Events & News

Cornwall Manor Celebrates Founders Day

Oct. 12, 2023
Marlyn Gohn (center, burgundy jacket) stands with family and friends after receiving the 2023 Founders Day Award.

Cornwall Manor hosted its annual Founders Day event on Thursday, October 12. The event recognized friends who play an important role in the retirement community’s founding as well as those who have supported the Cornwall Manor community through its 74 years of ministry to older adults.

The 2023 Founders Day award was presented to Marlyn and Jean* Gohn by Cornwall Manor’s President & CEO, Harry A. McConnell. The award is presented to an individual ‘whose extraordinary commitment to Cornwall Manor has had a significant impact on our ministry.’ *Jean was recognized posthumously.

Jean is a Lebanon County native, having graduated from Lebanon High School in 1949. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1953 with her Bachelor of Science degree and taught in York and Lebanon City Schools. Jean worked in public school education for 13 years. She was a member of Covenant United Methodist Church in Lebanon for the past 62 years. Jean served 18 years on the Lebanon City School Board. She was appointed to serve on the Lebanon County Redevelopment Authority, where she served for 22 years, 14 of which as Chairman. At Cornwall Manor, Jean served on the Board of Trustees in the early 80’s and did much volunteer work as a resident here. She was an active member of the Cornwall Manor Society serving on the Executive Committee as well as numerous other committees.

Marlyn graduated from Red Lion High School in 1953 and attended Philadelphia Museum School of Art and also served in the Army from 1957-1959. He graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1960, retiring from a 36-year career at Rohland’s Funeral Home in 1996. Marlyn has been a member and past president of the Lebanon Valley Kiwanis Club, and a member of Covenant United Methodist Church, where he served as director of Vistas and adult education program at the church. He has been a member of the Lebanon County Community Concert Association for 21 years and served as membership chairman. He has been a board member for the Lebanon County Historical Society and Lebanon Community Library.

They moved to Cornwall Manor in 2010 and became Ambassadors to our Marketing Department assisting at special marketing events and always willing to talk with prospective residents about life at Cornwall Manor. Jean and Marlyn met in 1959 at the York Little Theater in York, PA.

They married in December of 1960 and shared a love of theater the rest of their lives. They have two daughters, Amy and Emily as well as one granddaughter and two grandsons.

Marlyn shared, “we support Cornwall Manor because we simply felt that this community was the BEST retirement community in our area. So, we supported Cornwall Manor financially through Rohland’s and later personally to benefit their important benevolent mission.”

Garry Pezzano, President of LeadingAge PA, a trade association representing more than 400 aging services providers across Pennsylvania. In this role, he advocates on behalf of the association’s members at the state and local levels to influence positive change and affect a healthy vision for the delivery of quality, affordable, and ethical care for Pennsylvania’s seniors. Prior to joining LeadingAge PA, Pezzano established himself as a nationally recognized thought leader in post-acute care with a career that spanned more than 30 years leading strategic change and enhancing clinical effectiveness, most recently for Genesis Healthcare.

Pezzano earned his Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) and a Master of Science in speech-language pathology from Rutgers University, as well as his Bachelor of Science in speech-language pathology from the College of New Jersey. He was appointed to national healthcare leadership roles including president of the National Association for Long-Term Care, American Alzheimer’s Association Board of Healthcare Providers, and faculty of Post-Acute Research Foundation, and was inducted into National Academies of Practice (NAP) promoting interprofessional collaboration and healthcare delivery coordination.

Several people were inducted into “The Buckingham Society,” which is named for Mrs. Margaret Coleman Freeman Buckingham, who is considered Cornwall Manor’s first philanthropist. Members of the Buckingham Society provide the highest levels of support for Cornwall Manor’s mission. Vicki Deitzler, Cornwall Manor Vice President for Advancement, inducted Barbara E. Brown, Ken & Julie Funk and Don & Nancy Lesher.

“Legacy Circle” donors, who are acknowledged for naming Cornwall Manor in their will or estate plan. New Legacy Circle donors are Alexander Altshuler, Donald & Maxine Coopey and Carol F. Whitfield.

Deitzler also recognized “Faithful Friends.” These donors have supported the community’s mission for over 20 years. New “Faithful Friends” who were acknowledged at the luncheon were Arthur Funk & Sons, Inc., Diane B. Griffiths and Carol R. Matz.

Cornwall Manor is extremely grateful to this year’s Founders Day Event Sponsors – Allwein Carpet One; Arthur Funk & Sons, Inc.; Hoaster Gebhard; Mill Creek Capital Advisors; Clark & Stuart Investment Counsel; Pyramid Construction; RKL, LLP, Weik Capital Management and Wellspan Health. Special thanks to our Founders Day Dessert Sponsors, Barley Snyder Attorneys at Law and Marco Office Products.

Proceeds from the Founders Day event are used to support benevolent care for residents with limited resources – which has been at the heart of Cornwall Manor’s ministry for 74 years. In 2022, Cornwall Manor provided more than $2 million in benevolent care for residents.