a milestone year

Love is in the air at Hickory Point

Couple married on September 1

By Donnette Beckett

Harold & Review, Decatur


The relationship between Hickory Point Christian Village residents Fred LaBree and Connie Claussen started as many do. They were friends at first. Then one day, he asked her out to dinner.


“That became a habit,” she said.


Friday morning, LaBree, 85, and Claussen, 77, tied the knot after a weeklong engagement. Laurie Brown, executive director of Hickory Point Christian Village, offered to host the wedding at the facility.


“They brought me the marriage license to tell me they wanted to get married,” Brown said of the announcement. “They'll tell you life's too short. You don't want to miss the moment.”


Linda Umphryes and Patti Freithe have watched the bride and groom as they found happiness after experiencing difficult times.


The couple, along with Umphryes and Freithe, are part of a Tuesday night dinner club with 14 other friends meeting every week.


“They were so cute together when they first started,” Freithe said. “You could tell when they looked at each other: They just beamed.”


“They are like two teenagers,” Umphryes said. “He is a gentlemen's gentlemen. You never see him open a door without offering it to her. You don't see a lot of that anymore.”


For several years, Claussen and LaBree were both residents of the Garden Homes in Hickory Point Christian Villages with their late spouses. Their spouses were in the skilled nursing area for nearly a year.


“And we visited with them,” LaBree said about his future wife.


The two couples would eat lunch and supper together almost every day in the same dining room.


“We were here doing the same thing, at the same time, in the same place,” the bride said.


Claussen's husband passed away Aug. 13, 2016. Fred's wife died less than three weeks later on Sept. 1, 2016.


The couple chose to honor their spouses by marrying on the anniversary of LaBree's wife's death. “This is a bitter-sweet day,” he said.


Wedding guests understood the sentimental reason behind the date. LaBree's step-daughter, Mary Hipsher, said the late spouses each gave the other their approval to marry again.


“Go out and enjoy your life,” Hipsher remembered hearing.


The wedding took place in the fireplace area of the facility, decorated with yellow rose arrangements. The reception consisted of a meal along with cupcakes for family, friends, staff and residents.


“We just put signs up to make sure the residents were aware so they could attend,” Brown said.


Both are in good health and believe it is possible to be married 50 years.


“We'll try that,” LaBree said. “Now a days that's not too old.”

a milestone year

We were blessed with another great year!

Exciting Community News

Employee news

  • 7th year for skilled care
  • New van purchased for transporting our    
  • Donated 223 pounds of food to WSOY
         Community Food drive!
  • Celebrated a resident's 101st Birthday!
  • Hosted a wedding for two residents
  • Focusing on building relationships and furthering our mission to honor God
  • Mary Hodge has worked at a CH community for 37 years, starting at Fair Havens before moving to HPCV
  • Craig Calhoun in maintenance is celebrating 15 years
  • Diana Gilbert, payroll and schedule coordinator, is also celebrating 15 years
  • Lisa Huff - AL RCS, 11 years
  • Celebrating 10 years includes:
    • Christy Rickman, Food Service Director
    • Laurie Brown, Executive Director
    • Tiffany Wrigley, Community Liaison
    • Patrice Spruell, Dietary
  • Tammy Lyons is now the assistant Housekeeping Supervisor

Upcoming Events:

Whether it be live music, birthday parties, holiday parties or visits from local schools - we always have something exciting going on at Hickory Point!


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Helping our residents thrive

Thank you to our volunteers and supporting churches! Your continued support in our mission through volunteering, gifts and prayer help our residents thrive.




volunteer hours


partnering churches

Supporting Churches:

Mound Chapel Church of God

St. Johns Lutheran Church

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church

First Christian Church

Grace United Methodist

Holy Family

Moundford Free Methodist

Our Lady of Lourdes

South Shores Christian Church

St. James

St. Thomas