Overview

The Village of St. Edward: A place to believe together. A place to become your best. A place to belong.

For over 50 years, The Village of St. Edward has provided care for the aging that honors the sacredness of life and protects the dignity of each resident. We foster a deep sense of belonging, encouraging you to safely discover and affirm your unique identity, independence, and wellness in a shared community of mutual acceptance and caring.

Learn more about your life at The Village. Download our brochure.

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Our Story

Today, The Village campus community serves more than 270 older adults. Through its ministry, The Village of St. Edward has touched the lives of thousands of family members and friends.

This is the story of how two dedicated Catholic activists recognized the need for such a place and — along with Catholic Charities, the Sisters of St. Dominic, and countless volunteers and donors — brought the dream to life.

In the mid-1950s Mrs. Germaine Karg (mother of the Rev. William Karg) and Mrs. Anna Doran Walsh (wife of William Walsh) began to call attention to the absence of a Catholic home for the aged in Akron.

They twice approached the Bishop of Cleveland. Though the idea was brushed aside at first, the Bishop finally suggested the women find a group of Sisters to staff such a home.
In Spring 1957, Mrs. Karg and Mrs. Walsh approached Mother General M. Rosalia of the Sisters of St. Dominic in Akron. Mother Rosalia confirmed the Sisters’ interest in the development and organization of such a home.
Convinced by then of the need for a home, Archbishop Edward F. Hoban earmarked funds from the 1959 Catholic Charities campaign for St. Edward Nursing Home for the Aged, now known as The Village of St. Edward.

To prepare for the opening, the Dominican Sisters returned to school for nursing training. Sr. Eugene Beil, with a master’s degree in education already in hand, completed additional studies for a nursing home administrator’s license and reluctantly left education for health care administration.

On February 28, 1962, Joseph and Sophie Jacobs, siblings of Akron Dominican Sr. Cornelia Jacobs, gifted their family home on a 26-acre tract on Smith Road in Bath Township to the cause. They requested only that they, too, could live out their lives at the new home.

Sr. Bernadine Robinson, who witnessed the signing of the Jacobs’ donation of property to Catholic Charities, reflects back on the need St. Edward filled.

“People wanted a place with a chapel, where they could go to Mass and have a priest see them.”

Construction on the 100-bed facility began in late 1962. Catholic Charities funded construction with money from the annual giving campaigns of 1959 through 1962: $1,164,846 in total.
St. Edward Home for the Aged opened with a dedication ceremony on June 27, 1964, becoming a symbol of faith and hope in action. Newly appointed chaplain Reverend Thomas W. McGovern and five Dominican Sisters took up residence and Joseph and Sophie Jacobs soon became the first St. Edward residents.

The original mission statement declared:

“St. Edward Nursing Home for the Aged is dedicated to mankind’s concern for the elderly and the comfort and respect they richly deserve … All are welcome without regard to race, creed, or color.”

The Sisters staffing the home demonstrated their dedication to care and service — receiving only a monthly stipend of $100, plus $100 additional a year for clothing, food, lodging.

Source: Archives of the Diocese of Cleveland

Sr. Eugene, remembered as a good-hearted woman with a severe exterior, served as the first chief administrator. Still today, Dominican Sisters recall struggling employees who often left work with food packages from Sr. Eugene.

Sr. Philomena Cook, an Akron Dominican, recalls working at St. Edward at the time of the opening.

“This was a new endeavor, and it was very successful, but we were tired. We worked long hours with few days off. We had a reputation from Day 1.”

From the start, volunteers worked alongside staff to bring greater fullness to care for residents. In the early days, volunteers helped with fundamentals, such as changing beds, planning socials, crafts and entertainment.
Archived records point to robust social activities for residents, thanks to volunteers. Minutes of early board meetings mention Christmas parties, sing-alongs with piano and accordion players. Volunteers even funded a checking account, reserved to cover costs of outings in the community.

St. Edward’s board leadership included some of Akron’s most well-known names of the time, such as Frank Kaufmann, David J. Towell, Charles Scanlon, The Hon. Nathan Koplin, Adam Bernard and many more.

The St. Edward story is about community giving. Thank you to Catholic Charities, Dominican Sisters, countless volunteers, and generous donors — both individuals and foundations. This is community at work and the very foundation of what is today The Village of St. Edward.

In 1989, a 26-bed assisted living unit was added to bridge the care between skilled nursing and independent living. Ground was also broken for an independent living facility, which opened in 1990. The new addition consisted of Hampton House, Canterbury Manor, and The Village Center, further expanding our options for older adults.

To more fully reflect the range of living arrangements, the name was changed to The Village of St. Edward. In 2004, Canterbury Manor was converted to licensed residential care/assisted living, providing residents the ability and choice to remain in their homes as long as possible.