February 13, 2023 -- Galentine’s Day is celebrated on February 13 – the day before Valentine’s Day. The purpose of Galentine’s Day is to celebrate and honor the connection and friendship women have with their female friends. In honor of Galentine’s Day, we interviewed a few women in our community about the importance of female friendship and the friends they have made here.
Marilyn Hagy and Gwen Punchard are both residents of Rydal Waters and true “Golden Girls.” Gwen and Marilyn both graduated from Ursinus College but didn’t know each other at the time. Their husbands were childhood friends, and over a 40-year-plus friendship they got to know each other very well. They both had careers in education, which deepened their bond.
Marilyn’s husband passed away in 2007, and Gwen’s husband passed away in 2008. When Gwen’s husband passed away, she was really struggling with her loss. Marilyn invited her to travel to St. Kitt’s for a girls’ week. Marilyn said, “I had already been through all of the grieving so I knew it was important for Gwen to get away from it all!” After that, they’ve made it an annual tradition with other girlfriends.
“Marilyn really helped me through a very difficult time in my life,” said Gwen. It’s important to have good girlfriends to get you through the hard parts of life.”
Marilyn was one of the first residents at Rydal Waters in 2020, as she wanted to live closer to her adult daughter. Marilyn tried to convince Gwen to move to Rydal Waters, but Gwen describes herself as the “runaway bride” not ready to make the leap. However, with a lot of encouragement from Marilyn she finally moved into her own cottage in March 2022.
Marilyn and Gwen have traveled to countries including Africa, China, France, Cuba, Norway and Iceland together, and have also brought their grandchildren on vacation with them. Marilyn started the tradition of taking each of her five grandchildren on trips and Gwen thought it was a great idea too.
Marilyn and Gwen participate in many of the social activities at Rydal Park & Waters including holiday parties, exercise classes, and the Singular Focus group. We are glad they are part of our community!