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Community Updates Blog: Friends & Neighbors

Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Nicole Smith

Say hello to our Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week! Nicole Smith, director of community programming, is a standout staff member. Nicole is responsible for all independent living activities, playing a key role in keeping everyone active, healthy, and engaged. This quote sums up why she has been a star since before the pandemic, during its height, and will continue to shine long after it’s over: “It’s like having a second family … the residents are like my grandparents. I just love them, care about them, and want them to live a fulfilled life.” …Read More »


Crane's Mill - Meet Estelle

Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Estelle Naunton

Say hello to our Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week! Estelle Naunton lives in a Creekside Cottage with large rooms, high ceilings, outdoor space, and a two-car garage–perfect for storing that convertible!   Take a glimpse into Estelle’s life here at Crane’s Mill and how she has benefited from making a move to the area’s top senior living community (filmed prior to COVID-19). …Read More »


Dedication & Gratitude

Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey residents and staff reflect on the past year to mark the anniversary of COVID taking hold in New Jersey: …Read More »


Crane's Mill Independent Living Resident Jack Bishop

Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Jack Bishop

Say hello to our Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week! This week’s neighbor is Jack Bishop, an independent living resident at Crane’s Mill. Jack’s hometown is Montclair, but he moved to Crane’s Mill from his longtime home of Essex Fells in December 2019. Jack, an avid birder who also enjoys playing golf and watching sports, is seen here celebrating during February’s vaccination clinic. …Read More »


Cristine Franco, Administrator, Assisted Living and Memory Care at Crane's Mill

Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Cristine Franco

Say hello to our Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week! Cristine Franco joined Crane’s Mill in July 2019, and is the Administrator of the Assisted Living and Memory Care neighborhoods. Cristine Holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Cristine has enhanced the life of many seniors through excellence in life enrichment programs. In her current role as Administrator she has fallen in love with the day to day responsibility of caring for residents and has developed fond relationships with residents, families, and staff. …Read More »


Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Mandy Laraway

Mandy Laraway recently joined Crane’s Mill as our Health Center Administrator. Mandy is excited to join the Crane’s Mill team and is looking forward to meeting all the residents, families, and staff. Read more about Mandy’s background in the Crane’s Mill News section. …Read More »


Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Celebrating Centenarian Women

Say hello to our Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Women’s History and International Women’s Day Edition Today, in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we are featuring six amazing women who represent our Independent Living centenarians as our neighbors of the week. Check out their beautiful photos below, and read more about each centenarian of them in our news section. …Read More »


Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Lisa Alfano

Say hello to our Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week! Lisa Alfano joined the Crane’s Mill community in August 2020 as the Director of Admissions in the Health Center. Lisa has lived in this area of Essex County her whole life. She is a Certified Social Worker and has been working in long term care for 30 years, having previously held positions as Director of Admissions and in Social Work. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Human Services from the University of Scranton. Lisa is dedicated to making sure that every patient and resident that enters Crane’s Mill …Read More »


Kelly Berkemeyer Wellness Director

Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Kelly Berkemeyer

Say hello to our Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week! This week’s neighbor is Kelly Berkemeyer, Wellness Director at Crane’s Mill: “My name is Kelly Berkemeyer, and it comes with great pleasure to introduce myself as the new Wellness Director in the Wellness Center here at Crane’s Mill. I have been with Crane’s Mill since 2019, mainly in the skilled nursing unit. I have been a nurse since 2010, studying in Morris County. Prior to obtaining my nursing license, I worked as a professional Emergency Medical Technician for close to seven years; responding to life threatening emergencies within the community …Read More »


Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week – Susie Price

Say hello to our Crane’s Mill Neighbor of the Week! This week we’re featuring Susie Price. Susie moved to Crane’s Mill when the community opened in 1998, and lives in one of the cottages. (Susie’s interview is from a few years ago … she has now called Crane’s Mill her home for almost 23 years!) Susie enjoys gardening outside of her cottage and loves traveling with her daughter and the residents. …Read More »