GOSHEN, N.Y. (July 21, 2016) — Goshen and Glen Arden Continuing Care Retirement Community resident Toshiko Shindo Alden recently celebrated her 99th birthday — considered significant in Japanese culture — with a party featuring  Japanese floral displays.

Alden is well-known on the East Coast for her expertise in Ikebana, a 500-year old Zen discipline in floral arrangement and is a “sensei” or “master” in this floral art.

Alden began her professional career as a registered nurse, serving as a head nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh before her retirement.  Since that time, Alden has devoted her time to her second career as a teacher of Ikebana and ambassador of Japanese culture.  She studied at the highest floral art institute in Japan and received a special certification from the New York Botanical Gardens.

She is the founder of The Ikenobo Ikebana Society of New York. Tachibana, serving as president of the society’s Eastern Seaboard as well as vice president of its New York Chapter.

Since 1977, Alden has taught at various locations and conducted many workshops.  Her arrangements have been placed on exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

In 1997 she moved to Glen Arden where she continued to teach classes and conduct workshops.

“She and her fellow residents have made many arrangements over the past 19 years that graced the table tops for many special occasions and resident art shows,” said Dee Stanger, Glen Arden’s assistant administrator.  “She is admired and highly respected by all of her students.”

In fact, 20 of her students made arrangements for her special birthday, which included elements specially chosen to signify the occasion.

One student chose a wooden container signifying “longevity,” a bittersweet vine signifying “the twists in life” and a colorful flower which represents the “vibrancy” of Alden’s life.

Other students also celebrated their teacher’s 99th birthday with floral elements that were “delicate yet strong, strong but flexible flowers that will make you well and keep you young,” Steeger added.

Glen Arden, the Hudson Valley’s premier Continuing Care Retirement Community, offers seniors 62 and older the perfect combination – independence with the assurance of quality health care, if it’s ever needed. Located in beautiful and historic Goshen, N.Y., Glen Arden offers housing choices for an active lifestyle and support services to help residents live comfortably and independently.

Glen Arden Continuing Care Retirement Community resident Toshiko Shindo Alden with some of the Ikebana floral displays made in honor of her recent 99th birthday.