PENNY FARMS – When Paul Stake was in ninth grade he met Janet, a cute eighth grader who caught Paul’s eye. They attended school together and became close friends. They also attended the …
PENNY FARMS – When Paul Stake was in ninth grade he met Janet, a cute eighth grader who caught Paul’s eye. They attended school together and became close friends. They also attended the neighborhood youth group from the same church, drawing them even closer as friends. Being involved in the youth group of their church gave them many opportunities to participate in church sponsored activities.
Upon graduation from high school, Janet attended Berkeley Secretarial School, however she really wanted to go to nursing school, but it never worked out, so she began working with a drug company as a secretary with RCA in the patent legal department.
She and Paul were married in 1956, and together they had one son. Their son now lives in Jacksonville and he and his wife have two sons of his own.
When asked what impressed Janet the most about Paul, she said, “He had strong opinions and knew what he wanted to do. He seemed to always know what he wanted to be and where he wanted to go in life.” Janet was always open for a new adventure. She loved to travel and try new things and of course was always ready to see new places and take trips with the youth group at church.
Paul was born in New Jersey and had three brothers. Paul launched into his life work preparing for the ministry. He began his studies at Grove City College where he earned a BA. He went on to earn his M. Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and later earned a D. Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary. During his studies at Princeton they were exploring the development of new styles of ministry. One of those was Penney Retirement Community, along with two other ministries.
The first church that they served was in Rochester, MN. Caught up in his first ministry and beyond, these social ministries that had been explored in the past were all but forgotten. This led to the opportunity of serving the Lord in Aberdeen, Scotland, where they ministered as assistant pastor in the church for one year. Having a Scottish background made their adjustment easy and they found that they had cousins and relatives there.
Being in the ministry gave them many opportunities to see new areas of the country and work with different people. They went to Brooklyn, N.Y., where they served for five years in a church there. They went on to another ministry in St. Petersburg, where they served the longest. In all they served eight churches over a period of 59 years.
During his ministry at St. Petersburg, the Stakes took a field trip with the church to Saint Augustine. As they returned home by way of Route 16, suddenly there was a mirage along the highway. It was the golf course at Penney Retirement Community. Since they were on their way back to Saint Pete, they determined to return and check out Penney Farms. They did return and put their name on the waiting list along with a deposit. They changed their mind once, but they returned to put their name back on the waiting list. And that’s how they came to live at Penney Retirement Community.
One of the interesting things about the Stakes is their hobbies. Paul has a large collection of royalty coronation items, as well as a very large postcard collection, and a collection of Christmas Ornaments. Paul enjoys needlework and handcrafts. They also like to travel, take in auctions and enjoy seeing new places. Janet’s favorite things are embroidery and gardening. No, she doesn’t have a garden plot in the gardening section but takes care of the garden around their home. For several years she managed the church thrift shop, and enjoys handcrafts, collecting and reading.
Paul spent some hours researching retirement communities and studied all he could about PRC. Janet especially was moved by the openness and friendliness of the people at PRC, which eventually drew them to settle in our lovely community. On occasion Paul preaches a timely message at Penney Memorial Church.