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Grace Geigel hasn’t picked up a book since she’s been at The Chelsea at Bridgewater, an Assisted Living community in Somerset County. It’s mostly because she’s spending time with friends, participating in activities, and enjoying the entertainment.
The irony is that for more than 20 years, she worked at Dunellen Public Library.
“I loved it,” she said. “I really enjoyed that. That was fun.”
She said she did everything from cataloging to working the computers. She even taught children’s classes.
It all happened with a recommendation from a friend.
“My girlfriend called me and told me, ‘Gracie, you’re home. I need someone to help me with the library,’” she remembers.
Geigel has three daughters and two sons. She raised them in Dunellen, a place that holds a special piece of her heart, having lived there for more than 60 years.
She was a Girl Scout Leader in the borough, even after her kids went off to college.
She was also a longtime Eucharistic Minister, assisting in providing the elements required for Holy Communion.
“They asked me to do it and I loved it,” she said.
She was devoted to her work both professionally and at home. For more than 40 years, she took care of her mom who lived with them in Dunellen.
“I adored her but sometimes I was very tired,“ she said.
It was the least she could do. Grace and her sister were raised by her mom in a small Manhattan apartment on the Upper West Side. Her dad passed away when she was a year old. So, her mom was the sole provider and caretaker.
She said that when her mom started living with her they “took care of each other.”
And now that Grace is at Chelsea, she sees the value in having a professional staff take care of her.
“I like this place. I’m happy here,” she said.