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Resident Pioneers Pursue Their Passion For Duplicate Bridge

They are considered ‘pioneers.’ Doris and Keith Nicodemus were among the first residents to move into Monarch Landing fifteen years ago. And in the true, pioneering spirit, there was something great for which they were searching. Not land, nor great riches; these pioneers were seeking the opportunity to pursue their passion for duplicate bridge.

A popular variation to bridge, duplicate bridge is the type most often used for clubs and tournaments. Doris explained that what she likes best about it is that it is competitive but, on a level playing field. “The same deal is played at each table, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a bad hand because everyone else has the same. Winning depends on how well you play the hand that you’re dealt.”

Doris started playing duplicate bridge after college and has loved it since. Keith said he first learned to play on an airplane coming home from his second tour of duty in Korea.

The Nicodemuses had been 40-year residents of Wheaton when they started investigating senior living communities. “It was mostly due to the influence of my parents. They moved into a senior living community when they were younger than many. They’d both worked all their lives and, in retirement, were looking to make new friends. They loved the lifestyle. We wanted to do the same,” said Doris.

She added, “I really wanted the community to which we moved, to have the opportunity to play duplicate bridge. I was familiar with area senior living communities, and none of them offered it. Monarch Landing was new and a large enough community that I decided there was the best chance of having duplicate bridge.” The community opened its doors in July of 2006 and launched its duplicate bridge club in January 2007. A second weekly duplicate bridge game was added and each draws between 12-28 players per session.

There are many other things that Doris and Keith love about Monarch Landing. “I like not having to cook, and I like the meals a lot. They’re quite good,” Doris said. “We’ve met so many nice people. It’s a wonderful group of residents with so many talents. They’re well-educated, and it’s fascinating to hear their stories and find connections. And the staff is great.”

In addition to playing duplicate bridge, the couple plays mah-jongg, and has been on the TV committee, travel committee and enjoyed the indoor pool.

Monarch Landing has clubs for many other games including pinochle, poker, mah-jongg, Scrabble, Mexican train dominoes, hand and foot canasta, euchre, bunco, and more. There are also more than 50 clubs and committees for other hobbies and interests of the residents. “There’s really something here for everybody,” concluded Doris.