By Martie Thompson
Henrietta Threatt grew up in a small town in Hungary during communism. She said she was 17 years old when the Berlin Wall came down and changed everybody’s way of life. After high school, she worked as a secretary at a police station and also worked in her father’s gas station business. By the time she was 22, she said she got the travel bug and a trip on a tourist visa to the United States for six months to work as a nanny for a half Hungarian/half American family was her first venture. It was a few years later when she was working again as a nanny for a family in Germany that she met her husband Paul. Many more travels followed as a result of his military career. The first place they lived after they were married was Tallahassee and Henrietta said they knew they eventually wanted to come back to the state to live permanently. The couple has two boys; Paxton graduated from the International Baccalaureate program at Nease and is now at Georgia Tech majoring in pre-med and this year, Max will be a fifth grader at Wards Creek.
Q: How did you meet your husband?
A: I was working as a nanny for an American family on a military base in Germany. We were introduced by a mutual friend at a local German springtime festival. He is 6’6” tall and I am 5’3” tall … I looked up at him and thought, “What am I going to do?” We started dating seriously and in the fall of 1997, his orders were up, so I made the decision to come back with him to the U.S. on a short-term visa. We got married at a courthouse in December and then four months later had our official church wedding when my family could come from Hungary.
Q: Tell us about your travels.
A: A few years after we were married, Paul reenlisted and we started what I like to call our vagabond military lifestyle. Over the next nearly 20 years, we lived all over the globe: Hawaii, California, Virginia, Spain … we lived in some amazing places.
Q: How did you end up in NW St. Johns County?
A: We always had living in Florida in our plans because we love the ocean and nature and outdoor living. In fact, when Paul went to law school in Indiana, he took the bar exam for Florida in anticipation of our move here. He finished up his active service at NAS Jax and then retired in 2012. We had two school-aged boys and we looked up the school system and decided on St. Johns County. We actually went so far as to pick our older son’s school, Fruit Cove Middle School, and we knew we wanted to live within walking distance. When I drove into Julington Creek Plantation, I saw kids riding bikes and walking and it felt family-friendly immediately. We lived there until just last year, when we moved to the World Golf Village area.
Q: How did you decide to become a Realtor?
A: During our vagabond years, I always had part-time jobs in the customer service industry. I’m a people person and I like to socialize. I always said that when we settled down and stayed in one place, I would have my career. When we had to very quickly buy our house in Julington Creek Plantation, I felt I could implement my customer service skills and do the job of a real estate agent. I thought it could be fun and I would meet new people. I had to learn the area and get licensed. Within three weeks, I took the real estate course and the state exam. I was so proud of myself — everyone told me not to be upset, as only 30 percent pass the state exam on the first try. But I did! Today, I specialize in northern St. Johns County properties and am a Realtor with the Josh Rogers Team at eXp Realty.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: We like anything to do with the beach or ocean. We like to jet ski, fish, go boating and scuba diving. Recently, we went scalloping in Homosassa Springs. We also love hiking and skiing in Colorado. I enjoy roller skating, tennis, gardening and cooking.
Photo courtesy Henrietta Threatt
Henrietta Threatt with sons Max and Paxton