Assisted-living facility in Duluth Heights draws state’s notice for quality care

When Jeanine Ryan took a job at McCarthy Manor, an independent assisted-living facility in Duluth Heights, she imagined a very short stay.

Ryan, who had studied journalism and psychology at the University of Minnesota Duluth, had been taking classes at a Bible school in Seattle. She came back in 1991, needing a job to tide her over for a couple of months.

“Quick job, yeah,” said Ryan, now assistant administrator in her 25th year at McCarthy. “But John is the most amazing boss.”

That would be John Hansen, who with his wife, Anne, purchased the three-story brick building from St. Louis County in 1987.

The circa-1920 building, constructed as Arlington Home and originally — and briefly — used as a home for people then referred to as “wayward women,” sits amid 10 acres of farmland and meadow. It’s across Arlington Avenue from Chris Jensen Health & Rehabilitation Center, also formerly owned by the county. Together, they once formed the “county farm,” a complex designed for the poor.

The building could best be described as unassuming. It’s a word that also could be applied to its owner, whose aw-shucks manner and easy laugh mesh with his casual sweater over long-sleeved shirt and small second-floor office, its walls covered with Father’s Day cards and pictures from fishing trips.

– Duluth News Tribune

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