John Leshyn was born in Chicago in 1937, the oldest of four children. His parents were of Lithuanian and Ukrainian descent.
He attended the University of IOWA and got a degree in chemical engineering, also becoming a football player, and played with IOWA in the 1957 and 1959 Rose Bowls.
Elena Ferrer Cervantes was born in 1946 in Barcelona, Spain, but with her parents and two younger siblings immigrated to Venezuela in 1958.
John and Elena met in Venezuela in 1969 and got married there in 1971. He had been married previously and had a daughter who became Elena’s daughter from that day on. They have three daughters, two sons-in-law, eight grandchildren, three great-grandsons, and a great-granddaughter on the way.
Because of his job they moved often and had lived in several parts of the USA (including West Chester, Ohio) plus Spain (Barcelona and Madrid) and Mexico before retiring in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 2001. They are both bilingual. Elena also speaks Catalan.
A couple of years ago their daughter in Madeira told them about a new retirement place that they were going to start building and they decided to inquire immediately. They also researched retirement places in North Carolina and Virginia, where the two other daughters live, but chose Traditions at Camargo because it will be brand new, right downtown, not that far from a larger city that will give them the opportunity to attend sports and cultural events and, mostly, because it is only a short walk away from their family. A roomy apartment, accessibility to fine dining and happy hour made the place sound very attractive.
They feel the Traditions’ management team has been very helpful and has always answered questions that needed to be addressed. Moving long distance is not easy so they plan to stay at Traditions for
-hopefully- a long time.