Gretchen and Dick Williams

Gretchen and Dick Williams are researchers at heart. 

After spending several years considering a move and looking at independent living communities in the area, the couple moved to Golden West in June 2015.

Now residents of the Towers apartments, Gretchen and Dick said they preferred Golden West among all others because of its location near the university and reasonable cost.

“It’s also very handy and close to the city,” said Dick, who at age 90 remains extremely active and walks several miles every day. “It’s very easy to walk everywhere.”

Both Gretchen, 83, and Dick have a history of scientific research. Retired for over 25 years, Dick was previously employed by University of Colorado at Boulder as a professor of mathematical sociology teaching students how to model small group behavior. He has also taught at Harvard as well.

Gretchen has a Master of Science degree in psychology and previously worked in research related to the effectiveness of treatment for chronic pain, gathering data from patients at a pain clinic in San Diego. In the 80s, Dick was doing similar research in Boulder and the two met at a meeting of the American Pain Society, which sparked a long-distance relationship.

“We both love to make puns. Dick likes to say we met in pain,” said Gretchen, who moved to Boulder in 1983 to marry Dick. Both have children from previous marriages.

Today, the couple enjoys living together at Golden West, and most appreciate its services and amenities, prime location and engaging staff. But they also value the community’s founding principles: providing seniors with an affordable home in Boulder.

“We really like the staff, and we like that it’s a not-for-profit organization,” said Dick. Adds Gretchen, “They accept people with Section 8 housing, and we felt like that adds a bit of diversity to a community in Boulder. And we wanted to stay in Boulder.”

In the months to come, the Williamses say they are excited to see the results of Golden West’s the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and Renovation Project, which is in its second phase of construction.

Both are impressed with the level of work done on the community’s first floor and excited renovations of that caliber will eventually happen for the entire community. 

“It’s exquisite so far,” said Gretchen. “They just finished work on the Central Tower apartments and are starting work where we are.”

Gretchen and Dick also said they appreciate the breadth of activities at Golden West and all the ways to be active in the Boulder area. In addition to walking every day, Dick enjoys reading and writing, while Gretchen loves the social pursuits available at the community, including Golden West’s choral singing group, theater group and yoga classes. 

“Before the pandemic, I was involved in a couple of activity groups here at Golden West,” said Gretchen, who also founded a knitting group. “One of the things that really drew me here was the number of activities they support.”

Looking ahead, Gretchen is anticipating all the activities she loves to return full-throttle, yoga most all.

“And I can’t wait to see the renovation of the room we use for yoga!” she said.