After working for many years in their separate careers of accounting and nursing, Don and Mary Dockerty found themselves working together at a nursing home in Southwestern Michigan and beginning a new phase of their lives serving seniors. Don began serving as the Administer, and Mary later joined him as the Director of Nursing. In these positions Don and Mary found their passion in serving the senior population, but at the same had a deep passion for the employees who provided the day to day care of the residents.
During this period of time, Don and Mary’s three children were involved with their education at various levels. However, it did not keep them from helping at the nursing home on the “snow days” when they had no school and many employees found it difficult to get to work. Thus, began a family passion for serving the needs of the elderly. As Tonya, Todd, and Tim grew they all spent time working in various capacities throughout the nursing home.
As the Assisted Living industry was beginning to make its debut, Don had a vision that he would someday like to begin this new homelike service to seniors and shared his idea with Mary. After discussing the idea with the owners of the nursing home, Don and Mary began to pursue this idea.
Don and Mary fervently believed in placing God in the center of all that they did. Prior to pursuing this new possibility, the project was placed before God to open or close the doors. Their passion was to develop a resident-centered community that would build on the abilities of each individual person to help them reach their maximum potential. This dream became a reality and opened in June of 1997. It was just the beginning of the growing Woodland Terrace.
In addition to serving the residents, Don and Mary believed in the importance of serving employees, their families and the resident families and spent much time working with them and forming strong relationships. Many of these relationships exist to this day. Because they also wanted to serve the community at large, many activities were developed so that the residents themselves could feel they were still apart of this community.
As it was realized there was still a need for communities with the philosophy of Woodland Terrace, and with the help of Timothy and Todd Dockerty, expansion of Woodland Terrace began with there now being several communities throughout Berrien County, Kalamazoo County and Traverse City, Michigan. With this expansion, Tonya Margaritis, the daughter of Don and Mary, joined the team.
Together, the Dockerty family continues with its philosophy to provide a Christ-centered service to residents of all of our communities, to their families, and to the community at large.