Goodhue Living Celebrates First Year


It has been one year since the Goodhue Living facility opened and a special event is being planned for October 15th from 1-4 PM that will include outdoor activities for all ages, music, refreshments and more. The celebration, like all events hosted by Goodhue Living, is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.

Goodhue Living facility’s Life Engagement Coordinator, Susie Matthees says, “We are excited to celebrate our one-year anniversary. Our community is growing in people, relationships, and activities!”


One year after welcoming the first residents to the facility, it is approximately half full and on target to reach capacity within the next year. The building boasts 40 occupant rooms -- 26 apartments ranging from a studio set-up to two bedrooms for either independent or assisted living and 14 studio apartments in the memory care unit. Matthees states that the memory care unit is very secure and while they are able to participate in all of the hosted activities, these residents are never left alone. “We love our staff,” said Matthees who added that there is a need for more resident assistants, “people with a passion to love on our seniors”.

Missy Shaleen is the Goodhue Living director. Missy grew up in Hastings and currently lives near Ellsworth, WI. Having worked in the assisted living field since graduating from high school, she is now licensed as a director, having gone back to school for her Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration when her 2 sons were teenagers. She says she is passionate about seniors and feels they deserve full attention to detail when it comes to their quality of life and enriching their lives to the fullest.

Healthcare Coordinator, Heidi Taylor schedules things like the upcoming immunization clinic offering COVID-19, flu, Shingles and other vaccines for residents and staff. Other services include a podiatry clinic, mental health, and a Veterans Seminar. Another crucial element for seniors is maintaining a spiritual foundation. All the pastors serving our local congregations offer regular in-house services and communion. Other church groups such as the Rolling Meadows Mennonite choir offer entertainment and socialization.


Familiar faces and traditions can help make the transition to Goodhue Living easier. “We are family, we are building relationships,” says Matthees. “Transition is important to our staff.” They respect the different personalities and tenants’ family members and friends are always welcome to visit and participate in all planned activities. A new calendar and newsletter are available each month and residents can choose to participate in as many-or as few-things as they wish.

Goodhue Living is a community within a community and created a group known as Rooted in Community, or RICy. RICy meetings are held at 5:45 PM the second Tuesday of the month and anyone can attend. The group works to coordinate projects and activities between residents and outside organizations. In August they joined with area daycares to read stories and sing songs. They created cards to send to 2 young boys going through treatments and also gathered back-to-school supplies for Goodhue and St. John’s schools. After a lifetime of working and serving others, it’s their turn to be served but residents still want to do things for others.


One resident donated his late wife’s piano to the community room. This has proven to be a very special gift and is used often by those who volunteer to share their musical talents. Among those providing entertainment are Debbie St John, Mick Benrud, and local piano students. Marty and Marie Dicke also play, sing and share history with the residents. They are especially fond of Patriotic and religious music that brings their past into the present and makes them feel at home. Other popular entertainers include Calvin Ryan who plays guitar and sings country tunes and Colby and the Shakers-the shakers being dried fruits and vegetables that the residents “play” along with the music. Cindy Wilson, a Goodhue High School graduate living in Zumbrota, will return with her accordion on September 11th at 4 PM.

Following the Goodhue County Fair, 4-H kids brought in both animal and static projects to share with the residents. The kids showed off their ribbons and did a great job explaining their creations and left one resident to exclaim, “Today was a great day…because all the kids came to show us their projects and we had so much fun and had so much to do!” Residents also received a visit from the Mayor of Goodhue and Miss Goodhue royalty on National Senior Citizens Day.

Each month the facility creates a theme for their activities. The theme for August was “Journey to the Wild West” which included “Gold Diggers Euchre”, “BINGO Rodeo Roundup” and “Happy Trails to August”, a make-your-own trail mix buffet. The culinary staff always gets in on the fun and will create a picnic lunch and a Kansas BBQ during September when the theme is “Fall-ow the Yellow Brick Road”. Other theme related activities will include watching The Wizard of Oz and other movies, sunflower craft projects and an “over the rainbow” happy hour. “Laughter in the building is our favorite sound,” Matthees said.

Stop in the building at 108 County 9 Blvd any time to pick up a newsletter and calendar and join in the fun. Keep up with the activities and see more pictures on the Goodhue Living Facebook page and learn more on their website, Watch for more information on the first anniversary celebration and be sure to attend on October 15th.