John B. Willis , CIC
I am a transplant from New Jersey and have been in Lafayette since 1981. While I miss certain aspects of the East coast – the ocean for example, but more on that later – my wife, Joanne, and I love the Midwest – specifically the Greater Lafayette area. Being in Purdue’s backyard and enjoying sports, the arts and a vibrant economy has made this a wonderful choice for our family over the years.
Our daughter, Jenna, grew up here, but traveled with us back East on annual vacations and decided to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work in Boston. That was in 2012, and she has been there ever since! While we certainly miss seeing her on a regular basis, her location gives us a chance to visit her and our other family that remain on the East coast. So, we kind of get the best of both worlds!
Jenna was inspired to pursue her career in social work primarily because of being a foster sister to six girls that we welcomed into our home from 2004 to 2008. Our experience with these girls was as beneficial to us as we hope it was for them. Although they were all re-united with their families, we have maintained a relationship with most of them and consider them an extension of our family. A gift that keeps giving every time we hear from them and/or spend time with them and a gift we are so grateful for.
And the ocean I talked about earlier? Well that’s become a part of our life once again. We vacation in South Carolina in the spring and fall these days and hope to retire there. We’ll still have roots in Lafayette, but I’ll get my fix of the ocean more often, and that will be just all right with me!