POST-HURRICANE IRMA

A lifetime of moving leads to leisurely retirement

Vernon Kaskey has never lived in one place for too long. The Vi at Bentley Village resident crisscrossed the coasts throughout his career– family in tow – and even lived abroad for a spell. But when he finally retired, he was ready to plant roots – this time for good.  

“I had always liked the Southeast. The weather, the people, the ocean and everything associated with it,” he said. “Everything but the bugs – nobody likes the bugs.”

A detour to a career
Vernon and his wife Sandra were ready to plant roots after several decades of moving for Vernon’s job in industrial sales for Union Carbide – a job he didn’t initially envision as part of his life plan. Originally, Vernon wanted to become a basketball coach and teacher. But after starting college in Nebraska, he felt uneasy about the career path and chose a new direction: engineering. 

“After a couple of years, I saw the error in my ways and transferred down to Iowa State and took a course in industrial engineering,” Kaskey said. “I did do some internships, but I finally decided what I wanted was industrial sales. That engineering degree was very helpful from the standpoint of understanding product and processes.”

While still in college Kaskey started as an intern with Union Carbide, but before his career could fully launch he was drafted into the army for two years. Fortunately for him, the company was still interested in employing him when he returned stateside. His first stop on his career path with the company: a sales job in Jacksonville, Florida. And thus began a long career in sales management that took him all over the country for in-person training sessions with other members of the sales teams. 

“The big companies felt that that was how to train people,” he said. “I worked in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Chicago. And then back to San Francisco again, and lastly to Darien, Connecticut – for good.”

A surprising move
Kaskey recalls one particular move that came as a surprise after a conversation with his boss. He recalls mentioning to his boss that he had moved as far east as he could. The boss replied that Kaskey hadn’t been introduced to the company’s international division yet. 

“So, we ended up in France for three years in the mid-1970s,” he says. 

Retiring south
In 1988 after a career of moving, Kaskey and his wife were ready to retire. Now empty-nesters, the couple chose Savannah, Georgia as their new home thanks to its amenable climate, and proximity to the ocean. The couple enjoyed a busy, retired life in their adopted home until 2013 when Sandra passed away. 

Suddenly single, Vernon was introduced to Vi at Bentley Village by friends who already lived at the community. 

“I wanted to do something different and get away from a house that was too big for one person,” he said. “A friend I’ve known for 50 years mentioned Vi to me. When I came down to visit them it was with a stern warning that I wasn’t going to move here. Well we see how that worked out.”

An avid sportsman, Vernon stays quite busy at Bentley Village. He and his friends make it a habit to meet up on the green or on the tennis court as often as possible. 

“I am part of a tennis group that plays three times a week,” he said. “I also play golf; the men’s club is active and we have a golf pro who keeps us busy.”
View All Stories

More to Explore