Center’s days date to 1970s
Back in 1972 a group that called themselves the Lansing Merchants held meetings to promote business in Lansing. First State Bank president Harold Culver was president of this organization. Other members included Bob Morgan, Melvin Williams, Dee Hininger, Ken McCully, Alan Ronnebaum, Lee Lohman and myself.
A corporation headquartered in Sioux City, Iowa, met with our Lansing Merchants explaining to us the advantages of having a nursing home in our town. They asked, "Do you feel this is something that the Lansing community would support?" The members present agreed that this would be a good thing. The city of Lansing approved a bond issue to help with the construction costs. It was originally named Colonial Manor and was built in 1973 with an open house held in January of 1974. Prior to the opening: employees hung curtains, moved in furniture, hung pictures, and did all sorts of jobs to get ready for occupancy.
Plans were drawn in cooperation with the board of directors of the William Small Memorial Home in North Leavenworth. Because the Small Memorial Home was about to close, its seven remaining residents had priority to be the first to arrive at the new home in Lansing. Seven private rooms were provided, and they only had to pay a $200 rate for the rest of their lives. The last of the original seven was Josephine Schuster.
There have been many changes over the years. The starting salary in 1974 for housekeepers was $1.94 an hour. The Beverly Corp. bought the home in 1984. During that time Dale Grunewald was the administrator.
Parties have been an important part of the residents' lives at the home, especially during holidays. There have been talent shows, Halloween parties, Easter egg hunts, Valentine dances, and green beer on St. Patrick's Day. The residents play host to health fairs and summer carnivals in cooperation with other health-care agencies in the area. It has been a great addition to our town.
The name has changed this year to Golden Living Center and the new executive director is Donald Hanzel. We welcome him to Lansing and hope he has many happy years here. We also thank him for some of the information in this article.