The 30 Year Journey
By Tyler Weaber
“The time to rest is when you die,” says Londonderry Village resident Wilmer Grubb as his wife Dorothy giggles in the background. These words of wisdom were passed down to Wilmer throughout his childhood from his grandfather, Aaron Grubb. Aaron and Ida Grubb, owner of over 113 acres of farm here in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. Aaron and Ida were loving parents to 10 children, 7 boys and 3 girls. They were hard working farmers who never missed a service every Sunday at the Church of the Brethren. They passed their strong Brethren values down to their children.
Wilmer, more commonly referred to as Grubby, here on campus, grew up in Palmyra working on the farm. Grubby’s aunt and uncle, Luke and Sarah Grubb took over the farm from Ida and Aaron when they were no longer able to maintain it. The Church of the Brethren had talked about their desire to start a retirement community, a safe, quite place where seniors could go to enjoy fellowship together for the remainder of their lives. Luke and Sarah had an idea. They approached the Church of the Brethren and offered to sell their farm to the church so the community could be built. This was how Lebanon Valley Brethren Home began.
Throughout those 30 years as residents, here at Londonderry Village, the Grubbs have kept quite busy. Dottie used to volunteer a lot of her time over in nursing giving out cookies to residents. “I just loved spending time with our elders”. Dottie started “Nimble Fingers” which was a group of residents who would get together to sew. They would donate many of their handmade items to the auction and yard sale each year. The sales from these events help to support our Good Samaritan fund for residents who have exhausted their financial means.
Grubby was among our first group of security guards here on campus would work 4 hour shifts each night helping to survey and monitor campus. He did this for 15 years before stepping down. Grubby also volunteered his time to help mow the grass around campus. Both Dottie and Grubby have volunteered for years at Londonderry Village’s Annual Estate Sale. Grubby worked in food and Dottie helped in jewelry.
Throughout their years living on campus, the Grubb’s have seen much of campus change as we continue to grow our community. “There was once a time where we knew most people on campus. That has now changed as the community continues to grow. Time has changed. We are just so glad to be here and so happy that the community is offering more housing for people.” Thirty years ago, Grubby and Dottie took a leap of faith by moving to Lebanon Valley Brethren Home. It has been quite a ride ever since.