May 14

I AM SIM: Dick and Carol Singer

Posted on May 14, 2019 at 8:55 AM by Nicole Brasher

singers
Here are our friends, Dick & Carol Singer.

Carol was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. She has two brothers and one sister. She grew up with family all around her making childhood so much fun. Her grandparents lived across the street while many other relatives lived a few houses down. She was raised around boys as she was the only girl until she was 10 when her sister was born. She grew up a tomboy playing alongside her brothers. Her dad worked for General Mills, and she remembers getting grab bags full of General Mills products once a month for a dollar! Her mother stayed home raising Carol and her siblings until the second world war began. Working in an all-man industry, which was frowned upon, Carol's mother got a job with Buffalo Envelope to help during war times. 
 
Dick is also from Buffalo. He is the middle child and only boy with three sisters. Growing up, his dad was a baker. Dick remembers helping his dad in the bakery and soon discovered he had a sweet tooth. He says he can still smell the sweetness of pastries and goodies! If you know Dick well, you know he still has that sweet tooth. Dick's mom also stayed home to raise the children until the war when she went to work for Republic Steel.

When World War II began, women were able to break through barriers that once prevented them from working in male-dominated industries. Widespread male enlistment left the industrial labor force with gaping holes with no one but women to fill them. Thus, started the Rosie Riveter campaign aimed at recruiting female workers for defense industries. By 1943 more than 310,000 women worked in the aircraft industry making up 65 percent of the industry’s total workforce, compared to just one percent before the war. Both Dick & Carol’s mothers were part of the social movement towards feminism.

Dick and Carol met at a bowling alley. Dick was on a bowling league that bowled earlier then Carol’s team. One day, Dick and a friend stayed after to have a few drinks at the bar. Carol noticed him as he walked by and thought he had "cute buns!" Not shy at all, Carol went to the bar to introduce herself and invited them to an after party. Carol said she’s always known what she wants and is not afraid to go after it. They married when Carol was 19 and Dick was 25. They have three kids, one granddaughter, and five grandsons. While raising their children, Carol & Dick worked opposite hours so that one of them could be home with the kids. Dick coached for all his kids' sports and said each night they were running from one event to another. 

Dick served four and a half years in the Airforce as a radar technician during the Korean War and four years in the Reserves. Dick coached a hockey team for Japan & Korea while in the service. He went to school for accounting and soon discovered his love for learning. He has a Bachelors degree in Accounting and Associates degree in Transportation. He's held titles such as distribution manager and logistics manager and many others. Dick's former boss offered him a job in Texas and in 1983 they moved. While working for Worthington, Nu Tone, and SBA as a loan officer for FEMA, he decided to retire. 
 
Carol worked for Bethlehem Steel where she was offered to go into the tuition refund program. There she studied Business Administration at the Catholic college. Again, in a society women were not valued in the workforce, Carol became the first women supervisor of her plant. Because of this promotion, there was tension in the air as was discrimination for the spouses. The employees were members of a country club but because Dick’s wife was in a man’s position he was not allowed to play golf with the men. He could only play with the women. My how things have changed! 
 
They became members of the SIM program when they were meeting in Pastor Bruce’s church. They enjoy lunches, parties, dances, and trips. They both love to play games here and enjoy a night out with the Dinner Bunch. Carol loves the Book Club and uses the Library. When not at the center you can find Dick at his antique booth in Lewisville, collecting stamps and coins, or learning about stocks and bonds through an investment club he joined. They are active in their church and even won a Mercedes Benz through a raffle drawing through the church. 

We are blessed to have these two as part of our SIM family!! 
May 06

I AM SIM: Darold Keiser

Posted on May 6, 2019 at 9:41 AM by Molly Fox

darold
Meet our “always smiling” Darold Keiser.

Darold was born and raised in Canby, Minnesota. He is the middle child, with three older and three younger siblings. Darold was raised on a farm where they grew wheat, oats, barley, and raised cattle such as hogs, cows, chickens and much more. The goods their farm produced were either sold or bartered for other supplies at a local store.


Darold went to school in a one-room schoolhouse during his grade school years. During the Great Depression, he had to quit to help with the farm work and never returned to school. He did, however, attend a trade school where he took a general course learning gas and electric, welding, refrigeration, and plumbing along with carpentry skills. 


He served two and a half years in World War II with the Navy as a gunner’s mate. While on the destroyer, Darold experienced different cultures by traveling to the South Pacific Islands; Shanghai, Hong Kong; and Pearl Harbor. His brother also served our country and was actually on a boat when they tested the atomic bomb. Darold came home when the war ended in 1945 and was selected to go to Officer Candidate School, although he declined the offer. 


After the war, Darold was hired by Thermo King to work in a factory on truck refrigeration. Later, he pursued carpentry, another passion of his. Darold landed a job with Kraus-Anderson where he worked for 27 years, working his way up from foreman to superintendent, and then to general superintendent. The job transferred him to Texas where he first met his wife. 


He married for the first time at the age of 50 to Betty, who had eight children. He proudly took the role of dad and grandpa. He wears a T-shirt that reads, “my favorite people call me grandpa.” After 28 years of marriage, Betty passed away. Even though they may not be blood-related, Darold is proud to say he has eight children, 18 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. He lives with his grandson Brian, his wife Bridgette, and their two sons. 


Darold learned about the Senior Center from a friend. He enjoys our lunches, uses the fitness and computer rooms, does Tai Chi, and loves to see the growth of our vegetable garden. When not here at the center, Darold is involved in the World War II Veterans Group, watches sports, and loves hanging out with his family. Darold enters our center each time with a smile and a positive attitude. 


Darold, we are grateful for your service and your contagious smile! 
Apr 30

I AM SIM: Pat Harris

Posted on April 30, 2019 at 9:53 AM by Molly Fox

Photo of Pat and Wildon Harris
Grateful: the feeling of showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful.

This is how Pat feels about having a Senior Center to visit. She says with most of her friends being a great distance away, she considers the people and staff here as part of her family.

Pat is an only child, born and raised in Centerton, Arkansas, a community that was ranked in the top 5 best cities to live, safest cities to live, hardest working place, most successful cities, and happiest cities to live for numerous years.

Her parents were farmers who grew a little of everything, including wheat and oats, and even had six cows that were milked by hand. The small town she grew up in only had a one-room schoolhouse. However, Pat's parents thought she should attend public school in the next town for a better education.

Pat was married to her husband, Wildon, for 64 years before his passing in 2018. The couple met at a singing convention where Wildon sang with the Brightwater Quartet. He asked her to go to church service where his dad was the pastor and they married when Pat was just 17 and a senior in high school.

After marrying, Wildon was enlisted in the Air Force as a Radar Operator, which was considered dangerous because his mission involved Russia at the time. Wildon stayed in the service for three-and-a-half years and eventually ended up working for Daisy Air Rifle in Plymouth, Michigan. 

They started a family soon after marrying. With her first child, Pat had to hide her pregnancy or faced being kicked out of school. She said giving birth was scary because she was young and in those days, all deliveries were done in a single room filled with other women giving birth. Pat and Wildon had three children together and now have five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. 

While raising her family, Pat worked at a farm equipment store, managed a college book store, was an executive assistant for a medical center, and a secretary for R & R Tank. The couple eventually lived in Oklahoma for 11 years, and eventually moved to Pratt, Kansas where Wildon served as a pastor in rural areas for 14 years.

Their son, who lives in Flower Mound, asked them to come to live with him and his family after Pat had a stroke about five years ago. He added onto his home to accommodate his parents to give them privacy.

The Harris' learned about the Senior Center through their pastor after moving to Flower Mound. The Senior Center staff has received more “thank you” cards, positive comments, and encouragement from the Harris’ then one can count! Pat enjoys coming for card games, lunch and learns, trips, special events, and movies. Before his passing, Wildon would give grace before our Tuesday and Thursday lunches, being grateful for not only the food but also for the members and staff of the Senior Center.

We are just as grateful to the Harris’!