The Hawthorne

The Hawthorne Charter February 2021

Welcome to the February edition of your Hawthorne VIP newsletter.

What do an underground parking lot, sub-freezing conditions, and a little romance all have in common? They’re all in the latest issue of your Hawthorne VIP newsletter. Get construction updates, meet new residents, and learn how PVN and its residents weathered the recent severe weather. And to that, we raise a glass, inspired by the upcoming Sip with a Sommelier event, just one of the many exclusive events we have planned for you.

If you know someone for whom The Hawthorne might be a great fit, let us know by contacting Celeste McCloskey at (214) 355-9935 or For more details and a special incentive for you both, scroll to the bottom of this newsletter.

Construction Update

The construction continues (and the excitement builds). Here, concrete was poured in early February for The Hawthorne’s convenient underground parking lot. Watch the video to see all the action!

For more construction updates, visit The Hawthorne VIP Section.

(Password: hawthorne75243)

Meet Your Future Neighbors

Ken and Ellen Hart

A Zen moment at Fort Worth’s Japanese Gardens.

Ken and Ellen Hart have an interesting and unique love story–how fitting for our February (Valentine’s month!) newsletter!

Ellen grew up in New Zealand and came to the United States to pursue her masters degree in sacred music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City in the 1960’s. Ken chose the same graduate program; this is where the two met and kindled their relationship. Unfortunately, once Ellen finished her degree, she was obliged to leave the U.S. because she was here on a student visa. She and Ken kept up their romance via airmail (remember those days of onionskin paper and airmail stamps?). It would take a whole week for each letter to make its way overseas, but long-distance calls were a luxury at the time, and so for months they just kept the postal services busy.

Ken and Ellen only shared one phone call during their courtship, and that was when Ken called to propose over Christmas in 1968. At that time, you had to book an overseas phone call ahead of time, and the quality of the connection was not a given. So when the moment came to place his call, Ellen could hear Ken but Ken had trouble hearing Ellen. Both could hear other callers speaking in various languages on the line. After 40 minutes of hard-won conversation, Ken decided to save the proposal for a letter, told Ellen he loved her, and hung up. The call cost $245.00, to which Ken’s father quipped, “Whoever said talk is cheap was nuts!” But, Ken says, “It was worth it.”

Even after the proposal was met with a “yes,” it took 18 months for Ken and Ellen to cut through the red tape and get her to the United States. Many countries’ needs were prioritized over those of New Zealand, and in addition, the wheels turned slowly because of the number of women trying to enter the country as war brides. In the end, after composing their own wedding service by letter, Ken traveled to New Zealand to marry Ellen. Neither knew for sure if she would be allowed to enter the U.S. until they arrived here as a married couple in 1970.

Since the pandemic has limited our ability to travel, especially overseas, Ken and Ellen have reflected a lot over this past year on the ease with which we now can communicate over long distances! On Christmas Day, they were part of a Zoom call to New Zealand that had over twenty family members involved. The next day, they had a similar call to England, where Ken’s sister lives. “It was a lot of fun,” says Ken.

Ken and Ellen take turns accompanying Irene’s Suzuki Violin recital.

Over the years, Ken and Ellen both worked as church musicians in a variety of capacities, churches, and locations. Ken earned his doctorate degree along the way and wished to pursue a career in academia. The couple lived in Emporia, Kansas for 12 years, where Ken worked at a regional university and Ellen taught school and music. They moved to Dallas in 1987 so that Ken could work at SMU (“and so that our boys could go to SMU for free!” laughs Ken). Ken was the director of the Graduate Program in Sacred Music at Southern Methodist University until his retirement 15 years ago. Ellen was a full-time church musician, working as both an organist and choral director. She retired from a large Catholic parish 12 years ago.

Relaxing with granddaughter Irene during a looong day at Legoland in southern Ca.

Ken and Ellen have two sons, both of whom have followed in their parents’ footsteps in one way or another. One is a professor of history at Texas Tech in Lubbock and the other writes music for movies and television in Hollywood. They have one granddaughter in Lubbock.

The couple is looking forward to their move to The Hawthorne, and since they already live close by, they won’t have far to go! This was one of the reasons PVN was appealing to them–it’s in an established neighborhood with which they are familiar. They just “felt at home.” PVN had everything they wanted at a fair price and “the campus is gorgeous,” says Ellen.

In his free time, Ken has two main hobbies: playing bridge and cooking. He plays party bridge three times a week with three different bridge clubs. He is the main chef of the house, making dinner most nights. The couple has found a lot of new recipes online during the pandemic, which has been fun (a recent standout was a luscious seafood lasagna). They enjoy a variety of health-conscious dishes. “We’re quite delighted to support restaurants as well!” says Ellen.

Since retirement, Ellen has worked as a regular substitute for organists and choir directors and is very active in a professional organization for organists. This work has dried up in the face of the pandemic, but Ellen stays busy with her latest occupation: sorting the contents of their house before putting it on the market. Ellen also enjoys reading and playing online Mahjong.

Both Ken and Ellen like to travel and look forward to the day when that is more of an option. Top of the list? New Zealand and England to visit family. After all, love knows no bounds (or borders!).

Fair-Weather Friends? Never.

The recent historic weather that impacted Texas and surrounding states is yet another reminder of the many advantages of living in a senior living community. The severe weather, while wreaking havoc, also did something very special—it reinforced our mantra. The mantra of our unwavering commitment to the many seniors who call Presbyterian Village North home, no matter the weather. From providing snow removal and transportation campus wide to delivering hot meals, PVN’s core services were maintained to ensure its residents could count on PVN, regardless of the circumstances. Maintenance issues were resolved, day-to-day activities resumed, and even spiritual services continued to illuminate others (thanks in part to battery-operated lighting).

If you know of someone who would be a perfect fit for Presbyterian Village North (and The Hawthorne), contact us at (214) 355-9935 or click here.

Get to know your future neighbors

Get acquainted with your future neighbors by simply clicking on the link below. Visit for construction cameras, previous VIP newsletters, directory access and more.

Please note, your information will not be shared except with other Hawthorne VIPs. Only Hawthorne VIPs will have access to the directory.

(Password: hawthorne75243)

Hawthorne VIP Website

Frequently Asked Questions

With 66 acres of tree-lined streets at my doorstep, can I keep my bike on campus without having to house it in my apartment?

Yes! There is a convenient covered bike storage rack in the garage under The Hawthorne.

A current resident of PVN and future Hawthorne resident, Telva Gale Wallace enjoys a bike ride around campus.

Michael Flynn, North Texas Regional Sales Director for Houston-based Dionysus Imports

Sip with a Sommelier

Hawthorne VIP Exclusive
Michael Flynn
Friday, February 26 at 4:00 pm

We are thrilled to have Michael Flynn, North Texas Regional Sales Director for Houston-based Dionysus Imports, as a guest speaker!

If you registered for this event, the wine you selected is on its way to you. You should also receive a link to the webinar later today, Wednesday, February 24. We look forward to seeing you on Friday.

Questions? Call (214) 253-8999.

Refer a Friend Today

With The Hawthorne over 75% reserved and now under construction, it’s the perfect time to refer a friend you think would love The Hawthorne, while there’s still availability. As a VIP, you’ve come to learn about all the great things you can look forward to as one of the first residents of The Hawthorne at Presbyterian Village North. Why not share this with a friend? Plus, you could both enjoy a special reward for a limited time:

If your friend reserves an apartment, you will receive a $500 VISA gift card RIGHT NOW.

When you and your friend move in, you will receive $3,500 and they will receive $2,500.

If you know someone you think The Hawthorne might be ideal for, click the button below to let us know. Or you can reach Celeste McCloskey at (214) 355‑9935 or Because great friends make great neighbors.