Former Mayor of Bedford Maintains Close Ties to the Villa
Since he was a young boy, Dan Pocek, former mayor of Bedford, has had a connection to Light of Hearts Villa. Dan’s family moved to Bedford in 1955 and he attended St. Mary School in Bedford, being taught by the Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Bedford, who later established Lumen Cordium High School.
He was a member of the Bedford City Council when Lumen Cordium High School was converted to a senior care facility in 1989. He was elected mayor in 2000 and served for 13 years. During that time, he participated in many meetings and events at the Villa, including coming to monthly birthday parties for residents. His wife Christy served on the Light of Hearts Villa Board of Directors for nine years and remains active with Fall Fest and other activities.
“Light of Hearts Villa is one of the crown jewels of the city,” said Dan. “The grounds and architecture are beautiful, and they are really part of the community. Over the years, they’ve hosted city meetings, opened their doors to community members and much more.”
The connection doesn’t end there. Dan’s mother-in-law became a resident of the Villa in the spring of 2017 at the age of 93. There wasn’t a question about where she would go. Dan said, “Light of Hearts Villa stood above any other facility.”
He said from day one, the staff has been able to get her involved in activities and make her feel at home. “The facility is really nice, but the way everyone is treated is what’s so special. There’s a sense of community that you don’t see in other places. We’re very happy because we know she’s receiving exceptional care.”
Although Dan and Christy technically no longer live in Bedford—after searching for years for land in Bedford they built a home on two acres in Walton Hills in 2013 just outside city limits—they’re both still very involved with the city and the Villa. Dan is currently the president of the Southeast Chamber of Commerce and is extremely proud of a recent honor the city received.
Architecture Digest named Broadway Avenue in Bedford one of “The 15 Most Beautiful Main Streets Across America” in July 2017. Dan was instrumental in beautifying downtown, calling it out as a priority in in his inaugural address in January 2000 and then empowering his city manager to make it happen.
“I was thrilled to see we were number eight on the list. Downtown is unique and historic. We might live just outside the city limits—21 seconds to be exact—but we’re still very close to the community and all the things that make Bedford such a great town,” he added.
Pictured are Dan and his wife Christy