Community Homes selects Bob Lerch as May Resident of the Month.

The smile of contentment is unmistakable.

Bob Lerch, Community Homes Resident of the Month for May 2022, is happy to share his life situation with anyone within earshot. “Hill Terrace is the best place I have ever lived,” he says, “I have a comfortable, safe apartment, nice neighbors, and a team at Community Homes that always seems to be there when you need them. It is truly a great life for me at this time of my life.”

That was not the case a little over six years ago. Bob was living alone in a “landlord neglected” apartment in Lebanon County. A bad storm had blown the roof off, and Bob had no choice but to find another place to live. He has two sisters who happened to live at Oak Terrace, and they persuaded him to put his name on the Community Homes waiting list. He was pleased to get notification that an apartment at Hill Terrace was available. He said yes as soon as he saw the apartment.

Life began for Bob over 78 years ago. He was one of seven brothers and three sisters in a farm family in Lancaster County. His parents were tenant farmers, who worked a property for many years in an area that later became Tree Top Golf Course.

At age eleven, his family moved to another farm in Perry County. His grandparents lived in another house on that same farm. By age fourteen, he quit school as an eighth grader, and went to work washing dishes in a restaurant, eventually taking on more responsibility and becoming a full order cook.

His career path eventually took him “on the road.” He discovered the satisfaction of truck driving for the poultry industry, a journey that allowed him to visit all forty-eight states in mainland USA. “One on the trips that stood out to me,” Bob remembers fondly, “was a chance to visit Mt. Rushmore. To see the giant carved faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt carved in the mountainside by Artist and Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was an impressive tribute to our history. My chance to see America. This was formidable.”

Bob drove trucks as a career until his retirement at age 63.

Despite the travel obligations that go with long distance truck driving, Bob did find time for marriage and family. He has three sons – Fred, Christopher, and Mark, and one daughter, Kristy, who are all in this area.

He keeps in contact with his “Oak Terrace sisters” as well but is happy with his living situation at Hill Terrace. “I get around with a walker and take strolls around the parking lot for exercise. I also like the privacy of apartment living to balance the social side in the community room. You never know what will happen there. We have a new resident. Tom Clark, who is a guitar player. He sometimes entertains us.”

Bob was asked the question, “What makes you proud”? He was quick to answer.

“I am proud to be living in a place like this. We are all family.”