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Widow heartened by friendliness in his new home, Patriots Colony

Ron Patchett compares the vibe of his new home in Patriots Colony At Williamsburg with that of the officers’ clubs from the 1960s.

“Like those clubs, Patriots Colony has great friendly people, both staff and residents, and so many activities that stimulate both the mind and body,” said the Air Force Academy graduate and Bronze Star recipient who flew 104 combat missions in Vietnam. Patchett moved to the Riverside Health System continuing care retirement community designed for those who share the common bond of service to country in 2019.

Seven years ago, Ron and his wife, Elaine, visited Patriots Colony for the first time, staying overnight in the guest quarters and enjoying happy hour with other military couples. Elaine was stoked to move the minute they returned to their house in New Bern, North Carolina. He wasn’t quite ready to leave the area behind.

Elaine Patchett died unexpectedly last summer. New Bern didn’t hold the same joy without her for Ron, so he decided the time was right for the move north.

“The comradery of the people — that’s what sold me on Patriots Colony,” he said. “I wasn’t in my new place one day when I met all the people in my courtyard.”

Patchett has picked up pickleball and joined a genealogy organization — one of the many activities available. Neighbors invited him to Thanksgiving dinner.

“I had a built-in network right away,” he said, sitting in the living room of Wayne and Bonnie Jefferson, another Air Force couple. 

In addition to his new friends and four children, Ron stays busy with his two dogs, including a mini Australian Shepherd puppy named Sheila.

“It’s such a friendly place here,” Patchett said. “I really like it.”