You don't often find men like Fred Brognia, a man who found financial stability, raised a big family, endured hardship and ultimately found a life suited for him.

Fred currently lives at the Hard Road CDS Monarch Senior Living Community, which just held it's grand opening in April. He previously lived at the Holt Road community with his wife, Rosemary "Peachy" Brognia, to whom he'd been married for 55 years.

Fresh out of high school, Fred and Peachy were just 19 and 20 when they married in 1959. Not long after, their family grew as they had children. Fred and Peachy lived in Vegas for a while, and he said he had a great life with his wife.

They drove across the country, starting in Vegas, and, after coming to Rochester, Fred tried his luck at the racetracks--and won. He owned eight horses and bet with confidence. Numbers and calculations raced through his head, and when all was said and done after a particularly daunting February horse race, he walked away debt free, hands clean and with money in his pocket.

After years of living his life, taking trips, owning businesses in Rochester and loving his wife, Fred and Peachy knew it was time to settle down and be close to family. "My daughter spotted it," Fred said about the Holt Road Senior Community. It was close by and affordable, so Fred gave everything to his kids, and he and his wife moved right in.

But when Peachy fell ill six years ago, life grew to be more challenging. "I wouldn't let anyone else take care of her," Fred said. He took her across the country to various doctors and specialists, racking up medical bills, but it didn't matter. Nothing would come between Fred and Peachy. And that love for each other convinced one doctor to forgive a medical bill for more than $30,000.

Until one day, "I held her in my arms, and she was gone," Fred said. "After that, I was lost." Fred's apartment was too big for just him, and he lost Peachy's social security income. Months later, CDS Monarch opened the newest CDS Monarch Senior Living Community, and Fred moved in March 1.

"This place is great," Fred said. "[The building manager,] Jennifer is a sweetheart. All the maintenance staff are great. This place is spotless. Everything is very safe."

Fred said now that he's retired and it's just him, he does what we wants. He loves sports--namely, football--and loves being so close to his family. And with a family that includes 10 grandchildren, there's no shortage of love and togetherness to go around.

At 76 years old, Fred lives a life that's perfect for him. He plays his anniversary numbers on the lottery--10-10-59--and, yes, even won on them--and every night he blows a kiss to a photo of his wife, tells her he loves her and goes off to bed.


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"CDS Monarch Senior Living: Fred Brognia"

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