Maple Crest Celebrates 20 Years

Maple Crest Senior Living Village entrance in Bluffton

On September 16, 1999, Carol Diller, Tesla Diller, Harriett McKibben and Marie Augsburger were the first residents to move into Maple Crest Senior Living Village’s main building.  The rest is history, as they say, as Maple Crest has grown and developed into the vision of being a great living option for independent seniors with an emphasis on wellness and socialization.  While it is easy to see the vision in the finished product, the Maple Crest “idea” was a confluence of dreams and ideas from numerous community members that was developed over several years and came together at just the right time.

It began as a dream for several Bluffton citizens, including Lois Rodabaugh, who more than 30 years ago had an idea for a place in Bluffton where seniors could retire, stay active, socialize and have access to healthcare to support their needs as they aged.  This group approached the Board of the Mennonite Memorial Home (now Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio), who formed a planning committee.

Dr. Robert Kreider was another visionary, who owned a farm off Augsburger Road that was donated to Bluffton University in the early 90’s – on the condition that the land be used to create an intergenerational community integrated with the Nature Preserve.  Developer Stan Clemens played an important role in helping these dreams become reality when he presented the plans of intergenerational communities (later to become Riverbend and Maple Crest) to the Board of the Mennonite Memorial Home, whom he knew was interested in building a new Senior Living Village.  The Board acted, and Maple Crest Senior Living Village soon began to take shape.  Upon completion, a pedestrian bridge was built between Maple Crest and Riverbend and still serves as a reminder that the two communities shall always be connected.

The 6-million-dollar project officially began in 1997, with the first phase being completed in 1998 when 16 duplex units were constructed on Red Maple Court.  Work on the main building was then commenced, which would house apartments that offered the “fullest possibilities of independent living.”  The completed building offered 35 independent living apartments and 20 assisted living apartments.  Since 1998, 16 additional Villas were built on Crimson Maple Court, and today there are 32 Villas on the Maple Crest campus in total.  Various projects have been undertaken over the years to keep the community active, including garages, a woodworking shop, a hair salon, and a Memory Garden & Pier.  The longest-term current resident is Pearl Williamson, who moved into her villa (now a resident of the main building) on 9/29/1999.

L to R: Lynn Thompson, Porter King, Greg Conkling, Lois Rodabaugh, Dean Sommers

Maple Crest Senior Living Village provides seniors with services such as housekeeping, meals, social, recreational and educational opportunities, wellness and exercise programs, well-being checks and emergency support.  There are spacious public areas for special programs, family gatherings or hosting club meetings.  A fitness center with lap pool, hot tub and exercise room help residents stay fit and active.

The Mennonite Memorial Home’s story begins in 1955. Bluffton area Mennonite churches had a vision of serving God by providing comfortable housing and compassionate care for the elderly. This long­standing tradition is still faithfully followed today and is the foundation of Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio.