Meet Tim Donovan
CHAIR OF THE EXECUTIVE LIAISON COMMITTEE
Tim Donovan told us about his background, how he came to live in Shenandoah, and how convinced he is that newcomers will love the community.
Tell us a bit about your career and family.
I graduated from Vermont’s Norwich University in 1962. While I waited for my Army active duty assignment, I started a ski school for kids in my home town of Bristol, Connecticut. That’s where I met my wife, Jackie. We were married at just about the time I started my Army career. In my 31 Army years I served several tours in Germany, two in Viet Nam, and finished up here in the States as Professor of Military Sciences and Commandant of Cadets at Norwich, my alma mater. After leaving the Army I worked for a time in Herndon VA at EWA, Inc., as VP for Strategic Planning.
Jackie and I have three children – Kristen, Michael, and Kim. Our daughters live nearby and our son is an Army lieutenant colonel stationed in Colorado.
How did you and Jackie find Shenandoah?
We saw an ad, came for a visit, and fell in love with it immediately. We bought our home when there was nothing here but a trailer and a couple of dirt roads. That’s how strongly we felt it would be the right place for us. We liked the idea of settling in an area that’s not only beautiful, but rich in history. I’m a history buff, and I was sure I’d never run out of historical sites in the Shenandoah Valley, where both pre-Revolutionary and Civil War sites are all around us.
What’s your perspective on making new friendships here?
Get involved! There are clubs and activities to satisfy absolutely every interest. Look at our activities calendar; there’s something for everyone. Although it’s an age-restricted community, it’s full of energy. Major events and activities attract nearly the whole community. Everyone knows everyone else and we can always count on a friendly wave and a warm greeting when we see one another.
We like that it’s not a community that’s centered on a single interest, like golf or tennis, although these are of course available. There is so much to do! Jackie’s only complaint is that there’s too much to choose from and she can’t make up her mind which event to attend.
How does living in the Shenandoah Valley impact the quality of residents’ lives?
I think it’s important to all of us here that we live in a pristine environment but we’re close to all the urban pleasures of Washington DC, and to lesser extent farther-away but still reachable cities like Baltimore, Richmond, and Philadelphia. Even New York is within easy driving distance. Living close to universities and colleges makes for a lively intellectual scene, and there are plenty of theaters and music venues. Students infuse the area with youthful excitement, so we’re denitely not stuck in an “old folks” environment.
Excellent restaurants are minutes away and there are endless recreational opportunities – great skiing, boating, biking, swimming, hiking. The Appalachian Trail and the Skyline Drive are magnicent for autumn foliage. And I’ve already mentioned the great historical sites. And when you’ve got the travel itch, getting in and out of this area is easy – we can jump on Interstate highways in minutes, and Dulles Airport is only about an hour away.
What’s the best advice you have for potential residents?
Come for a Stay and Play visit. Looking around in the company of a resident is very persuasive. Research the surrounding area – you‘ll find that you can’t run out of resources, and there’s going to be something you love to do, either a long-time interest or one you’re going to discover here.
The area offers excellent health care. And taxes are reasonable in Virginia, which www.TopRetirements.com has named in its list of Best States for Retirement. Costs for car insurance and most utilities are lower than in most states. And by the way, our own HOA fee is more than reasonable when you consider all that you’ll be entitled to.
Then there’s the moderate climate. Spring is delightful, Summer is frankly a little warm, Winter is usually mild, and Autumn is spectacular.
PLAN YOUR VISIT NOW!!
GPS INFO: 128 RUFFED GROUSE COURT, LAKE FREDERICK VA 22630
THE WELCOME CENTER IS OPEN TUES-THUR 11 to 4, FRI-SUN 11 to 5