WC People: Meet Marigrace Thomas
WC People is an ongoing series of profiles of residents, staff, and volunteers associated with Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay. Meet Marigrace.
Swimming with sharks.
Coming face-to-face with a sea lion.
Trekking through Antarctica.
Few people have had experiences like these but this is just a few of the adventures Marigrace Thomas has embarked upon.
Marigrace has been to all seven continents and throughout her travels, she has collected art and photos from around the world. One of her most memorable trips was for her 70th birthday, where she acquired a sculpture called “The Loving Family.”
“For my 70th birthday, I went on a safari with my three children to Zimbabwe,” she says. “It was a magical trip. That’s why the piece holds such special memories for me.”
Glancing around her apartment at Westminster-Canterbury, it’s easy to feel transported to different places around the globe.
“I don’t just buy art to buy it,” Marigrace said. “Every piece has a story.”
A seed necklace purchased from an Aboriginal woman in the Outback hangs in the living room, while framed photos from Croatia and New Zealand fill the shelves in her office.
But her apartment is not only filled with photos and art. She shares her home with Hannah, her standard poodle, whom she rescued from a puppy mill.
In fact, a perfect place for Hannah was one of the many points Marigrace considered when she was searching for her new home. As a former elementary school teacher for 28 years and owner of a travel accommodations rental company for 36, Marigrace is a thorough decision-maker.
She investigated more than 50 communities from Tidewater, Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. She visited twenty in person and stayed overnight at two.
At the conclusion of her research, she made a life-changing choice for her next home: Westminster-Canterbury. A little more than a year later, she could not be more pleased with her decision.
“The overwhelming decision maker was the attitude here – of the staff and the residents,” Marigrace says. “It’s so much better than everywhere else that I visited. It’s hardly comparable. Everybody smiles, the staff is polite, friendly and competent.”
WC is definitely where she wants to be.
“From housekeeping, to security, to the administration – the team is very respectful and very responsive to what we want,” she insists. “I have total freedom here. There’s nothing I’ve wanted to do that I haven’t been able to do. I’m completely independent and I don’t have any of the worries I had with a house – when I leave, everything is taken care of.”