resident, tomatoes and garlic

Lee Atene spreads friendship and faith with Italian flavor

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Lee Atene knows each of her fellow residents by name

“I love talking with people and getting to know their stories,” says Lee Atene. “That’s part of what I do here—be a friend to all the new people.”

Talking with her, it’s easy to see why Lee’s chatty, open personality makes her the unofficial Seabury Woods “ambassador”—she welcomes each new resident as they get settled into their new home.

Before her own move to Seabury Woods in May 2016, Lee lived with her family for almost ten years after her husband Carlo passed away. “I loved being with my family, but as the kids got older, it was time to move on, and I wanted to make some new friends,” says Lee. “There’s so much to do here, and I like the exercise classes and helping out where I can.”

Lee looked at several other assisted living communities in Rochester, but says that the apartments and welcoming feel she got at Seabury Woods were unmatched anywhere else. She also had trouble finding apartment options with real kitchens. A fully equipped kitchen was still a necessity for Lee at the time. She loved to cook and wanted to continue one of her favorite pastimes, but has since given up the hobby. Fortunately, the dining options at Seabury Woods fill the void.

Cooking and baking were always a passion for Lee and her husband. Carlo was from Italy, and after they were married, she made Italian bread from scratch every week, and every Saturday was pizza night. They had a big garden, and one year she planted 72 tomato plants, and canned each and every one! “The joy of cooking is still a big part of my life–I especially love it when my granddaughter comes over to bake cookies,” she says with a smile.

“Moving here has made my life so much better,” says Lee. “Making the move was a little scary, but I’m so glad to be here where I can do things with friends and enjoy myself.”

And Lee is more than a resident of Seabury Woods. She’s also an active volunteer here. Among the many ways she helps her neighbors, she leads a Stephen Ministry for her church (Trinity Emanuel Lutheran) each week—another way she cares for others.

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