Dee Risner’s connection to the Ardenwoods community extends back to the opening of Heather Glen Assisted Living. She is proud to share that her mother, Ada Young, was one of the first residents in the new facility.
Another source of pride and history for Dee is her WNC mountain heritage. Although Dee was born in High Point, the maternal side of her family came from Pensacola, NC, a small mountain township near Burnsville and very close to Mount Mitchell.
Dee’s father moved the family to Washington, DC, for a better income, and there she met Tom Risner, a Hartwell, GA, native. They married and raised three sons, living in Cheverly, MD. After army service, Tom’s career was with the federal government, and Dee retired from the office of the National Education Association.
An active and eager volunteer, Dee was president of the Children’s Tumor Foundation for many years, helped build a Habitat for Humanity home, was a Blue Star Mother, and created a newsletter for troops entitled LAMPS—Loyal American Military Personnel Serving. After 9/11, she founded a group that sent care packages to New York families. She also served as Activity Director in two assisted living facilities.
One of Dee’s passions has been writing poetry, particularly “personalized poetry” for family and friends to celebrate special occasions. Her poems reflect her deep faith and her love for family, friends, and country.
Tom and Dee moved to Greenville, SC, in the mid 1980’s to be near elderly family members. In 2016, they moved to Ardenwoods, Tom living at Heather Glen and Dee in Magnolia. Tom passed away in 2018, and Dee joined us at Heather Glen in November, 2019. She loves to laugh and bring laughter to others, and she has enjoyed sharing poetry, jokes, and anecdotes in reading sessions. True to her history, she continues to be eager to volunteer and extend friendship to her fellow residents and staff. We are happy to be a place of deep connection for Dee and her family.