Age Is Beautiful

Age is Beautiful

Inspiring Stories from our Communities

Overview

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.

Age is Beautiful

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A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love

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.

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Coming Home

Coming Home

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.   

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Renaissance Man

Renaissance Man

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.

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Life is an Adventure

Life is an Adventure

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.

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Journey of the Heart

Journey of the Heart

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.

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A Promise Kept

A Promise Kept

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.

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The City That Built Me

The City That Built Me

“If it was any other city, I’m not sure it would’ve been the same.” Few people love their hometown like Dale Perkins. The very first resident to move into The Trousdale, an Eskaton managed senior living community in Burlingame, California, Dale says he owes much of his extraordinary life to the city, including his evergreen art career. While most would argue his incredible work ethic and love of the craft are responsible for his success, he modestly insists it has a lot to do with luck and knowing the right people.

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Lifelong Travelers Share Their Story of Love, Family and Change

Smiling Eskaton resident Mark Silzer with his wife Barbara sitting outside

“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. 

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“Whatever comes to you is a source of happiness.”

A woman resident sitting on a chair, smiling.

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.

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91-year-old man and 90-year-old woman tie the knot after two years of dating

A Love Story Kindled by 90 and 91-year–old

Mr. and Mrs. Mills' sitting on a couch smiling and hugging each other.

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.

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Lessons from Playing Baseball in the South Pacific

Lessons from Playing Baseball in the South Pacific

“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.

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Bach to Rock – Music School for People of All Ages

A smiling couple at an Eskaton event.

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.

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104 Years Old, In Love with Technology

A smiling woman resident sitting in a chair.

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.”

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Veteran, Firefighter Honored for Lifetime of Achievements

A resident being honored by the City of  Pleasanton's Major and Pleasanton Fire Battalion Chief.

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 Parkview Assisted 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.

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Dancing in the Streets

A resident couple smiling and holding a photo of themselves when they were 17 and 19 years old.

Beziers is rich with history, being one of the oldest cities in southern France. Near the Mediterranean, Beziers was occupied by the Germans during WWII. In 1944, as the American troops marched in to liberate France, the citizens came out and danced in the streets. That’s when Ginette met Albert. They were 17 and 19 years old.

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A Giving Heart

A smiling woman resident sitting on a chair in her apartment.

Simone has a giving heart. Every Christmas the Red Cross delivers a poinsettia to Simone for her kind donations. She knits helmet liners for the Daughters of the Revolution to send soldiers. At six years old, she learned to knit at school in France. “I’ve knitted all my life,” says 100 year old Simone, “If I had all the sweaters I made in my life, I’d have quite a pile.”

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Take Betty’s Pillowcase Challenge and Put a Smile on a Child

Resident Betty deploying the pillowcase dress she made for children in Kenya.

Eskaton Kennedy Manor resident Betty can make a pillowcase dress in under 19 minutes. She’s made over 15,000 dresses that are now worn by children in Kenya, Nigeria, Nairobi, the Philippines and many other poverty-stricken areas around the world — 41 countries in total. As a Mess Hall Sergeant in the Marines, Betty served 3,200 meals twice a day at Camp Pendleton. It wasn’t until 2011 that she learned to sew. Since then she has been making the dresses as fast as she can get her hands on pillowcases.

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The Art of Growing Older

Artist Ruth showing four of her beautiful painting.

Ruth Duff, 99, illustrates what healthy aging is all about. She walks briskly with a purpose. Ruth is an artist. During the last two years living at Eskaton FoutainWood Lodge she painted more than 150 water colors. Ruth has worked with a variety of media including knitting, silk screening, etching on copper, bronze casting, and print making. She is a true life-long learner.

Over the years her skills were gleaned from the art professors at Portland State University, Sierra College, and University of California Davis.

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