Manor Moments

Resident Profile: Meet the Mills

September 2017

Interview and Article by resident Jackie SchroderDavid and Nancy Mills enjoying a meal

David and Nancy Mills arrived at Cornwall Manor in February 2014, having completed their careful research of retirement options. Both have had family members who required more care and needed to leave their homes. Aging in place was not an option. It has been a wise and satisfying decision.

David was born in Harrisburg and attended school there. After graduating from Central Dauphin High School, he attended and graduated from Penn State with a degree in business. He was enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard. His career in insurance then took off. He worked at Penn National Insurance Co. for 20 years. Later he became an insurance consultant. David last worked as the Vice President and General Manager of the Hess Agency in Mount Joy.

Nancy was born in Shamokin and was reared in Hummelstown. She attended Hershey High School. After graduation Nancy began work as a bookkeeper at SICO Fuel Oil Co and then went on to work at Penn National Insurance Company first as a rater, on to underwriter, then finally as an underwriter analyst. She worked there for thirty-two years.

David and Nancy met at Penn National. Both were members of the company’s volley ball team. They married in 1989.

The Mills arrived here from Carlisle and moved into their spacious home in The Woods. They were fortunate that their new home came with a workshop which was a bonus for David who enjoys making miniature machines. He has a long-standing interest in gears, levers, and wheels. Evidence of his skill is on display in their office. Miniature steam engines and various locomotive models sit on rails in the cases. Some models are made from kits but many are made from David’s hand drawn plans from which he fabricates the final machine. A miniature lathe and a miniature milling machine sit in his workshop. From a hand drawn plan, he has fashioned a working paper pendulum clock.

Nancy retired early so that the couple could pursue their interest in travel. Since retirement they have traveled to Italy, Scotland, Paris and Germany. Later this year they have planned a trip to Oregon and the Northwest.

Dave’s interest in railroads led him to Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. This group has organized several trips that David and Nancy have taken. Up next in October, they will travel to Vancouver and take the Rocky Mountaineer Train through Canada…. a journey that will take them to Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, and Calgary. Sure to be a memorable trip.

In addition to planning their own interesting vacations, David and Nancy have enjoyed trips with The Road Scholar programs. The lessons learned on their travels are highlights of these trips. On a recent trip to Corning, New York they learned to blow glass. They blew several glass items suitable as jewelry and objects d’art which are on display in their lovely home. Other trips with the program have taken them to Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park. They are scheduled to take a trip to the Chesapeake to explore the maritime life in Crisfield, Maryland.

Nancy is a reader and enjoys her involvement with Novel-Teas, a Cornwall Manor book club, and also volunteers at Gateway Library. The couple jointly volunteers at the Health Center as Greeters and Transport Aides; they shop for the Manor Shop, and are active in the Horizons program, which Nancy co-chairs and where David is a presenter in this worthwhile project. Nancy is secretary for the Cornwall Manor Society’s Finance Committee. In addition, she also enjoys gardening and has put her talents to work as evidenced in their beautifully landscaped garden. Although she admits to no special talents, she has enjoyed volunteering with the CMS crafters and says she does whatever Sally tells her!

Prior to their arrival at Cornwall Manor, they researched about fifteen retirement facilities. They are very pleased with their decision to choose their home in The Woods. It is a welcoming community that greeted them upon their arrival with quiches, cookies, and other goodies (in addition to the Cornwall Manor gift basket). It helped them through those nasty unpacking days and they also became well acquainted with the Freeman Dining Room!

Life has been an enjoyable lesson and they are still learning!