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Life without cooking is pretty good for this Patriots Colony couple

The decision to move to Patriots Colony At Williamsburg six years ago was a cinch for Joan Conner.

“I didn’t have to cook anymore,” she said with a broad smile.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are among the many amenities at the Riverside Health System continuing care retirement community designed for those who share the common bond of service to country.

Eugene Conner put a little more thought into the decision, not a surprise given his background. The retired rear admiral spent 34 years in the Navy, flew missions in Vietnam and went on to command the USS Nimitz. In consulting with an estate planning attorney, he realized just how many children inherit property that they would rather be without — a burden he didn’t want for his three kids.

“When we moved here, my daughter called and said, ‘Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for moving to Patriots Colony,’ ” Joan recalled.

Eugene Conner had been on the board of directors at Patriots Colony for years, almost since its inception in 1996. He liked what he saw and heard firsthand over the years and didn’t hesitate when he and Joan decided it was time.

Residents of Patriots Colony benefit from medical care provided by Riverside Health System, and that was another important variable, he said.

As part of Riverside, Patriots Colony shares the same value of preventative and proactive approach to wellness. Riverside focuses on patient-centered care. With the Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg nearby, residents and guests can feel assured there is clinical support in the event of greater medical needs.

“Some of the stand-alone communities are for-profit,” Gene said. “You have to be careful not to get into financial trouble.” 

Like their neighbors, Joan and Gene are active in the campus community. Joan regularly exercises online thanks to Patriots Colony internal channel, which expanded its offering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also attends chapel services, which are also online.

Gene enjoys getting to know everyone in the community — most are military, though many retired from the State Department and FBI.

“It’s an interesting group of people that have a variety of backgrounds that make for very cohesive neighbors,” he said. “Everyone is friendly.”