Retirement Is An Opportunity to Serve Your Community in a New Career

Ask Frank Becerra, Highland resident who provides transportation for older adults at Residences at Deer Creek Senior Living in Schererville, what he thinks about his new role, “It’s so rewarding to be helpful to residents and their families.  They can put away worry about getting to medical appointments because I’m here to drive them safely, chat along the way, and reassure them.” Many times, Frank is the first of the welcome wagon, to greet and welcome new residents as he brings them from stays in rehab to their new home at Residences at Deer Creek. 

Frank says his prior corporate career was one that emphasized customer service. Right out of high school he began a job with First Midwest Bank (now Old National) that evolved many times through new owners over the 42 years he spent with the financial institution. “When you think about it, customer relationships and service is what differentiates one bank organization from another. It was as if we could only sell service to be that step above others,” he explains.  “My role as Vice President of Lending – Retail and Consumer Loans-created opportunity to learn how to identify problems or issues, finding and executing solutions for resolution,” he continued.

While Frank remained in the banking world for so many years, his sense of realizing there’s always something new to learn and somewhere else that needs that knowledge, led him to use his financial acumen with St. Paul Catholic Church, his parish, while he was a Valparaiso resident and his three daughters attended St. Paul School. He was very involved in fundraising.  He introduced the concept of holding an auction for the school’s annual fundraising campaigns, which they continue to use every year, as it has proved so successful.

Since relocating in 2008 Frank and his family have been active in their Highland parish Our Lady of Grace.  Frank also has an intense knowledge of the Catholic catechism as he spent 5 ½ years studying in seminary.

There’s another banker in the family; Frank hired Lupe years ago and she later became his wife of 26 years. They enjoy four grandchildren and their youngest daughter is at St. Francis School of Nursing in Crown Point. Add to the household three dogs—a Maltese, a Yorkie, and what Frank calls their “half and half.”

Retirement Doesn’t Mean Retirement When You Live a Lifetime of Service

Frank’s background is important because it set the stage for his second career at Residences at Deer Creek.  Obviously Frank has been a caring individual and a great listener. He began a part-time job as their bus driver and found yet another need.  Older adults have a lot of stories. They need someone to listen to these slices of life and accomplishments. Older adults are historians; they can share so much about life experiences. They have the ability to unfold drama in cities and towns from years gone by. 

Frank saw yet another opportunity to share his expertise in listening and talking with the residents. He would see them at the tables in the dining area. He saw he could start yet another endeavor to use his capabilities, so he asked whether he could join the Server staff.  Welcomed with open arms by everyone, from the Chef and kitchen staff to the residents, Frank can be seen donning an apron and going from table to table, once again chatting with residents and offering encouragement wherever there’s a need. Incidentally, Frank had been a manager at Briar Ridge Country Club, so he was familiar with dining services. 

One career can easily become a stepping stone to another. When asked whether volunteering at an assisted living community would be a good idea for other retirees, Frank paused to conclude that yes, if a person was an older adult it would be a good fit because he says “I identify equally with older adults.” Nevertheless he believes it takes a special person, to be able to focus on the other. Frank says it is a humbling experience and that he has learned a lot—not to complain and to appreciate your life.

Everyone at Residences at Deer Creek thinks of Frank as a special person. According to Frank, working part-time suits this retiree just fine!  Finding another opportunity doing something you love after spending a lifetime in employment can be an excellent match when you love serving others. We encourage all ages, from high schoolers who want to learn how to serve in our dining area to older adults who just seek a part time job in a beautiful environment,  to visit our website for career opportunities at  We invite you to come and serve with us!

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