United Presbyterian Home
The United Presbyterian Home Dining Room turned into a party room Sunday afternoon celebrating Ada Kleese’s 90th birthday that will be on Dec. 31. Ada’s five children and families were able to be here and host the festivities. Family members attending were Susan and Kenneth Hough and son Jason of Urbandale; Jennifer, Tracy and Vivian Adams of Iowa City; Judy and Dave Leavitt of Coralville; Jane and Kenneth Krumwiede and Chris of Mandaville, La., along with Elly of Seattle, Washington; John and Cathy Kleese of Washington; Troy, Pam, Rylin and Logan Kleese of Des Moines; Tracy, Amy, Lincoln, Sophia and Abigail Kleese; Tim, Amanda, Noah, Jack and Isaac Kleese all of Washington; and Marsha Campbell and son Clay of Wellsville, Utah. The family ate supper at the Pizza Ranch and by 7 p.m. they all headed home in different directions. It was a memorable afternoon. Ada says that as a mother of five children, her New Year’s Eve birthday was many times overshadowed with family obligations or other holiday activities and tough economic times.
Santa was seen on the United Presbyterian Home campus Tuesday as he made his way to the UP With Kids Day Care Christmas party. Santa visited with each child and made some very important notes for the week ahead. Some parents and residents also attended the party and enjoyed refreshments while watching the children open their presents.
A large group of residents crowded in the Parlor Wednesday morning to sing Christmas carols around the fireplace. Connie Bauer led the singing and was accompanied by Mary Atwood on the piano. Familiar carols were sung including "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," "Silver Bells," "Deck the Halls," "White Christmas," "Jingle Bells" and "Twelve Days of Christmas." Mary shared a little history of each song. For example, "White Christmas" made famous in the movie "Holiday Inn" starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Stew Bell remembers hearing "White Christmas" for the first time in the year 1942 when he was serving his country far from home with a major case of home sickness. The memory has stuck with him.
The day care children crowded around the train display as Jim Bennett engaged the engines for a trip around the tracks. Plenty of bright-eyed children marveled at the powerful trains blowing smoke. Many children had never seen a working train display before, giving them a glimpse into Christmases of the past.
Numerous groups of carolers roamed the halls this week serenading residents with Christmas songs. The Girl Scouts visited the Health Center Monday evening, and a busload of middle school children visited Tuesday to share their vocal talents and a little Christmas cheer. They all brought much merriment to residents.
The wonderful ladies from Simply Spa visited again this week to work their magic and make everyone look lovely prior to the holiday parties and family gatherings. A manicure or pedicure is a special treat that makes anyone feel special.
The Classics Et Cetera for Dec. 20 included an overture, “For unto us a Child is Born” from “Messiah” by Handel; “As Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson; Christmas Medley by Kate Smith, alto: “Jingle Bells” by the Barking Dogs; Sinfonia in D from the Christmas Oratorio by Bach; “The Shepherds’ Farewell” by Hector Berlioz; “De Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy” from the “Calypso Christmas Album”; “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.
One wonders if we could have won World War II without the golden voice of Kate Smith (1909-1986). Born in Greenville, Va., she at first sang in church choirs, and then went to New York where she got several parts in Broadway musicals. She rose to prominence on radio and television singing “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain” in all of her appearances, and she immortalized Irving Berlin’s ”God Bless America,” which is what won the war. Kate was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1982.