill and was hospitalized frequently, but her stays in the hospital helped her realize she did not want to be a nurse. She returned to school at Grace College and became an education major. She received her master’s of science degree and a teaching certification. Her first teaching job was at Cardinal Learning Center in Warsaw, preparing handicapped children for kindergarten. After a year, she took at position at in the Jefferson Schools system in Elkhart.
While in Elkhart, Dorothy, now married, decided she wanted to be a foster mother. She said she wanted her home to be a “last chance” home for emotionally handicapped children. She fostered dozens of children, including a boy she would later adopt.
She has not been to the Grace College campus since graduating. She hasn’t been swimming for nearly 30 years. “She bought a swimming suit just for this trip,” said Avalon Village Activities Director Shannon Alexander.
About Avalon Village
Avalon Village, which recently received a deficiency free survey by the Indiana State Department of Health, is one of 63 Senior Rehabilitation and Memory Care centers operated by American Senior Communities. Avalon Village’s deficiency-free score is the best score a facility can receive from the Indiana State Department of Health and it is a distinction achieved by a low percentage of communities in Indiana.
Avalon Village services include Moving Forward Rehabilitation, Hospice, Respite, Skilled Care and Long Term Care. Avalon Village also has Garden Homes. For more information about Avalon Village, visit the website at www.ASCSeniorCare.com/avlv <http://www.ASCSeniorCare.com/avlv> .