the Williams Family

A Very Special Place

In April of 1989, my wife, June and I began looking for a residential facility for our 29 year old developmentally disabled son. Doctors had told us that Drue could expect to live a normal life span, and thus would outlive us.

At that time Drue was attending St. Madeleine Sophia's Center day program for the developmentally disabled. I asked the Director, Sister Tita LaPere, if she knew of a good place for our son. Her answer was that the best one in the country was nearby, but she was not aware that they had any vacancies. Nevertheless, June and I visited Noah Homes and learned that they were planning to convert their temporary respite care house into a permanent residence like the other 4 houses.

In June, we were notified that they had an opening for one adult male. What a blessing this was for us and for Drue. After moving into Casa de Felicidad, although low functioning, he began to blossom and grow in his social skills and confidence in himself and comfortable when he was with his peers.

Drue received the love and care which the exceptionally compassionate staff at Noah provides for all the residents. Each of the houses has its own name and live in care provider, and is very much like a family, where meals are prepared and served family style in each home.

Drue, like all the other residents, enjoyed the visits to Sea World, the Zoo, as well as bowling, Special Olympic events, and many other local social and recreational activities Noah made possible.

Unfortunately, we lost our beloved son. His death had nothing to do with his disability. He got cancer in his sinus, and died on Thanksgiving Day of 1999.

We describe Drue as 40 years, 5 months, and 2 days of love and joy. He was truly a blessing to our whole family. It was through his influence on Maureen, an AFS Exchange student, who lived with us for a year, that she became interested in working with the developmentally disabled, and is now the head of the Mencap Society for all of Northern Ireland. She will tell you that Drue was the one who started her on her 27 year career in this field.

Noah Homes is a very special place for all who are there now, and it will be for all the future residents, if each of us does our part to insure its future.

Thanks for the opportunity to tell Drue's story.


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