Jubilation by Silver Companies takes center stage in love and friendship.
Diane Campbell doesn’t have too much time to talk. Her Aqua Groove class is about to start and then there is her art class. Oh, and she still needs to put the finishing touches on her woodworking piece. But the sounds of the pickleball courts outside her apartment are also calling.
Campbell’s good friends, John Blake and Audrey Cote, are just as preoccupied — with fun.
Campbell, Blake and Cote are residents of Jubilation by Silver Companies, the luxurious resort-style retirement community nestled along the Rappahannock River. Here, there’s never a dull moment. And if there is, it’s only because one chooses it — so say the three besties.
The 207 luxury apartments and the amenities provided to members rival anything found in even the most active vacation hotspots. At Jubilation, members have access to the community’s 20,000-square-foot clubhouse, stunning indoor and outdoor pools, a cross-training fitness center and spa, amphitheater, dog park, wine bar, library, game room, a 4 1/2-acre park with pickleball courts, bocce ball courts and coffee bar, and so much more. Its one- and two-bedroom homes are available in a variety of layouts with amenities that include everything from designer finishes, screened porches and elevators to luxurious walk-in showers, stainless-steel appliances and 10-foot ceilings.
“I fell in love with this place and the people who live here on my very first visit last spring,” Campbell said. “The Jubilation mantra is that the entire community is an extension of your home. And right now, my home has two pools, a fitness center, daily classes in every topic under the sun, a chef, two entertainment directors, dance classes, a bocce ball court — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
Campbell, originally from Hawaii, traveled the country as a military wife for years, holding down jobs in both the civilian and military sectors along the way. The last 20 years she lived in a four-bedroom home with a huge yard in a Fredericksburg neighborhood. Working full-time and busy with her family, she had little energy left over for making friends. Divorced for nearly two decades, she retired twice in her life — the first time in 2013 and the second in 2017 — and said she found herself staring at four walls and watching a lot of made-for-TV movies.
“I love them, don’t get me wrong, but life was calling,” she said. “They always say, movement is lotion for the body, and I realized it was time for me to move both physically and emotionally. I just wanted to do stuff, meet people and get healthier.”
Blake and Cote, who moved to Jubilation one year apart beginning in 2021, found their way to Jubilation after years of residing in homes in Raleigh and Fredericksburg, respectively. Blake’s wife of 60 years, Sue, passed away three months after moving in. Cote had been widowed twice. Between the two, they have 110 years of marriage under their belts.
“When Sue died, I learned that it doesn’t matter where you live, it’s the people you live with,” Blake said. “We were one of the first members of the community and hadn’t had the chance to meet many people. I was blown away by the love and concern after her death. Jubilation held a service here and every single member was there. Camaraderie ever since then has helped me along.”
Cote moved to Jubilation the following summer from her home of 61 years that she built with her first husband. It was her four daughters who encouraged her to move.
Not long after, Blake knocked on Cote’s door and asked if she knew how to sew. He even brought the button he needed sewn onto his shirt. After that it was the hem on his pajamas. From there, the two found themselves sitting next to each other at dinner and, eventually, in exercise class together.
“Everyone has fully enjoyed putting the two of us together,” Blake said. “It was a sight to behold once they got started and noticed us hanging out. We laughed. We still look at each other and ask ourselves how this happened. It was nothing either one of us even considered. But both of us had been married so long that I guess we knew how to deal with each other and the various issues that come up. We are very comfortable with how we each are, and that’s important.”
With seven daughters between them, John has three, family get-togethers are large and happy affairs with all of the children and grandchildren thrilled about their parents’ blossoming friendship.
All three friends said their time at Jubilation has opened up new worlds for them. They’ve found love, friendship and health. None of them can sit idly because there’s so much to choose from, many friends surrounding them and many activities and outings to enjoy.
“Because many of my friends had moved or passed away, I came here looking for new ones. Everyone is so welcoming. Before I knew it, I had made so many friends and we all help each other and look out for one another,” Campbell said. “And we’re constantly going places. Before Jubilation, I had only been to the area dinner theater one time because I could never find anyone to go with. Since being here, I’ve gone every couple of weeks. There’s a whole crowd of us going now, including John and Audrey. It’s such a great feeling.”