A Mesa centenarian didn’t have to mess around with online scheduling or waiting in line to get his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. As a resident of Acoya Mesa, a Cadence Living 170-unit senior community at 6502 E. Brown Road, Hershel Haught was among 65 residents and 28 employees to be vaccinated. Born and raised on a small farm in Indiana, where he played basketball as a high school student and enjoyed swimming, until he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was a meat inspector in the Army and went on to make that a career as a civilian – both in the town where he grew up. “I tried to leave but couldn’t,” he said. “I’m the only man that enlisted and stayed home.”
“One of his greatest pleasures is painting and he has painted many beautiful scenery paintings that hang in his children’s homes,”an Acoya Mesa spokeswoman said. “One painting in particular that he loved was the local Crawford County Doctor with his satchel getting out of his old pick-up truck rushing to a house to deliver a baby.”
Haught moved into Mesa Acoya shortly after the new senior living community completed in 2019. Herschel has two daughters, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. The spokeswoman added that Haught is “a very kind, quiet and very funny man with a great sense of humor.”
Both Mesa Mayor John Giles and Councilman David Luna wrote personal letters to Haught for his Jan. 4 birthday. Asked why he got the vaccine, he replied, “I want to protect myself and others and to keep me out of trouble.” He and the other residents will get their second dose Feb. 15. “This is the first step toward getting back to normal and getting this pandemic behind us,” said Rob Leinbach, principal at Cadence Living, the parent company of Acoya Mesa. “We are grateful for our tremendous team at Acoya Mesa for their tireless efforts to protect our residents.”
The 183,000 square-foot community offers independent living, assisted living and memory care apartment options.
“It’s been an exciting year for Cadence Living with the opening of our second Arizona community,” said Leinbach. “We are focused on filling the growing need for socially-focused senior living options that inspire holistic well-being and allow residents to share community with their peers.”