by Shanna Hogan
The distance from Prescott to Sun City West is less than 100 miles. But for former Prescott resident Clark Engle, the two Arizona cities have some drastic differences.
“I loved the Valley and the atmosphere, but I never liked the weather,” he says. “Prescott has four seasons.”
Three years ago, however, Clark discovered his perfect sanctuary from the summer heat when he moved from Prescott to Grandview Terrace.
“The biggest challenge is living through the summer, but you don’t have to worry about that here,” he says. “With Grandview Terrace, everything is indoors. You don’t have to go out for anything if you don’t want to.”
While living in Philadelphia in the ’80s, Clark traveled to Arizona for business and fell in love with the state. During one of his trips, he bought a plot of land in Prescott, and he and his wife moved to Arizona in 1998 and built a house. Just months after the home was complete, tragedy struck when Clark’s wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died shortly after, at the age of 64.
“She never really got a chance to appreciate the house,” Clark says.
Suddenly a widower, Clark got involved in the Yavapai College, where he was a chairman of the board for senior education programs. He kept active, singing in four choirs and taking classes.
“I had to do something with my life,” he says. “I took all kinds of cooking classes and really enjoyed it. I ended up really enjoying cooking.”
But living in a large house alone in Prescott was lonely and the silence was deafening. Then, a friend from Prescott suffered a stroke and wasn’t discovered for more than six hours. Clark realized if he had a medical emergency, he might not be discovered for days.
“I lived in a big house all by myself,” he says. “I said I would probably lie there six days before someone found me.”
Soon after, he received a brochure for Sun Health, attended a seminar and toured Grandview Terrace.
“I couldn’t believe what I heard. It sounded perfect for me,” Clark says. “After I saw Grandview, I said this is the right place for me to be. I put down a deposit and made the move.”
He says he hasn’t regretted a thing. In fact, he’s been such a fan of the lifestyle he has enticed two couples and two single friends from Prescott to also make the move. One friend, who Clark knew for 17 years, moved just down the hall from him.
Surrounded by hundreds of residents, Clark is no longer lonely.
“Living here, you just have to step out your door and it’s like you are on Main Street,” he says. “There are people all over the place.”
The peace of mind has allowed him to make the most of his life. He has made new friends and is involved in many of the Sun Health programs, including movie and musical nights. One friend recently told him, “I have less stress here than I have ever had in my life.” Clark says he has similar sentiments.
“The fact that everything is in the same place is so convenient,” he says. “You really don’t have any worries. It’s wonderful.”
Learn more about Sun Health’s three Life Care communities — 623-236-3767 or sunhealthseniorliving.org