February Staff Spotlight: Emily Frandsen

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date February 19, 2020

We are so excited to introduce Kirkwood’s new Seminary Intern, Emily Frandsen! Emily is a 3rd year Master of Divinity student at The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and has been worshiping and serving at Independent Presbyterian Church for the past number of years. Her experience is in youth and young adult ministry since 2002 but she is so excited to get to try something new here at Kirkwood!


She will be with Kirkwood through the end of April and her duties will consist of developing and leading a Bible study series on the Psalms, preaching and leading worship on Thursday’s, and visitations to those no longer able to attend services with Reverend Hanna. Emily’s hobbies consist of playing the mandolin, quilting, and serving in her home church of IPC. Her current favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes because in her schooling, she recently studied this book and loved how off beat it is from the rest of the Bible as well as how real the wisdom literature is. During her time at Kirkwood, she is most excited to get to know the residents and do relational ministry with a different demographic of people!


Emily, we are so thankful to have you on our team for the next few months and hope you are as blessed during your time here as we are!



The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents