John Bate and his wife, Valda, have lived at Mease Life for three years — a decision that has brought them much happiness at a Life Plan Community with everything they need in a city they love. After completing 41 years of service as a Salvation Army officer/minister, John retired on the last day of 1999 and the Bates moved to Clearwater, where they lived for 21 years. However, it wasn’t until their move to Dunedin where the joy of retirement living kicked up exponentially.

“We love the city of Dunedin,” John said. “We came from a lovely condo when we retired and this was a very acceptable step to have with this kind of care, good amenities, and excellent accommodations. We are very happy.”

John’s lifelong career with The Salvation Army has given his family an adventure around the world. After living in 10 countries and visiting more than 70, his two children couldn’t be more pleased that their parents found a home at Mease Life, especially because of the close walking distance to the water and downtown when they come visit with all the grandchildren.

And that Gulf view is one of the Bates’ favorite things, too — something they have come to appreciate even more over the past year.

During the height of the pandemic, one of the major safety precautions Mease Life took was to close the dining room and have all meals delivered to every resident’s door. Not only were the Bates impressed with the impeccable service and quality of food, they thoroughly enjoyed creating their own balcony dining experience.

“Every apartment has a balcony, and ours looks north of Dunedin and out over the Gulf,” John said. “We set up a little dinette and it was very, very nice, and we enjoyed that. We like our balcony very much.”

Other amenities the Bates enjoy include the brand-new swimming pool, the library, and the Wellness Center, which according to John is “the center of life” at the community. He also greatly appreciates the dedicated management, the not-for-profit status, and the freestyle retirement atmosphere where residents can be involved in as much or as little as they want.

Perhaps the best way to capture why Mease Life is a perfect fit for them can be summed up in these four words by John: “We’re excited about life!”