WC People: Meet Betty and Dick Binford
WC People is an ongoing series of profiles of residents, staff, and volunteers associated with Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay. Meet The Binford’s.
When asked what they do in their spare time, Betty and Dick Binford glance at each other and smiles spread across their faces.
They never stop moving.
Their energy and ambition were apparent from an early age. Betty graduated high school at age 15 and went directly to nursing school, graduating at 19. She joined the Air Force, where she met Dick in Peru, Indiana on her way to her first active duty tour at Offutt AFB, Omaha, NE.
While both Betty and Dick remain humble, their accomplishments are outstanding.
“While stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, the Cuban missile crisis occurred,” Dick says. “Betty was the only flight-qualified nurse anesthetist in the entire Air Force. While she was never deployed, she was given a surgical team and remained on call for months.”
After four and a half years, Betty left the service and worked at different hospitals around the country. Dick’s military career lasted for 30 years, taking them and their three children all over the world, until he retired as a colonel in 1988. His time in the Air Force included 10 years in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) and 20 in manpower management.
However, “retirement” did not have the same meaning to Dick as it does to most people because he immediately took a job with a human resource management and consulting firm, The Hay Group, where he stayed for twelve years.
He hasn’t stopped yet.
Dick now volunteers 30 hours per week for the AARP Tax Aide program, which provides free tax preparation services at the Virginia Beach Central Library.
“There are more than 8,500 sites in the nation that provide this free service,” Dick says. “I’m proud that we’re number two in production. We’re able to complete 75 to 100 returns per day.”
At WC, Dick is chairman of the Golf Croquet Club, which has over 100 members, plays ping pong, sings in three choirs and often plays golf that many days per week.
In addition to being a docent at the Virginia Aquarium for 12 years, Betty has joined the WC Wellness Committee, enjoys sorting and pricing clothing for WC’s Flotsam & Jetsam (F&J), and goes to Zumba, yoga and the fitness center four days a week.
Together, they love to play golf croquet and the Dutch game of Sjoelbak and to travel (their latest trip was a riverboat cruise in France).
“We’ve never been more active than we are now,” says Betty. “We’re a short elevator ride from the fitness center, events, games, educational programs and more. Imagine being only five floors away from everything you want to do. It’s really more than one human is able to take advantage of.”
To the Binfords though, the best part about WC is the people.
“Everyone, especially the residents, has a great attitude.” Betty says, “Each person truly treats you like you’re a guest in their home. It’s wonderful to be a part of it all.”