Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2014

Halcyon House

Sep 26, 2013

A warm welcome to Don and Loretta Gardner. They have lived the past 21 years in Keota. Don was born and raised in Washington and Loretta’s roots were in Wellman. Don drove a route for Jewell Tea Company in southeast Iowa for 25 years and drove a school bus for 21 years. Loretta attended Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant and then lived in Keota where she taught first, second and third grade for 33 years and she loved every minute of it. They have three daughters, Pamela Nebergall and Penny Johnson in Oregon, Donna Miller of Brighton and one son, Scott Kent of Chicago. They have five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Don’s interests are fishing in the summer and bowling in the winter. Loretta likes to sew and do crafts. They both enjoy travel to Branson, Hawaii, Chicago as well as attending plays and musicals.

Halcyon extends sincere sympathy to Carol, Loren and the Gingerich family. Jim was a resident at Halcyon House for a short time and many remember when he worked in the maintenance department at Halcyon for 10 plus years. Jim was self-employed as an electrician in Washington.

The Class of '53 held their 60th Washington High School reunion at Halcyon House last weekend. There were 43 in attendance with Halcyon residents Reta Beemblossom and Sybil Thornton among them. The Morrison Center was beautifully set with burgundy round tables, gorgeous variegated flowers and a yummy Bistro-catered dinner of “Iowa” ham balls, roast beef, potato casserole, bacon and onion green beans, seven layer salad with rhubarb or coconut pie. Many toured the new high school, watched the Hawks play from the game room, engaged in conversation and reminisced. Letters were viewed from the classmates that were unable to attend, along with David Horsey’s extensive display of class feats. Out-of-town classmates traveled from Ohio, Arkansas and Texas.

The LGV club of Keota, which consists of members, Alice George, Phyllis Lyle, Alice Greiner, Mary Walker, and Marilyn Luers and Geri Greiner enjoyed lunch on Tuesday at the Bistro. It was great to have new resident, Loretta Gardner join them for lunch and visiting.

Diane and Gary Spurgeon of Normal, Ill., visited her mother, Delores Franzen, on Monday. They had lunch at the Pizza Hut, went for a drive around the area and enjoyed the beautiful day.

Rex Severt was happy to have his daughter, Linda Dasovic of Omaha, for an overnight stay. They stayed busy visiting and eating at the Timmins Dining Room.

Gladys Ferguson, Betty Osincup, Alice Edgin, Marcella Reed, Lois Greiner, Audrey Stark and Mary Ellen Saforek attended the Abrams concert at the Washington Community Theater. Everyone was so impressed with the versatility and talents of these two young men from Canada who come from generations of family talent.

Wellness director, Becky Carter and Mercy Brinning were busy with the weeklong activities that were planned for Active Aging Week that began on Monday with a spelling bee in the Morrison Center, followed by trivia, and games that everyone participated in with a non-competitive spirit. On Tuesday, residents joined the Historical Cemetery Tombstone Hunt at Elm Grove Cemetery. An outing to Keosauqua was a hit on Wednesday. The 13 passengers who traveled to Keosauqua were Mary Meeks, Marcella Reed, Don and Ethel Hendrickson, Maxine Davisson, Bess Edwards, Sharon Merz and guest Lea Smothers, Phyllis Lyle, Betty Osincup, Barb Steele, and Mary Dawson and friend Judy. They picked up lunch from Misty’s Malt Shop and had a picnic at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park. What a great day for an outing! They stopped at the Dutchman’s Store in Cantril and did some browsing and shopping. On the way home they enjoyed ice cream. The Seniors and Kids Intergenerational Programing took place on the patio when the United Presbyterian preschoolers joined a Thursday morning exercise class for an outdoor session. Of course, the group was rewarded with ice cream for all their hard work. Thursday afternoon, there were many takers for line dancing.

Monday’s baking class was a hit as they sampled the sugar and oatmeal cookies fresh from the oven. “Mad Hatter Day” was the theme for the program. Everyone had been asked to wear a hat to the program, and if they didn’t have one readily available, one was provided for them.

Lela Garton was back with an update of her family in her quirky, humorous dialect. “Our lovely Sarah and the fact that they don’t know how the Texas City gal became the farmer she is today. She is a teacher and gardener for Waldorf school in Seattle where her class was visiting an organic farm that has not only plants but animals and she was pulled into to the process of killing and dressing chickens.” She shared a story of "Fall" and it wasn’t the season but a mishap of her falling and how people find humor in watching people as they brace themselves for the inevitable.

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