When it came to moving to the retirement community known as Discovery Village at Naples, Ann Banach barely batted an eye or flinched a muscle.
After all, moving to a new home is old hat to someone who’s done it 16 times already.
Banach has been around the country and back again, thanks in large part to her late husband.
“I was born and had lived in the New York - New Jersey area until the war ended,” the 89-year-old Banach says. “He was a bit older than I was; he was 26 and I was 19, but he was very handsome and had a new car; what else could a 19-year old girl want in a husband?”
Not wasting any time, the two were married six months later, and within five years had a son and a daughter to add to the family.
But instead of going to work at an office, her husband went to work everywhere, and took Ann and the kids with him. Working as a servicer for Curtiss-Wright, the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, the Banachs found their way from coast to coast,following her husband’s career.
“We moved to California and to Florida and all over the place,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful experience. When we first came down here, we lived in Marco Island.”
Her favorite story about her husband comes from the time when he was working at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport while the family was living at the Jersey Shore.
“We lived there for 21 years, but Kennedy was so far from the Jersey Shore that at the end of the day he would get himself put on a transport plane that was going from JFK to the little airport out here,” she said with a smile.
Banach thought the move to Marco Island might be permanent, but that was before her daughter had a baby at 42 and her son’s new baby boy was born with a severe hearing impairment.
“I was happy in Florida, but when family needs you, you go,” she said. “So I moved back up to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and wound up living there for 21 years.”
When retirement time came for real, Banach headed back to Florida and found an ideal spot just 13 miles north of her former home at Marco Island.
“This is the loveliest place,” Banach declares. “There’s so much banter going on between the residents; there’s a real happiness here, and the people who work here want to make you feel happy and feel good about yourself.
“The food is excellent and the servers are very qualified, lovely young people.”
Banach has always been a go-getter; just ask her about her impending 90th birthday.
“I’m waiting on 90 to get here, I can’t wait to be 90,” she says with a laugh, showing no signs of slowing down mentally or physically. “We have great exercise classes for any skill level. Some of them are all sitting down but they show you how you’re still stretching your fingers and your toes and keeping those parts of your body active and limber.”
She keeps a fantastic perspective on her life as she strives to enjoy every day of it. “I’m extremely happy here,” Banach says. “This is the third section of my life. Life is all about experiences, and this life is good.”