Resident Spotlight: Julie Grooms!

By Lauren Sanderlin | Publish Date July 13, 2021

This month, our resident spotlight is on our wonderful community member, Julie Grooms! We so enjoyed getting to know her a little bit better and hope you do too!

Where are you from? I am originally from a small town in West Tennessee but I left there in 1950 to attend Rice University in Houston, TX. During college, I spent 2 summers working at Yellowstone National Park where I met my husband, Hobart. I moved to Birmingham when I married Hobie in 1955 after courting long distance for 2 years.

Tell us about your family. I was married to Hobart for over 64 years until he passed away in April 2020. We have 3 sons, 4 grandsons, and 1 granddaughter who is named for me.

Tell us about your education. I graduated from Rice University with a BA in History. I was a school teacher for a few years before marrying and starting our family.

How long have you lived at Kirkwood? 2 years!

What is your favorite thing about life at Kirkwood? The staff, the fellow residents and the gorgeous wooded scenery here!

If you could sit down and have a meal with anyone in the world, present, past, or future, who would you choose? I would love to have one more meal with my wonderful husband, Hobart.

Julie, thank you so much for sharing with us! We are so thankful to have you as apart of our Kirkwood family.


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.

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

My only regret is that I didn’t move here sooner with my late husband. We would have loved living here together. It would have been perfect for us to travel without the responsibilities of a home.

Nell Mehaffey Current Resident

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

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

We love that Kirkwood isn’t only church affiliated, but faith is a very prominent, important part of the community. To us, there just couldn’t be a better place.

Bob Tate Current Resident

If you asked me, I would say it gets better every year!

Robbie Sevier Former Resident of 37 Years

We’re a family. We really are a family.

Bet Kesmodel Current Resident