At 82, you might think Wyn Hrdlicka is ready to slow down. However, one look at her schedule and you know she has no plans to take it easy any time soon.
“I just got back from class,” says Wyn. “One of my students dropped me off.”
The class Wyn is referring to is a water aerobics class, one of many water fitness classes she has taught at the YMCA over the last 30 years. She still teaches courses a few days a week and has several certifications. Back when she started, the YMCA had a branch on the Guilford College campus, which was perfect since Wyn also spent 24 years as a Friends Homes employee.
Then there’s the dancing. Scottish country dancing, to be precise.
“It’s a forerunner to square dancing,” she explains. “But there’s no caller calling out the steps. You have to know the dances.” You’ll find Wyn on many a Tuesday afternoon on Zoom with other dancers from all over the world. Hundreds of dancers get together online each week to put on classes and share new steps through the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
And until recently, Wyn enjoyed traveling often. A year after she and her husband, Jim, retired in 2004 the couple “took off with a tent and a minivan all across the country,” she explains, “for three months camping in National Parks. It was a wonderful experience.” The epic journey took them to Sante Fe, Oregon, Vancouver, Banff, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Zion, among other places.
More recent adventures included trips to Malaysia, New Zealand, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Raised in Scotland, Wyn came to the United States when she was 19, married Jim and settled down in Cleveland, Ohio. When Jim’s job prompted a move to Greensboro, Wyn took the opportunity to start a new career and eventually landed a job at Friends Homes in 1981 as a cashier before spending most of her time working in accounts payable.
Over the years, her Friends Homes co-workers became very much like family to Wyn. “It’s a very close-knit family,” Wyn says. “Just a congenial place to work… I never had a day where I felt I didn’t want to come to work.”
Since moving to Greensboro, the Hrdlicka family always lived close to Friends Homes, first buying a house on a street off of Fleming Road, close to what is now Bryan Boulevard. The couple raised three sons, Chuck, Eric and Jeff. Once they were empty-nesters “we hopped up to a townhome in the Brooks,” she says. “Then I kept hopping up Fleming Road into Friends Homes.”
Although Jim passed away in 2015, Wyn finally decided to move to Friends Homes in May 2018. And now, she enjoys running into friends old and new in the community. “The residents were always fun,” she adds. “There are people here now that I worked with years ago. Now I meet people whose parents I knew when I worked here.”