Don’t Miss the Spring Art Show

Spring Art Show

April 11, 2024

From 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm in the Grand Lobby

Talented people are all around us at Kirby Pines. We will showcase their works using a variety of mediums. Be sure to invite your friends and family to this exciting event. 


Refreshments Will Be Served. 

Resident Spotlight: Hugh Gregory

The Sandersons


Humor, hard work, clean living, and having God in control seem to be the elements that have framed the extraordinary life of Hugh Gregory. Although stories of his life may invoke similar memories in people his age, Hugh defies the odds by continuing his zest for new learning experiences at 94 years of age. 

In 1930, at the beginning of the Depression, Hugh was born in a house that had cracks large enough for snow to fall on his bed. His father was a farmer, and the family lived in a tenant’s residence on his great-grandfather’s farm. However, the farm supplied the necessities for life. Hugh had loving and godly parents; he was the only child until a sister arrived seven years later. Life was considered normal in the rural community of Auburn, Mississippi, which was the ancestral home for the Gregory family. Located northeast of Tupelo, Mississippi, Auburn had stores, a school, and several churches.

When Hugh was four years old, his parents gave him a tricycle. The house they lived in had a long porch that was unrailed and two feet off the ground. Hugh was cautioned about riding too close to the edge. The family birddog, Dan, must have gotten the message and became Hugh’s constant protector. Never leaving his side, Dan would always manage to be between Hugh and the porch edge. Another time, Hugh went for a walk and was gone for several hours. It was almost dark, and his parents were frantic. They finally spotted the top of his head in the cotton field. Of course, Dan was with him and was bringing him home.

Hugh Gregory as a child

In 1936, a devastating tornado hit Auburn and surrounding communities. There were many deaths and much destruction. The Gregory home was spared. Hugh’s father, along with neighbors, used hand saws to clear the trees that were blocking the road to the most damaged area. Six year old, Hugh went along to help. The sights he witnessed remained an indelible memory for him. Hugh’s father, then, built a nice, new house for his family.

In 1943, at the age of 13, Hugh assumed management of the farm the family now owned when his father was conscripted by the military to build structures needed in WWII. Arising at 5:00 a.m., Hugh milked three cows, and helped to feed other farm animals. At 7:00, Hugh boarded the school bus for high school in Tupelo. While in high school, Hugh played basketball all four years; however, that was not all he was interested in. A girl, Mary Curbow, had been a friend his entire life, and Hugh was interested in taking it to a new level. One day while Hugh and some friends were sitting in Mary’s yard, they learned that WW II was over. This good news prompted shy Hugh to ask Mary to the movies. Hugh had been driving his father’s school bus since the age of 12, and this was the vehicle he planned to drive on their date. He even built a stool for Mary by the driver’s seat. Unknown to Hugh, his mother had alerted all the neighbors that Hugh was driving the bus to the movies. Imagine Mary’s surprise when she got on the crowded bus! But, Mary forgave him; they dated for three years and married at age 18.

Hugh wanted to be an electrical engineer. However, he delayed college and enrolled in an electrical school in Chicago. He returned home and worked for an electrical company for two years. Surprisingly, he was offered a job with the FBI working in classified documents, so Hugh and Mary moved to Washington, D.C. for two years. In 1951, even though employed in a government job, Hugh expected to be drafted. Instead, he volunteered and spent four years in the Navy. While on active duty, he served on USS Currituck which was an AV-7 Seaplane Tender carrying supplies to aircraft patrolling the shorelines of various countries. He received the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class.

Following discharge from the Navy, Hugh returned home and worked for an electrical company. He had been offered the FBI job but did not want to live in Washington. Hugh also enrolled in college and completed three years of study in various institutions.

In 1959, Hugh began employment with Southern Airways as a station agent. He retired after 27 years, most of that time in management positions. After retirement, he and others started an electrical testing company (EMT). For 20 years, and until retirement in 2014, Hugh’s company supervised technicians in their various jobs.

Mary and Hugh Gregory
Mary and Hugh

Hugh and Mary were married for 75+ years. They were blessed with three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. They lived in Southaven for 50 years and were members of the Carriage Hills Baptist Church where Hugh served as deacon and continues his membership. Hugh and Mary were fortunate to enjoy extensive travel including all 50 states and several countries.

In 2021, Hugh made the decision to move to Kirby Pines due to Mary’s declining health. Sadly, Mary died in 2023. “We lived a wonderful and charming life,” states Hugh.

Hugh continues to be involved in several activities at Kirby and is serving as a Wing Leader. Woodwork has always been a favorite hobby; he now spends time learning new things in the woodworking shop. “I appreciate all the people here and love all the new friends I have made. It is a great community to live in,” declares Hugh.

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident of Kirby Pines.

April is Occupational Therapy Month

Why Occupational Therapy if I don’t have an Occupation?

Woman playing Jenga

We hear it all the time: “I am retired! I don’t have an occupation anymore, so why would I need OT?” You might be retired – Congratulations, by the way! – but OT can still be beneficial. While you may not have a 9-5 pm job that takes you out of the home anymore, there are many daily activities that feed into vocational wellness. 

Vocational wellness includes any work that utilizes someone’s skills, while also providing personal satisfaction. This might include participating in the paid (or unpaid) workforce, being an experienced professional in a certain field, caregiver, mentor, teacher, or volunteer. Having your vocational wellness cup filled is something OT can help with!

One of the goals of OT is to promote independence and functional abilities – so it’s NOT just about your occupation. Perhaps you are passionate about volunteering or helping to teach someone a new language. Did you know OT can support you in those endeavors? Here are just a few of the ways OT can help.

Group of people volunteering to charity

Fine Motor Skills – maintain dexterity and improve grip strength. Make things like sewing, cleaning, or handwriting easier.

Visual Assistance – Perform at the top of your abilities by learning about assistance for visual challenges.

Environmental Modifications – Is your home as safe as possible? What about where you travel to volunteer, participate in group activities, etc.? OT can help with environmental modifications to help you stay safe.

Man using a magnifying glass

Assistive Devices and Adaptive Equipment – Did you know simple devices exist, like grab bars and reacher tools, to help make tasks easier to complete? There are also more complex resources, such as voice-activated technology, to help with making lists, medication reminders, etc.

To thrive and be as independent as possible for as long as possible is ALWAYS the goal, no matter what stage of life you are in. For more information on occupational therapy and how it can benefit you , please contact the Functional Pathways Therapy Team.

Medicine adds days to lives, occupational therapy adds life to days.”


Group exercise

Just like your need for a balanced diet of vitamin rich vegetables and fruits, protein, and carbohydrates, your body needs a balanced routine of exercise that includes cardiovascular, strengthening and flexibility. 

Any exercise that raises your heart rate slightly is considered Cardiovascular, such as walking, biking, or swimming. In the Oasis, the Nustep, the treadmill, and the recumbent bike will increase your heart rate. As we age, it is not necessary to push ourselves to the point of being out of breath and heart pounding. Slight perspiration and increased respiration rate is good and still being able to carry a conversation is a sign of exerting enough energy to utilize our hearts and lungs without overdoing. If you do experience shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness or pain – SLOW DOWN or STOP to rest. 

Strengthening exercises build muscle and endurance. Lifting weights, Upper body and Lower body resistant equipment in the Oasis are strengthening exercises. Noodles and barbells in the water and water walking use resistance to strengthen arms and legs. When exercising, a little soreness is normal, but constant or a sudden sharp pain for more than two hours following exercise may mean “you over did it.” Always begin a new program gradually using lighter weights for a shorter period of time. On the bike or Nustep set the resistance on a lower number for 10-15 minutes. Each week add a few more minutes and increase resistance slightly. 

Woman listening to music while exercising

Exercise classes provide a balanced program for cardio, strength and stretch. Gentle stretching with deep breathing before and after an exercise session restores muscles and helps blood flow to muscles and joints to remove waste products (lactic acid) and bring Oxygen and nutrients to replenish muscle cells. Stretching and a tall glass of water may help prevent muscle cramps. Here is a quick review of the classes we offer here and how they can help keep you fit. Water aerobics and Cardio Move classes provide Cardio, Strength and Stretch. Chair Yoga and Yoga Stretch help with strengthening, stretch, and range of motion (reach and flexibility) 

Always drink water before, during and after exercising. 

Check with your medical doctor before beginning a new exercise program. Begin exercise sessions with 15 minutes three times per week. Gradually work up to 30 minutes five times per week. That is 150 minutes of moderately strenuous exercise each week which is recognized by the Arthritis Foundation, American Heart Association, and Centers for Disease Control for Cardiovascular health and healthy Joints. Visit the Oasis or join a class this week and experience that “good” feeling that comes with exercise. 

Alternatives to Pain Management


When mind, body, and spirit are in harmony, happiness is the natural result.” 

— Deepak Chopra 
Man with back pain

We have all experienced pain at some point in our lives – scraping our knee, hitting our “funny” bone, or perhaps something more long-lasting, such as migraines. Pain is a useful way for our bodies to tell our brains when something is a threat to our overall well-being. Don’t touch the hot stove because it burns; don’t try and lift something too heavy because you could hurt your back. However, sometimes experiencing pain, such as chronic pain, stops being useful and is detrimental to daily living. 

The goal of a comprehensive, holistic pain management program is to promote consistent participation in activities, exercise, and education to enhance quality of life. A holistic pain management program merges traditional western medicine with eastern medicine. While western medicine tends to view the mind and body as separate entities, eastern medicine views the mind and body as one. There are many programs and approaches that help those with chronic conditions increase their engagement in meaningful activities and improve their overall well-being. 

Chi is “that which gives life” and is a strong life force making a person totally alive, alert, and present. It can be used to help overcome illness and become more vibrant and enhance mental capacity. Finding your “inner chi” can help promote one’s quality of life, especially if they are struggling with constant pain. 

Woman relaxing

“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.”

Finding Your Chi can: 

  • Promote your highest quality of life 
  • Use relaxation, visual imagery, and breathing strategies to address anxiety and depression  
  • Improve strength and postural stability 

Do you suffer from chronic pain? If you are interested in learning more about Pathways to Chi and alternative approaches to pain reduction, reach out to the therapy team at Functional Pathways! 

We’re Changing Seasons at Kirby Pines

We are in the business of “Changing Seasons.” We, as Christians, go through various seasons of our life. We lean on people, we meet challenges, we fail, we succeed. Families play a huge role with changing seasons. Births, marriages, divorce, aging, and eventually death. Many of us anticipate Heaven.

Today I cannot help but write about Kirby Pines changing seasons! A few weeks ago, we said farewell and Godspeed to an amazing man, Mr. Berry Terry. Mr. Terry’s legacy will live forever. As a prominent Board Member, he was singularly focused on keeping Kirby Pines focused and, on a path, lit by the Glory of our God. He was a historian. He shared many times with me past events and occurrences, always referencing a specific Pinecone in which it was memorialized.

I only knew Berry for 7 short months, but any time I needed advice or perspective, he had it to offer. Despite his failing health, he always asked about my wife and I. Mr. Terry would ask how I liked being at Kirby Pines? He would always say “Well, we really like having you.” I always felt encouraged by his words and his friendship.

It’s a changing season here at Kirby Pines. New staff, new residents, building improvements, blooming trees and flowers…..and so much of this is because of Mr. Terry’s attention to detail, leadership, and Love for Kirby Pines.

Michael J. Brown, Jr.
Executive Director, Kirby Pines

Walk on to Easter

Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

kids playing doctor

Three-year-old Ryan and his five-year-old sister were playing on the floor following a family dinner while the adults tried to have a conversation. Lisa opened her new toy nurse’s kit and convinced Ryan to be her patient. She took the little stethoscope and placed it on her brother’s heart, listened intently — as good nurses do. Suddenly she announced, “I hear somebody walking around in there.”

The adults smiled at this, but Ryan, matter-of-factly answered, “Why, that must be Jesus.”

That’s the amazing promise, and one of the central claims of the Christian Gospel — that Christ may live in us. Indeed that is Paul’s definition of a Christian. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (II Corinthians 5:17).

In Colossians 2: 6, Paul said, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in Him.” The King James Version has that, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” Students of Pauline thought, are agreed that the phrase “In Christ” is the central category of Paul’s thinking. This phrase, “in Christ,” or “in Christ Jesus”, is used by Paul in his letters 169 times.

What does Paul mean by this vital image “in Christ”? It means one, a new status; two, a new style, and three, a new strength.

Persons who are in Christ are people in whom a new principle of life has been implanted. They are in Christ.

I think of that in two ways. First, from the perspective of what we might call imitation, then from the perspective of immersion.

By grace we are saved through faith.”

– Kevin De Young
praying hands with bible

We are in the Lenten Season, looking forward to Easter (Mar. 3l) I urge you to join me in being more intentional in imitating Jesus, walking in his style. But more, immerse yourself in Christ: renew your commitment to spiritual discipline…scripture reading, prayer, worship, spiritual conversation with people you know who are wanting to be “more like Jesus,”

As Christians, we are, in principle new persons in Christ., As we walk as Christ would have us walk, and immerse ourselves in Christ—that is surrender ourselves to His Spirit within, His grace will make us, in fact, the new persons we already are.

-Maxie Dunnam  

Congratulations to Our Champion of the Month: Connors Moore

Connors Moore


Human Resources Assistant 

Describe your family: Extremely fun and the most important part of each others lives. 

Describe yourself in five words: Kind, patient, energetic, organized and helpful. 

What do you do for fun: I love watching movies. I usually watch a film a day if I can. 

Do you have any hobbies: I have a movie and record collection. Pets: 2 cats; CC and Onyx. 

What is your favorite food: Salmon. 

What is your favorite thing about your job: Meeting new people every day and bringing them to the Kirby family. 

What is Your favorite food: Chicken and Dressing. 

What is your favorite song: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head – B.J. Thomas. 

What is something you are proud of: Graduating from Ole Miss. 

What would you like people to know about you: If you need help, I am always happy to be there. 

Connors was nominated for his exceptional dedication, his remarkable work ethic, his willingness to help others and his consistent commitment to going above and beyond. Connors truly embodies the values and spirit of Kirby Pines. 

– Trudy Schenkenberger, Director of Human Resources 

Easter Symbols and Traditions

You won’t find them in the Bible, but many cherished Easter traditions have been around for centuries. The most prominent secular symbol of the Christian holiday, the Easter bunny reportedly was introduced to America by the German immigrants who brought over their stories of an egg-laying hare. The decoration of eggs is believed to date back to at least the 13th century, while the rite of the Easter parade has even older roots. Other traditions, such as the consumption of Easter candy, are among the modern additions to the celebration of this early springtime holiday. 

Easter Bunny

The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping. 

Easter Eggs

Easter Basket

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration. 

Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In the U.S., the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll occurred in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The event has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus’ tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection. 

Easter Candy

Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s (although the jelly bean’s origins reportedly date all the way back to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight). According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and 60 feet wide. For the past decade, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep, a sugary, pastel-colored confection. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based candy manufacturer Just Born (founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born in 1923) began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks, but other shapes and flavors were later introduced, including chocolate mousse bunnies. 


Resident Spotlight: Leon & Marilyn Sanderson

The Sandersons


Love and giving go together so well. So do Marilyn and Leon Sanderson, who have plenty of love to share and express it in so many ways. Their lives have been focused on giving to others: Leon as a minister in various churches of Christ, and Marilyn as an esteemed educator of the young. Both continue to share their many talents with the residents of Kirby Pines and contribute to the sense of family we all cherish.

Marilyn Cobb was born in Springfield, Missouri. Hers was a close-knit family who enjoyed simple but significant times together. She has a sister who is older, so Marilyn was “the baby” for 11 years until a baby brother came along. According to Marilyn, “I lost my status, and our family dynamics changed.” As a member of Future Teachers of America, Marilyn would have the experience, in her senior year of high school, of spending the afternoon in an elementary school as a cadet teacher. This would provide the groundwork for Marilyn’s professional career.

In 1966, Marilyn graduated from Harding College (University) with a B.S in Elementary Education. She says her college years were very enjoyable, but most exciting was the time she spent singing with two elite groups of singers from the college. During her junior year, one group spent five weeks traveling in the Eastern part of the United States which included singing at the World’s Fair in New York. 

In 1966, Marilyn began her teaching career in Long Island, New York. It was a different culture for her, but she enjoyed the nearby cultural venues. During this time, she and a friend spent eight weeks in Europe, traveling by Eurail and staying in pensiones.

In 1969, Marilyn returned to Harding College and earned an M.A. in Teaching. She moved to Memphis to teach in the city schools and was assigned to teach fourth grade in a school with all African American students. “This was again culture shock,” admits Marilyn, “but that class became one of my all-time favorites!” However, after one year, she was persuaded to teach at Harding Academy, one of the largest private schools in Memphis. She remained there for 39 years, as classroom teacher, principal, and eventually as Director of Elementary Education for Harding Academy.

Leon Sanderson was also born in Springfield, Missouri. His only sibling was an older sister. His father and mother were involved in church work over the years. Leon’s families were musicians; his father wrote the words to several published hymns. So, music was a large part of their family. At a young age, Leon joined his father in teaching in music schools and worship leadership.

Despite occasional re-locating, Leon had a happy childhood. He recalls playing kick ball, riding his bike, playing “catch,” and making model cars. His favorite was a blue, 1904 model Oldsmobile with seats covered in burgundy velvet – a contribution from his mother. His school years were good, and he sang with all singing groups in school. He also played the tuba in the marching band during his high school years.

Having decided to become a minister of the Gospel, Leon entered Harding College in 1950 and graduated four years later with a degree in Bible and Speech. He continued his studies at Harding, earning a graduate degree in Ministry. He would then move to Memphis for his first position with a church.

Although both Marilyn and Leon were born in the same city and attended the same college, they did not meet until Leon accepted an associate minister position in the church where Marilyn attended. Together, they would become an integral part of that church’s mission to serve not only the church members, but the non-members of the community around them. 

To better prepare himself to serve, Leon became a life-long learner. Since moving to Memphis, he has earned two additional masters degrees and the Doctorate of Ministry from Harding School of Theology. He has the distinction of earning the most degrees of any student in the school’s history! He has used his musical talents in various ways, leading singing as well as teaching others to lead songs in church. He has written several hymns with special attention to setting scripture to music. Blessed with a beautiful voice, Leon sang for several years with an elite musical group in Memphis.

The Sandersons wedding
Wedding Day

The Sandersons have three children, nine grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. Twice a year, at Thanksgiving and in June, 22 family members meet for a reunion – a 25 year tradition. Travel continues to be a significant activity for the Sandersons. They have visited all 50 states; Leon has been to 33 foreign countries and six continents, and Marilyn has visited 40 countries and five continents. 

Since moving to Kirby Pines in September 2021, both Leon and Marilyn have become vital members of the Kirby family. Marilyn enjoys The Bookbaggers and Mah Jongg. Both serve as Wing Leaders, sing in the Chorus, visit residents in the hospital, and attend various Bible studies. Leon participates in Vespers, conducts sing-a-longs, and reads the Bible to residents in the health areas on a regular basis. Both are members of Germantown Church of Christ where Leon serves as a Worship Leader. 

The Sandersons say that they are very happy in this loving, family atmosphere of Kirby Pines, and getting to participate in the myriad of activities. Both admit, “We think we made a good decision to come here!

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident of Kirby Pines.