You are here

Bernice Weede Havlicek, GN ′40

On December 12, 2017, Jane Roth wrote:

My mother, Bunny Havlicek, and I share a home in Lake View. The key words in this introduction are "share a home" vs. what others may call "living together." We share in the ownership, the financial maintenance and the joy of being together as mother and daughter. This is especially remarkable, as my mother will have celebrated a 100th birthday in November. As this is written, we continue to share a passion for books, our faith, and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Our journey in sharing a home started in the mid-1990s. My parents moved to the area from the Chicago suburbs to be near me, their only child, as I balanced next steps post-divorce. I had spent many years working in the House and Senate on Capitol Hill before transitioning to the private sector, where 1 am Director of Global Real Estate for Ellucian in Reston. My parents and I jointly decided it made more sense to be together than to purchase two separate homes and bought a home in Leesburg's Woodlea Manor community. After we settled in, mother and I met a new challenge; my father, Frank Havlicek, started a slow and painful decline with Alzheimer’s. We cared for him at home for many years until his death in 2003. Let me be quick to state that I had the easier role; I went to work each day. Mother was there all day every day to support my father.

After dad's passing, we took the time to enjoy each other and also knew it was time to leave a large home and to have a master bedroom on the first floor. We found the perfect home on Harbour Town Terrace and Bunny Havlicek and Jane Roth moved in the spring of 2008. It was and continues to be a very positive move for us. Mother maneuvers the first floor and loves taking in the sun on the patio, and I have taken over the upstairs. It works well for us as we respect each other’s separate space, but so love being together.

If your interest is piqued on the Iowa Hawkeyes, my mother is class of 1940, College of Nursing. She and my father, Frank Havlicek, also an Iowa grad, met in Iowa City at a party. They were the only singles invited. My mother can share a powerful story of working on the wards on December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and the impact was felt even in Iowa. The University of Iowa remains a strong foundation for our family. Our philanthropic focus is the Havlicek scholarship at the College of Nursing helping those like my mother achieve their dream of becoming a nurse.

Love, kindness, a sense of humor and—most important—listening to each other we believe are the cornerstones of sharing a home. In closing, it is a joy to share this comment from my mother, "I think it is wonderful Jane and I can enjoy each other; how blessed I am to be with my daughter at this milestone chapter of my life."