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The Man Who Keeps The Chateau's Grounds Looking Great

The Chateau is celebrating 40 wonderful years of serving the Cape Girardeau community. Our longevity wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing and dedicated staff, many of whom can count their service to The Chateau in decades! One of our longest-serving staff members is our head groundskeeper, Raymond.

Raymond has kept The Chateau looking beautiful since he first joined our team on November 19, 1985. Originally, Raymond began in maintenance, where he helped take care of residents’ apartments as well as the main building. Back in the mid-80s, The Chateau was a much smaller place. It was just one building when Raymond started—the Gardens opened in 1988 and the first Estates home opened in 1993. Raymond recalls mowing the grounds where the Estates homes would eventually be built, “It used to take me a whole week to mow it.”

Pretty quickly after meeting him, you'll realize that Raymond has a fantastic memory—he can tell you the month and year of special events or when new features came to be across The Chateau’s 40 acres. As we passed the Wildflower Trail, he shared that a resident, Marge Bauerle, donated the funds to build the popular pathway, as well as plant gorgeous Missouri flowers around it. Raymond and the grounds crew keep the Wildflower trail looking great so that residents can spend peaceful time in nature whenever they wish.

One especially memorable event happened in September of 2017, when the whole property received the “Yard of the Month” honor from the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce. Raymond remembers going downtown to City Hall to receive the honor with the rest of the grounds crew, which just happened to be on his 62nd birthday!

Throughout the years, it’s the residents who really keep Raymond motivated and loving his work. He likes keeping the grounds looking sharp so residents can feel at home, plus enjoy comfort and nice views while spending time outside. He said he's always liked stopping by Monday morning coffee and hearing some amazing stories from people who have lived all over the world. “You get to meet a lot of really interesting people,” he said, from university professors to doctors to world travelers. "I have heard a lot of stories." 

When we stopped by the courtyard next to the main lobby, Raymond shared some fond memories of Mary Snow, who donated the funds to build the courtyard and its beautiful stone fountain, which Raymond helped bring to life. Before she settled in Cape Girardeau, Mary’s husband worked as a lawyer for the St. Louis Browns, back when the city was home to two Major League Baseball teams. After the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles, the couple adopted the Cardinals as their favorite team—and Mary was one of their ultimate super fans. The Cardinals always remembered the Snow family's contributions to St. Louis baseball, so they’d often provide Mary with tickets, and Mary frequently shared those tickets with her Chateau family. “She was a really special lady,” Raymond said with a smile.

Another resident, Florence Rossiter, commissioned the sculpture of the Great Horned Owl that greets visitors and residents alike in The Chateau’s main parking lot. If you haven’t seen the sculpture, take a look next time you’re in the lot!

We’re so grateful to Raymond and all of our staff for always going above and beyond for our residents. Next time you see Raymond making his rounds around The Chateau, be sure to say hi, and if you enjoy all of the beautiful green views around the property, give him a thank you! 

Stay tuned for more fun memories of the last 40 years and celebrations of all the great things yet to come at The Chateau!

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