Eskaton believes in the beauty of what time can teach us. Wisdom,
respect, growth and resiliency. This is expressed through
capturing life stories, lessons learned and the wisdom only our
elders can share with us.
At 85-years-old, Homer Nottingham has been a vibrant beacon of
wisdom and healing in the Grass Valley region for over a
quarter-century. With his deep understanding of QiGong and Tai
Chi, he’s touched countless lives. But how did a former Vice
President of American Express fall in love with this ancient art?
The story unfolds in the bustling streets of 1980s Hong Kong. On
a business trip, destiny steered Homer towards a local park where
a mesmerizing Qigong class was in session. Swept up in the serene
flow of movements, he found a haven from his intense 60-hour
Kayoko (Kay) Sakaguchi, 82, has overcome many obstacles
throughout her life starting with spending a portion of her
childhood in a Japanese internment camp with her family. After
facing many hardships there, her family later relocated to Japan,
where she learned incredible life lessons from her parents that
she still carries to this day, like the value of hard work,
perseverance and determination. After high school, she moved to
America where she was a dedicated and dependable employee for two
companies for over 44 years.
Some people spread joy wherever they go, and John Roe is one of those people. As a teen, he began working at Disneyland, playing the roles of various beloved characters and ensuring anyone he came into contact with left with a smile. During his time in the Navy, John continued positively impacting those around him and using his gift of creating a positive atmosphere no matter where he went. He still spreads joy within his community today, bringing smiles to those around him.
Jacqueline Hairston is an accomplished pianist and composer and continues living out her dreams to this day. She has been passionate about music for as long as she can remember and as a young girl, would drum her fingers along the kitchen table, pretending to play the piano. Her parents quickly noticed and she began piano lessons. Her passion never waned and her impressive talents earned her an invitation to perform at world-renowned Carnegie Hall.
Bonnie Cushing worked as a nurse throughout her career and is the mother of three children, two boys and one girl. Bonnie loves to dance. She began tap dancing at the age of five, and at the age of ten, she competed in her first tap dance competition at the World’s Fair on Treasure Island. Bonnie tap danced until she was 68 years old and then moved on to ballroom dancing.
At Eskaton, we pride ourselves in providing compassionate, professional care and valuable resources for older adults and their families across Northern California and throughout the state. An important aspect of being a thought-leader in our industry is our dedication to innovative thinking and being a catalyst for change.
A young girl of 15 clambers out of an oil truck and onto the wings of a plane, swiftly filling its tanks with gas and oil before it roars down the runway, a young Army recruit just learning to fly behind the controls. Her sister, just two years older, sits in the cab, hollering at her younger sibling to hurry so they can fuel the next waiting aircraft. Both young women have put their high school educations on hold to work at the airfield, because if they hadn’t, they (and the rest of their family) wouldn’t be eating that night.
If you’re lucky enough to catch Gloria Ruth out and about at The Reutlinger Community in Danville, CA, make sure you’ve got your best smile ready. Known as the community’s “resident paparazzi,” Gloria has been snapping pictures of the care team, fellow residents and the beautiful grounds since she arrived in 2012. Her shiny red camera—a gift from the TRC staff as a thank you for her contributions to the life and culture of the community—is almost as familiar as her irresistible laugh and good-natured sense of humor.
For Stocktonian and O’Connor Woods resident, Glen Mortensen, “going back to the drawing board” is just another Monday morning. Architect, dreamer, and perpetual problem-solver, the man once dubbed “Stockton’s Leonardo da Vinci” has been putting his creative mind to good use for nearly a century. And he’s nowhere near packing up his drafting tools and calling it a day.
Sometimes the path of life takes us places we’d never thought we’d go, and yet, we find ourselves right where we were always meant to be. For Eskaton Village Grass Valley resident Inge Roberts, this is especially true. Born in Berlin in 1938, Inge spent the early years of her childhood scrambling for the safety of her father’s pre-stressed concrete basement while bombs from Allied planes rained from the sky. When the second Great War was finally over, Berlin was decimated, but Inge and her family were alive and safe—and ready for whatever life had in store.
I like to think that God meets us wherever we are.
For many, discovering their life’s purpose is a challenging, and often complicated, process. For Linda Whiteside, Eskaton employee, artist, and humanitarian, it is an ever-evolving journey that has enabled her to wear many different hats and fill many different roles. And she’s just getting started.
Keeping a promise isn’t always easy, but for Judge Rudolph “Barry” Loncke, keeping one made to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. became the work of a lifetime. One of the youngest African-American students to ever attend Yale, he met the illustrious leader of the civil rights movement when Dr. King visited the university to speak about racial inequality in America. In a moment he’ll never forget, Judge Loncke gathered his courage and approached what he recalls as a gracious, soft-spoken man sitting alone by the fire in the early hours of the morning.
Skip is a veteran, farmer, logger, fisherman, adventurer, and feels most at peace in nature. Skip Slaymaker, born in California in 1945, attributes his longevity to living a life of purpose. “The secret to a happy life is love everything you do,” says Skip.
“Life is about ideas, opportunity and family.” Mark Silzer was
born in Chicago and grew up in Blue Island, Illinois. Mark
attended Concordia University in Chicago where he met his future
wife Barbara. They were immediately smitten. Both were
passionate about music, education and their Lutheran faith. They
graduated from Concordia in 1969, Mark with a degree in education
and Barbara with a degree in music and education.
Yen Lu Wong grew up in Hong Kong, China. She attributes her
longevity to her genes, lifestyle, mindset and connection to
Buddha. Yen Lu is a movement artist, dancer and choreographer.
Yen Lu’s stage life began at a young age. She was a performer
with the Chinese Peking Opera, a performance stage art that
includes acrobatics, martial arts and music. In addition to
traditional Chinese performance art, Yen Lu also practiced ballet
as a young child in Hong Kong.
In 2017, Betty Mills, 88, moved to Eskaton Lodge Granite Bay from
Red Bluff to be closer to her daughter. The first Sunday after
she moved, Betty gathered the courage to go to church with her
neighbors. As she was waiting for the bus, Betty locked eyes with
a man sitting on a bench outside the community.
“The secret to a happy life is people.” Michael Catino, born in
New York, attributes his longevity to living a happy life
and having a healthy social life. Mike is the grandson of Italian
immigrants and is 99 years old. His passions in life are his
family, staying socially connected and baseball.
Eighty-eight year old Dr. Albert Kahane, one of the first
physicians at Kaiser Morse Avenue, and his wife Millie, a nurse
educator, are opening a business in Rocklin. “I didn’t think I’d
be changing careers after 69 years in healthcare,” said Mrs.
Kahane. The couple live at Eskaton
Village Carmichael, a continuing care retirement community,
where all of their needs are met from dining to socializing,
exercising to entertainment and transportation. Dr. Kahane is
also a board member of Eskaton Foundation.
Carolyn, 104, loves technology. The iPad is her device of choice.
“I had a computer in my apartment before moving to Eskaton.” Six
years ago, Carolyn made her home at Eskaton Care Center Fair
Oaks. She received an iPad as a gift when she turned 100.
Carolyn said it wasn’t hard to learn at all, and if she needs
help, she turns to her grandson. “My grandson is in the business,
he knows all about these things. If I ever have a problem, he
comes over and fixes it.”
Bob Juniper moved to Pleasanton in 1944 and has since dedicated
his life to work, family and contributing to his community. On
June 11, 2015 at The
ParkviewAssisted Living Community,
where Juniper lives today, Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne,
Pleasanton Fire Battalion Chief Joe Testa and a room of family
and friends honored Juniper with a Lifetime Achievement award.