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Posts From Suzy Hopkins

Survey Finds FAN Readers Love to Share

Survey Finds FAN Readers Love to Share

We learned that readers view FAN as an essential community resource that gets them moving, talking, shopping and sharing.

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Betty Willson: The View From 95

Betty Willson: The View From 95

Betty Willson’s strong beliefs and family bonds shaped this self-described “people person” from an early age.

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Katie Aguirre: Operation Warmth

Katie Aguirre: Operation Warmth

For the homeless, a sleeping bag could make the difference between life and death.

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Artist Profile: Julie Trail, Painter

Artist Profile: Julie Trail, Painter

“It wasn’t until I retired that I just decided, this is the time to do something with my love of art,” says painter Julie Trail.

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New Call-In Program Welcomes Veterans

New Call-In Program Welcomes Veterans

What’s wrong with feeling lonely?  Though some older adults are happy living alone, experts say that for many, loneliness can lead to health problems such as depression, cognitive decline and even premature death. “One recent study found that 44 percent

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Kim Molina: Raising Awareness After Tragedy

A state report finds that access to prevention services such as hotlines, peer support programs and other outreach efforts holds promise in saving lives. This resonates with Kim Molina, a Calaveras County resident who just endured the 13th anniversary of

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Lola Zachary:  Pushing Through the Pain

Lola Zachary: Pushing Through the Pain

Pain dominates her days and nights. And yet she pushes forward to help her family heal from the devastation of a suicide.

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Readers rate FAN in magazine’s first survey

Readers rate FAN in magazine’s first survey

In our first survey, readers tell us what they like about FAN … and what they do as a result of reading it.

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Finding Your Fit: Karla Wright

Finding Your Fit: Karla Wright

Sonora resident Karla Wright, 56, is a mother, grandmother and businesswoman who owns and operates a Columbia residential care home for the elderly. Fitness Transformation: Lost 67 pounds, going from a size 16 to size 4, in 24 months, working

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Centenarians Reveal What Matters Most

Centenarians Reveal What Matters Most

“Thank you for all your years,” event emcee Cathie Peacock told the crowd at a late October luncheon. “Your talent, your wisdom and your expertise have served as an example for others to follow.” Those years tallied in the thousands,

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Love After 50: Murry and Beverly Francois

Love After 50: Murry and Beverly Francois

Fairness and tolerance play key roles in Murry Francois’ relationship with his wife, Beverly. She puts it this way: “We don’t tread on each other.”

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Stoma Patients: Help After Life-Altering Surgery

Registered nurse Teresa Hernandez has started a support group to help people coping with a stoma – a surgically constructed opening, typically in the abdominal wall, that permits passage of waste after a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy. “It changes your

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What Matters Most? Just Ask a Centenarian

What Matters Most? Just Ask a Centenarian

Longevity was cause for celebration at a special luncheon this fall for centenarians and those approaching the 100-year mark. More than 40 county residents – all of whom have witnessed a remarkable century of change – were honored at the

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Love After 50: Michael and Genevieve Kvidera

Love After 50: Michael and Genevieve Kvidera

Their 1950s love story went something like this: Genevieve was shy and quiet. She fell hard for Michael, an older boy who had a mature manner and a great smile. Their dates involved a lot of walks and talks –

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Sheriff’s Community Service Unit

Sheriff’s Community Service Unit

In an era of public-safety budget cuts, a corps of dedicated volunteers reaches the 20-year mark and wonders: Will anyone else step forward to help?

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In Search of Compassionate Listeners

Something’s missing in the lives of many older adults, says Dr. Patrick Arbore: meaningful communication. “Communication is about connectedness, and connections are what bind us to life,” says Arbore, 63, a gerontology expert with the San Francisco Institute on Aging.

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Veterans History Project Yields New Stories

Volunteers’ efforts to save the stories of World War II veterans in Tuolumne County are yielding remarkable results. Visit seniorfan.com to read the latest stories, including one about John Morgado’s service as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army’s 16th

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Veterans History Project Gains Momentum

Veterans History Project Gains Momentum

Their stories, inspiring and heroic, are held tight in the memories of men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedoms seven decades ago. But now these often modest World War II veterans are in their

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Seniors on the Edge Watch Safety Net Unravel

Seniors on the Edge Watch Safety Net Unravel

AJ Holmes of Sonora and Dorothy Bates of San Andreas have never met, but the two women have much in common. Both live in tiny, cheerfully decorated homes that reflect warmth and creativity. AJ is a former singer and actress,

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Raider Parader June Price Rides Again

Raider Parader June Price Rides Again

You might guess that Mother Lode Roundup parade stalwart June Price is, at least chronologically speaking, a senior citizen. You might not guess that she used to be shy – “very shy,” in fact. Shy won’t come to mind as

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Friendship Line Invites Callers: 1 (800) 971-0016

A 24-hour, toll-free telephone help line is now open to foothills residents. The Friendship Line provides reassuring support and help in getting to needed care for older adults who may be lonely, depressed, bereaved, or possibly suicidal. The line is

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Dorothy and Cowboy, Circle of Life

Dorothy and Cowboy, Circle of Life

Theirs was a remarkable partnership that spanned an all-too-brief nine years. In that time, Twain Harte nurse Dorothy Moulthrop and her majestic Leonberger dog, Cowboy, visited several thousand people – in schools, care homes, hospitals, private homes and Alzheimer’s wards.

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Memories of Joy Aboard an Old Gray Mare

Memories of Joy Aboard an Old Gray Mare

For two hours each week, 83-year-old Lynn Proctor sheds life’s most difficult labels and climbs back into the saddle of her childhood. The years disappear, too, as she trains her beloved mare, directing her around the dusty arena, over to

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Triumphant End of a 40-Year Genealogical Journey

Triumphant End of a 40-Year Genealogical Journey

Blanche Aphecetche has completed a remarkable genealogical trek that spans several continents and countries, and details the lives of the lives of hundreds of relatives from Shakespeare’s time to the 21st Century. The result: five huge volumes of family history

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Volunteers, Support Sought for WWII Project

Volunteers, Support Sought for WWII Project

A new community effort aims preserve the firsthand accounts of U.S. war veterans,  starting with those who served in WWII. The project’s future hinges entirely on community support. The Tuolumne Veterans History Project (TVHP) is being led by Deanna Maurer,

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Combat Zone: A Tale of Two Aces and One Lucky Number

Combat Zone: A Tale of Two Aces and One Lucky Number

As a young man barely out of his teens, John O’Brien was the crew chief for “Number 13,” a fighter plane shared by two Marine aviators who would join the ranks of World War II’s greatest aces. The plane that

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Home Share Program Links Seniors with Savings, Companionship

Think of it as a matchmaking service – minus the romance. Instead of love and marriage, the goals are cost cutting and companionship. Popular elsewhere in the nation, home sharing has arrived in the foothills. A new grant-funded program of

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A Room to Spare and ‘A Heart for Veterans’

A Room to Spare and ‘A Heart for Veterans’

Gloria Mooney, 73, wants to rent out the empty bedroom in her East Sonora mobile home. She needs the extra money to boost her shrinking disability income and keep her home. Plus, she admits, “I’m tired of being alone.” She

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A Look Back at X-Rays and Early Lab Days

A Look Back at X-Rays and Early Lab Days

In the 1950s and ’60s, two brothers were Tuolumne County’s entire workforce of laboratory and X-ray technicians: Jack and Jim Rucker. “Jack moved here in the late 1940s and was putting in 100 hours a week and getting kind of

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Spring Rescue? Call for Advice First

Spring Rescue? Call for Advice First

A songbird chick tumbles from its nest. A baby squirrel writhes helplessly on the ground. A fawn nestles in grass, no doe in sight. What’s an animal lover to do? Call (209) 484-1928, or 532-5529 (8am-noon weekdays only), says wildlife

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PTSD Help and Information

Help is available for those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Various support groups and professionals at the local, state and national level offer help to both veterans and non-veterans dealing with PTSD.

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Geezers on a Mission

Geezers on a Mission

In May 2009, Lori Brandon Rainwater was hit with news that sent her reeling. That back pain she’d been having was the result of a baseball-sized tumor – advanced colorectal cancer. She was 53, a musician with an $8-an-hour day

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Many Volunteers Needed for Senior Outreach Effort

Many Volunteers Needed for Senior Outreach Effort

Kathi Toepel has a vision: Legions of volunteers helping to ease loneliness and isolation for the growing senior populations in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. That vision is edging toward reality, thanks to a federal grant – totaling $837,000 over three

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Food Resources for Seniors and Those in Need

COMMUNITY AND SENIOR-CENTER PROGRAMS ATCAA Food Bank (10059 Victoria Way, Jamestown, 984-3960), distributes food from 10am-noon the third Tuesday of each month at a dozen sites countywide, including the Tuolumne County Senior Center, 540 Greenley Rd., Sonora. Free produce is

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Turning Points: Seniors Share Defining Moments

Turning Points: Seniors Share Defining Moments

You probably knew it when it came – that moment, that choice, that chance encounter which defined, enriched or irrevocably changed your life. Marjie Davis’s “came like a thunderbolt” as she was washing dishes decades ago. Jim Gullion’s was a

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New Hospice Supervisor Knows Life’s Twists and Turns

Life’s unexpected turns. They sometimes lead families to Hospice of the Sierra, which provides medical care and family support for the terminally ill. Connie Walther of Sonora knows firsthand how the best-laid plans can fall apart in an instant. In

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Fill a Shoebox to Brighten Holidays

If you want to brighten a local senior’s Christmas, start with a shoebox. Fill it with fun and useful items such as gift certificates, pens, stamps, cards, toiletries, toothbrush, ornaments, socks and more. Use your imagination, but don’t include candy,

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Report Scams to New Fraud Hotline: (209) 588-1221

A team of law enforcement and financial experts has launched a long-planned scam hotline and database to help protect seniors from fraud. Dave Clevenger, who leads the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Community Service Unit (CSU), cites a sharp rise in

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Dawn’s Light: Offers Grief Support

In the real world, most people don’t talk much about death until they have to. In Nansea Arquette’s ideal world, we’d learn ahead of time about death and dying, and also about what comes next – for survivors. And those

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Finding a Path Through Grief and Loss

Grieving has its own pace, as unique as the individual, says therapist Lynn Crook. She advises people to trust their intuition during the difficult times that follow the death of a loved one.

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Dawn’s Light Offers Grief Support

In the real world, most people don’t talk much about death until they have to. In Nansea Arquette’s ideal world, we’d learn ahead of time about death and dying, and also about what comes next – for survivors. And those

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Combat Zone: The ‘Hell on Earth’ That Was Iwo Jima

Combat Zone: The ‘Hell on Earth’ That Was Iwo Jima

On a wind-whipped morning in February 1945, 24-year-old Marine Sgt. Harry Roberson hunkered in a half-track churning across a black-sand beach at the base of Mt. Suribachi, his pulse racing. He and fellow soldiers in the 3rd Marine Division had

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FANtastic Free Resources

Here’s a list of senior-focused programs and services that we consider fantastic. These are all free and yet so valuable: medical care, food, entertainment, even cheerful phone calls to isolated seniors. In many cases, these services are the work of

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Peace and Love Roll On: The Harrismobile

Chris Harris is a child of the sixties. The same goes for the 40-year-old VW van in her driveway, a beloved beater that has logged more than 300,000 miles and displays an ever-evolving mix of art and opinion on every

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‘Angels’ Send Messages of Caring, Hope

Geneva Keever, 72, and her granddaughter, Brie, 14, share an unusual hobby: They’re Angels. It started nine years ago when Keever stumbled on a website set up by Utah resident Susan Farr Fahncke, whose sister, Angel, was dying of a

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The Trip You’d Rather Not Take: Preventing Falls

Falling is worth thinking about. It’s the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults, and the most common cause of injury and hospital trauma admission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than a third of

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The Guitar Man

He lost most of his hearing years ago, can’t read music, and was a senior citizen before he fell in love with guitars. Doyle Covey’s motto: “I bet I can do that.”

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Veteran Health-Care Providers Join Forces to Revitalize Adult Day Health Care Program

The first thing you notice about Sharon Fernandes, 63, is her jaunty purple cap and the glitter on her cheeks. At Adult Day Health Care, the Columbia resident admits, “I’m kind of the class clown.” But there’s a back story

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Miller Sardella

Sitting behind a desk wasn’t Miller Sardella’s style. The longtime Tuolumne County sheriff was far more comfortable on horseback or on his regular walking rounds of downtown Sonora. He was easy to spot, hunkered down on his heels in true

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The Sardellas: An American Story

For the Sardellas and many other Italian families, Tuolumne County was more than just a place to live. It was their best hope for a new life.

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