Cue the Confetti… We’re Celebrating our 45th Birthday!

December 11, 2019 | The Villager | Reading Time 2:00 Minutes

On October 12, 1975, forty-five years ago, Friendship Village celebrated its official dedication, and our very first residents began living here!

That day of celebration was the culmination of four long years of planning, negotiation and construction that began in 1971 when John and Alene Markillie of Delton, MI, recognized the need for a senior living community in Kalamazoo.

John pursued the idea of creating the community by contacting Christian Home Services in Des Moines, IA (now Life Care Services, LLC), a company that manages and supports senior living communities nationwide. In December of 1972, he signed a management contract with the firm, and shortly thereafter, purchased a 24-acre site on North Drake Road from the Frays family. Months later, on a cold, windy Sunday in late October, groundbreaking for Friendship Village officially began.

From the beginning, foresight and ingenuity have been at the heart of Friendship Village, and we’ve remained a relevant, vibrant community throughout the decades by always striving to meet the needs of today’s residents while anticipating the desires of those in the future. Residents themselves play a crucial role in the community’s strategic planning through our very active Resident Council and special committees.

Now in our 45th year, Friendship Village is celebrating the addition of many new attractive amenities, including our state-of-the-art Aquatic Center and the innovative FVKLiNKED Smart Technology that’s been incorporated into every resident’s home. In the coming months, even more, exciting improvements are on the way. The Board of Directors has recently approved a new Strategic Plan that features a Clubhouse with entertainment and meeting spaces, a brand new Health Center, renovated Culinary Services, a new Bistro/Pub restaurant, and a full-service Salon and Spa with massage.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Friendship Village provides a carefree and fun lifestyle for seniors of all ages with a host of amenities and services unmatched in the industry.

We welcome you to come and celebrate our 45th birthday with us and see all that Friendship Village has to offer. Give us a call today at 269-381-0323 or stop in for a look around.

Also check out:

Friendship Village Milestones Throughout the Decades

Friendship Village and How it All Started — Written in 1981 by Friendship Village resident Hazel VanHorn