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SALMON’s International Series Sparks Memories of Adventure at The Willows at Westborough

During SALMON’s International Series Mexico event, Marilyn Lyle enjoyed freshly prepared, tableside guacamole at The Willows at Westborough. Several staff members overheard her describing the last time she was served tableside guacamole (that was this good), during an actual trip to Mexico with her husband many years ago. “The dinner at The Willows was really special—the food was great, and I loved the music; it was really fun,” says Mrs. Lyle.

As it turns out, Mrs. Lyle has experienced many adventures in addition to that trip to Mexico she remembers so fondly. She and her husband, Jerry Lyle, have been married for 59 years, and their life has been “extraordinary.” Dr. Lyle graduated from medical school in Washington D.C. in 1965 and afterwards, accepted an opportunity as a general practitioner on a Navajo Native American Reservation in Northern Arizona. “There were duplex homes right next to the medical center, [and that’s] where we lived—it was a wonderful experience. We were right near Gallup, New Mexico and used to drive to Mexico for vacations frequently,” says Mrs. Lyle.

Their daughter was born on the reservation and afterwards, Dr. Lyle decided to pursue another position in the medical field with the desire to become a pediatrician. During his pediatric residency, the Lyles welcomed their second child and made several more moves, spending one year in Anchorage, Alaska on another Native American Reservation. “We were able to travel to St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. We met indigenous people there; it was incredible,” describes Mrs. Lyle.

Over the years, the Lyles also lived in Claremore, Oklahoma, serving Cherokee Native Americans and eventually returned to the same Native American Reservation in Northern Arizona where Dr. Lyle took his first doctoral position. Mrs. Lyle was a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, and Dr. Lyle continued as a pediatrician there for another six years. Their daughter forged many memorable friendships on the reservation; “We received a card from one of her friends on our 50th wedding anniversary,” recalls Mrs. Lyle. Their endeavors on the reservation were greatly appreciated.

The SALMON International Series Mexico event wasn’t the only SALMON stay-cation that sparked the Lyles’ memories—Hawaii was another. Dr. Lyle was born on the island and was a toddler during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He went to live with his maternal grandparents during the war but returned years later to visit his first home. The Lyles vacationed there with their children as well. “SALMON’s International Series has brought up a lot of fond memories for Jerry and I; we’ve enjoyed it very much,” says Mrs. Lyle.

At the end of Dr. Lyle’s career, he and Mrs. Lyle moved to the East coast, where he worked in the public health field in Virginia. After their daughter moved to Massachusetts and had children, the Lyles decided to join her to be closer to family.

They’ve been at The Willows at Westborough since January 2015. Their apartment is decorated with traditional Native American pieces—pleasant reminders of their travels and experiences. “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed living here,” says Mrs. Lyle. “The staff is great, the activities are wonderful and the food is outstanding.”

Staff members recently asked the Lyles if they’d be willing to discuss and share photographs of their past adventures with other Residents. “Jerry wants to,” explains Mrs. Lyle. “We’ve been able to do so much together, and [we] fully enjoy where we are now.”

Since 1952, SALMON Health and Retirement has been serving Central Massachusetts. SALMON’s Beaumont at Worcester community became the nation’s first COVID-19 recovery center for seniors. To learn more about SALMON’s continuum of care with services on multiple campuses and the way in which the organization is fighting COVID-19 head-on, visit www.SalmonHealth.com or call (508)-217-6490.

SALMON Health and Retirement