Past Elder Speak Participants
Carl Campbell was born in Yakima, Washington, during the Great Depression. He learned compassion for the needs of others during this time. When his father lost the family ranch during this time and worked hard to provide for the family, Carl learned to admire a strong work ethic. His desire to enrich the lives of the elderly came from his grandmother, who lived with his family for many years. With his wife, Betty, Carl opened Parkside nursing home in 1954 and today has either built or acquired more than 180 centers in 21 states. At 95, Carl has recently retired.
Born in Leavenworth, WA l933
Lived in the Wenatchee Valley attended schools in Sunnyslope, Cashmere, graduating from Wenatchee High School in 1951. Married school sweetheart ….moved to Tacoma, WA and worked to help husband attend and graduate from Pacific Lutheran College in l955. Moved back to the valley and established our home in E. Wenatchee as my husband and his family opened Curtis Thriftway in May of 1956. We became very active in the community through the Junior Chamber of Commerce organization. At that time E. Wenatchee was growing rapidly and the Eastmont High School was formed. The first graduating class was 1958. I was involved with other J. Chamber wives in many school projects.
We have four children, (3 girls and one boy) and this ledd to many opportunities to be help with Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, Little League…..Dance classes, High School Band, Choir; and active church participation. It was a pleasure to assist friends and family as we supported Husband, Bob Curtis in successfully campaign and serve in the 12th Legislative District for Wash. State in l968 thru l976. This was a very interesting time and we met many new and interesting people throughout the District and State of Washington. The marriage failed and we were divorced in l977. But the Family survived and we are all friends. I then found myself looking for employment…..as I had been the “stay at home” wife. I worked at the school as a teachers-aid and in the County offices and then as an office supervisor for Robert W Belt and company, a small wholesale company.
In Sept of l981 I married Pete Christensen who brought love and humor back to my life. We were able to enjoy 26 years together before his death in 2007. We travel with RVs around the U.S. and made many happy memories.
In 1991 while out of town on a bus tour I became ill and had emergency surgery at which time I suffered a stroke. I then was transported to Leavenworth Rehab and after 4 weeks and excellent therapy I returned home. My husband Pete followed the prescribed continued at home therapy and he was a relentless coach, for which I am very thankful.
To God and all who prayed for this healing I am humbled. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to enjoy the 6 Grandchildren and families….
Patricia (Pat) Rutledge was born in New York City in 1944 and lived there for twenty years. She graduated from Molloy College, having attended William and Mary and taken Journalism courses at Columbia University. Pat married and had her first son in Honolulu, Hawaii and a second son in Williamsburg, Virginia before settling in the Hudson Valley, birthplace of three more sons and a daughter. She was a stay-at-home mom for much of that time. Later she became executive editor for seven trade magazines. She moved to Leavenworth in 1991 and fulfilled a lifelong dream in 1992 when she opened her bookstore, A Book for All Seasons. Pat has volunteered on many boards in the Leavenworth community and in 2009 was the Leavenworth Royal Lady. She also owns Eagle Creek Winery with her husband Ed.
Johanna (Jana) Sparks was born a twin in Seattle on March 3, 1934. She studied at Washington State for two years then married and had three boys. In 1974, she finished her studies at the University of Washington, graduating with a BA and BFA. For many years, Jana taught in France and Germany. In 1989 she returned to the United States and has lived in Leavenworth full time since 2003. She is a certified CNA and to this day cares for Elders who need support. Jana continues her art through drawing, sculpting and potting.
Carl Bergren was born in Leavenworth in 1930 and graduated from Leavenworth High School in 1949. He then left for California where he received his BS in Graphic Design from San Jose State University. He served in the army from 1952 to 1954. After college he went to work for FMC Corporation where he was the art director for the publication department. He retired in 1986 and in 1989 moved back home to Leavenworth with his wife Sheila, built a home and has enjoyed and appreciated the natural beauty and activities of the Leavenworth area.
Joann Morgan Anderson
Joann Morgan Anderson came to Earth on Christmas night, 1933. She was the first of two children born to Verbon and Wanda Morgan. Her parents’ ties to the Masonic family enabled her mother to adjust easily to new situations. Joann had a harder time leaving old friends behind and finding new ones in each school she attended. She went to eight schools in her twelve years of basic schooling, then completed her college degree at the University of Washington in Seattle where she met her future husband, Robert A. Anderson (Bob). He graduated from medical school on the same day she graduated from undergraduate school and they were married the following day.
When their youngest son of three children began school, Joann began studying for her master’s degree in counseling and psychology, which she completed in three years. She then established a private mental health worker’s practice. Along with that, she achieved certification in psychosynthesis, transactional analysis, meditation, unconditional love and forgiveness. She used her ability to enhance others’ abilities to grow and achieve when their goal was for the good of all.
Joann and Bob eventually retired to East Wenatchee, Washington, where they raised their youngest son’s daughter from age five to age twenty-five.
During that time, Joann started writing fiction again and now hopes to publish her first novel. She is also active in P.E.O., A.A.U.W., and the Book Worms book club. She and her husband especially enjoy attending the Metropolitan Opera Live Streaming HD Opera series at the Snowy Owl Theatre in Leavenworth.
Jon Wheeler, age 76, is a retired CPA/consultant. In a career spanning over 50 years, Jon grew from his own practice in Glasgow to a partnership in Montana’s largest CPA firm to his own consulting practice in Washington state. Active in his profession, he was elected president of both the Montana and Washington CPA societies during this time. Jon was also a speaker at numerous CPA and tax law seminars throughout the country and wrote a book on farm and ranch taxation for Prentice-hall. He fully retired from practice in 2015.
Jon and his wife Margaret live in Leavenworth and have four sons, seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Together, they were instrumental in the founding of the Fort Peck Summer Theatre in Fort Peck, Montana and the Grand Street Theatre in Helena, Montana. Both theatres are now nationally recognized companies producing theatrical plays and sponsoring theatre education activities. Jon was also a musician throughout these years, playing in country, rock and jazz bands.
Locally, Jon has been involved on the boards of Leavenworth Summer Theater, Projekt Bayern, the Leavenworth Civic Center Foundation, the Leavenworth Golf Club and Mountain Meadows. He remains active on the Mountain Meadows board as a past president.
Rachel Gutru was born June 14, 1919 in Minnesota and raised in Wichita, Kansas. She attended Wichita State University for one year then transferred to Colorado College in College Springs, Colorado to figure skate as a solo performer.
Once Rachel married and the first of her of two children was born. She devoted her early adulthood to raising her children. She divorced her first husband but soon remarried and helped to raise his three children, too. They moved to Kirkland, Washington.
Some years after the death of her husband, Rachel married again. After his death, she moved to Mt Meadows Retirement Village in Leavenworth.
Rachel says that she tries not to take herself too seriously.