articles from the Roseburg Senior Center Newsletter

Roseburg Senior Center

Photo by Mark Savage

Cindy Harris

Written By June Ervin

Cindy Harris is the petite gal with flaming red hair that you will often see at the pinochle tables here at the Senior Center.  She grew up playing all kind of card games, board games and such with her family in Klamath County.

In 1956 she moved to Roseburg and graduated as a secretary from Robertson’s School with a degree in accounting as well.  She next worked for Douglas County in the Environmental Health Dept.  It was while she worked there that she became aware of the Senior Center, located downstairs.

Being an avid card player, it was just what she was looking for and she and her husband started to attending on a regular basis.  This was back when rules were pretty loose and she doesn't think they actually “joined” but rather just attended.  The only food served was the potluck on Fridays.  At first they played Hand & Foot.

At that time she and her husband went to Lake Havasu for the winter and came back for summers.  They had been a couple for 50 years and married for 48 when she lost him.  For about a year she didn't go out much or do fun things; being alone was new and strange for her.  Finally, she decided to give the Senior Center another try and by then there was an active Pinochle group, and she joined. She was able to make new friends, renew some old ones and be the happy, vivacious person we all know.

About that time, she lost her Daughter to cancer and had a rough time going thru five months of her illness after being diagnosed.  She just got back on her feet from that and found that she too was facing the same issue herself.  Following surgery and months of chemo she returned to us as the same Spunky, fun lady that we all know.

Cindy has always loved to dance and does every chance she gets.  Thru a local square dancing class her granddaughter met John Swanson and decided he was just the guy her grandma should meet.  She arranged a meeting without telling either one about the other and of course she was right.  Just before Valentine Day this past winter, they attended their first dance together at the Senior Center and haven’t had a reason to stop dancing since.  They attend all our parties and lots of other places all over the area to dance.  They both play cards twice a week here and have lunch in the 50+ Café regularly.  Cindy is another example of how easy it is to make friends and fill the lonely places in your life by attending our wonderful Senior Center.

Roseburg Senior Center

Photo by Ron Elliot

Bill Crenshaw

Written By June Ervin

Bill Crenshaw joined the RSC back on October 10, 2007 when Tom Weathers was president (five Presidents back).  He was already friends with Mona Lee Wilson who was then Secretary of the Board, and she invited him to come to a meeting and consider joining as they were in need of more help.  Not only did he attend the meeting, he joined, was elected to the board and made Treasurer all at the same meeting (I guess they had way different by-laws back then).  He continued in that

position on the Board for eight years.  He put the bookkeeping system on his computer and afforded the Board a print-out of the monthly reports of the accounting of the Center for the first time.  Because he did such a great job, no one ever ran against him for the job until he advised the Board he really wanted to step down as soon as a qualified person joined the center.  Along came recently retired, Linda Sheridan, who had been an office manager and accountant for various firms here in town for most of her working years. Not only was she highly qualified, she was willing to assume the job. Bill was set free to pursue other interests, which he did, but continued to be a member and active in our Center as well.  When he first became a member of the center, he played pool with a group of five other men and ladies who came in every Friday night to shoot pool and then went out and had dinner together, followed by playing cards at Bill’s home.

Back then there wasn't much of a kitchen staff, and the pot luck held on Fridays, with food from the membership, was pretty much being run by Vera Nance who was then already well into her 90’s.  Chris Anderson (Larry’s mom) was then our Cookie Lady, and known as such all over town.  She not only baked cookies for us, but delivered them to various other places around town, like nursing homes and care centers  (Larry came into the center later on). On Friday before lunch was ready, Chris led the assembled group in playing games.  Sometimes cards, board games and many old time games no one even remembered any more until she reminded them.  Later, when she needed more care and moved into the facility down in Canyonville, she had to give up her activities at the center.  It was later on that the Country music was added to the entertainment before lunch was served.

At that time, Bill had three “charges” that he always saw that they got to the center for Friday lunch; other events, too, but always Fridays.  They were Chris Anderson, Vera Nance, and Ada McDonald.  Since then he has lost two, with only Vera left, who is now 104 years young, and our most senior member!  Recently, since one of our older members, Larry Jansen, lost his Senior Companion, Bill has taken him under his wing to escort on Fridays along with Ray Knight.

When Bill first began as a member, there was a very active group of ladies who made quilts and lap robes, meeting twice a week, and headed up by Trudy White with her mom, Helen Haynes, among others.  The lap robes were donated to places where there was need of them.  They made two full sized quilts which were raffled off and the money went to the Senior Center.  The Craft program was begun by a lady named Bernice (no one can remember her last name) followed by a “Louise” and then Trudy.  At that time Trudy was the member in charge of the Fir Grove School project that is still continued by our members today, with our baskets at the holidays, and school supplies in the fall.

After Bill left as Treasurer, he had a position elsewhere, in town, that kept him too busy to contribute to our Board.  Now he is back as one of our newly elected Directors and we are all so glad to have him back to help take us into the future of the Roseburg Senior Center.

Born in Roseburg, Bill grew up on a 500 acre ranch in the Oakland area and spent his whole life in Oregon.  He worked for Roseburg Lumber for many years and retired as their Safety Supervisor.

Roseburg Senior Center

Photo by Ron Elliot

Carmen Mille

Written By June Ervin

Carmen Miller joined what was then the Senior Center about 30 years ago.  Back then she said you really didn't’t “join”, you just attended. She doesn't recall if there were even dues at that time.  Helen Hayes was the president about that time.  She was the mother of Trudy White, another long time member and a more recent member of the board of directors.

Even back then there were trips, some over night, from the center.  She told me about several she remembers going on.

One over night was to Seaside, she remembers the beautiful long beach they all walked on. Even back then there were trips, some over night, from the center.  She told me about several she remembers going on.  One over night was to Seaside, she remembers the beautiful long beach they all walked on.

Twice they went on trips to Ashland to the theaters to see important singers of the day.  Once they were in Portland to see a play in one of the theaters and she looked up at the people passing by her seat and there was her sister!  She lived in Portland but Carmen had no idea that she would be at that play.  Quite a surprise!

One of the day trips she recalls was to a good pizza place they all wanted to try, over at Winchester Bay.
On a trip to the Tulip Festival there was an unexpected rain storm when it just poured.  They were provided cold box lunches, served in an unheated shed, STANDING UP.  A totally miserable cold day she said she will never forget.

Carmen joined the senior center because she enjoys people and to get out of the house and be active.  Something she thinks is very important.  She regularly pays Bingo and Pinochle, enjoys meeting new people and seeing old friends.  You will often see her attending special events, also.  She just plain enjoys people.

Carmen was born and raised east of Roseburg and has spent her whole life here.  Her parents were Dairy farmers on a ranch in the Dixonville area.  The only time she spent away from Douglas County was during WWII when she traveled with her husband who was in the service.

She now lives in Roseburg, but her Grandson lives on the family ranch in the Dixonville area that she and her late husband purchased right after the war.

If you do not already know Carmen, look her up, here at the center.  She is a lovely lady, interesting to talk with and popular with everyone who knows her, and that includes a lot of us.

Roseburg Senior Center

Photo by Ron Elliot

Tom Weathers

Written By June Ervin

Tom joined the RSC back in 2001.  He was kind of kidnapped into the job.  At the time, there were two separate clubs operating in the same building, (the same one we moved from) at the same time with not too much co-operation between the memberships.  He told me there were a lot of yelling, name calling and grudges going on.  The lady who was in charge of the overall project was the second from the top of directors at the County Health Dept.  Her name was Vicky Neuncamp.

She was more than fed up with the bickering and knew Tom and some of his background in several different organizations, some at state and national level.  He was coming in to play pool at the center at the time.  So she drafted him into service to head up the Roseburg Senior Center, combine it with the Roseburg Senior Advisory Commission (the second part of the group) and get it running in a professional manner.  This worked out with some success for about a year.  Then they were told they would need to vacate the county building within two years.

It was decided that there needed to be a board of directors formed and an election was held.  Tom was the president.  There were five on the board including the only other officer, a secretary-treasurer.  At the time the two clubs combined, their net worth was about $40,000.  Tom said he consulted with the officials at Seven Feathers at every turn because they were having great success and were very willing to advise him any way they were able to help.  About then, they decided to have Friday night Bingo at the Center and the money began to roll in, and with almost no expense, it added up fast.

They then went through very similar actions that we did when we moved to this building.  They applied for grants and held fund raisers.  There were many “sales” of every kind and they got the Mayor on board and had a big, all day event at the High School called Senior Center Day.  They were allotted use of the cafeteria to hold the event and several small rooms to branch out for all the presentations they hope to attract local folks to and raise a of of money.  It was NOT a big success!  Not much money was raised.

Their plan was to build on a lot donated by the county out at the location where the current county buildings are now, near COSTCO.  This never happened and they stayed on at the health dept. building where the Center was still located up to the recent past when we were asked to leave.

Tom is a local guy who has been in many businesses.  Once a logger, he was very successful in the Real Estate field, once owning the largest office in Roseburg.  He lived in Camas Valley while raising his family, and moved to Roseburg in 1965 where he currently resides with his partner of 23 years.