For three generations the Johnsen family has continued to provide the highest quality of care available to their residents. Since the opening of their very first community in 1981, they have made it their mission to provide outstanding care in a beautiful, caring, compassionate environment. Helping seniors to maintain an active lifestyle while preserving their dignity have been paramount to the family’s success in the industry.
Doris Johnsen, now 85, was living in New Jersey with her husband, Walter, and son, Len, in the early 1980s. She suffered from pneumonia and had heart problems. Her doctor’s orders were to move to a warmer climate. Her mother, Mary Husk, also had health issues.
“Mom developed Huntington Chorea, a neurological disease,” Johnsen said. “There were no facilities in northern New Jersey. We found one in South Jersey, but it turned out not to be that good either.”
Seeing his wife struggle to find a place for her sick mother as well as with her own health issues prompted Walter to make a comment that foreshadowed a new entrepenurial opportunity for their two families, which had been in business in finance and construction.
“He said, ‘If I ever go into another business, it would be providing facilities for the elderly,’ ” Doris Johnsen said, recalling the words of her late husband. “My husband said, ‘I’m going to build something people can be proud of.’ ”
In 1982, they left New Jersey and headed south.
Today, there are three Hampton Manor assisted living communities in Marion County under the direction of Doris Johnsen’s grandson, Peder, the son of Len.
“This industry was in its infancy at the time,” said Peder Johnsen, who was 3-years-old when the family made its move.
With his construction background, Len was the general contractor for a facility built in 1982 in Crystal River. It started with 30 beds, but had more than 90 beds in two years’ time.
“Once people understood that it was a service that people needed, it took off,” Len Johnsen said.
The family moved from Crystal River to Ocala because of a love for the horse country and the county’s business prospects.
Of the Johnsens’ 32 years of business in Florida, Len Johnsen said, “Anything becomes successful if you stay with it and give it all
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