Villa del Sol to host open house for retiring social worker

Kirstan Condit of Marshalltown may have bittersweet feelings when she leaves Villa del Sol HealthCare Center on her last day of work March 15.

She will no longer have the day-to-day, one-to-one contact with Villa’s many residents.

Condit is retiring after 17-plus years as a social worker where she dutifully served residents and their families.

“I’ve learned from some very wise people at Villa,” she said. “I’ve known many centenarians, and they have been inspiring. I’ve seen many age very gracefully … I’m hoping I can follow in their footsteps. The best part of my work is meeting people, learning their stories and being able to offer assistance and support through difficult times. I have learned many life lessons from the knowledge, wisdom and faith others gained through their life experience.”

Offsetting that loss will be knowledge there will be more time to spend with family at Summer Breeze – the family’s acreage in rural Marshalltown – home to many cats, dogs and horses.

There will be more time to engage in photography of two of her favorite subjects – horses and grandchildren.

Kirstan and spouse Rick have raised quarter and paint horses for a number of years.

“I wouldn’t call it a hobby or a business … but rather a lifestyle,” she said.

The Cedar Falls native also spoke of having more opportunities to reciprocate children and grandchildren’s visits. They live in Minneapolis, Minn. and Columbus, Ohio.

As a youth, Kirstan found herself drawn to older adults.

“I was the youngest of three children,” she said. “And I spent much time in the company of great aunts … they were very special to me.”

She found a career serving the aged by what she light-heartedly termed “going backwards.”

She and Rick married while attending Iowa State University.

Their schooling was interrupted by his tour of duty in the United States Air Force.

He returned to school, and accepted a job offer from Emerson Process Management while Kirstan stayed at home with the children.

She also volunteered throughout the community.

A desire to return to college brought her back to her hometown, this time as a student.

“I was a non-traditional college student at the University of Northern Iowa and my focus changed to Family Services and Gerontology,” she said. “I am forever grateful for several college professors who encouraged me to enter that field and instilled in me a desire to help the elderly.”

Also grateful is Tammy Olson, Villa administrator.

“Kirstan had a huge impact during her tenure at Villa,” Olson said. “She has been a respected and valued employee. She excelled at working one to one with our residents and families, and getting to know all personally. Additionally, she also served as Villa’s community representative in a number of important venues in the Marshalltown area. She is a special person.”