Eventidings Newsletter | Winter 2016

Our Winter 2016 newsletter is now available! In it you’ll find:

  • A Jamestown resident visits his farm, made possible by Eventide’s Daydream Project
  • Eventide Senior Living’s new mission and vision
  • An update from the Eventide Foundation


Resident Stories: In Service to Our Country

In honor of Veterans Day, we will feature several residents of Eventide Senior Living Communities who are veterans. A special thank you to those featured for sharing their special stories.

Veteran Spotlight: Verdie Ellingson, Eventide on Eighth, Linden Tree Circle

verdie3verdie4Verdie Ellingson is a proud veteran of World War II, but how he came to be a part of the war wasn’t exactly what he’d expected.

What Verdie had expected was to be drafted soon after he graduated from high school. He looked forward to serving his country. Upon graduation, he was told that he would not be drafted – his older brothers were already were serving and he was expected to stay back and help on the family farm. Verdie took this and made the best of it, speaking to the character that still is ever present in the man today.

Although Verdie wasn’t drafted when he thought he would be, his time would come. Verdie had enrolled in his first semester of coverdiekoreallege at Luther College in Dechorah, Iowa, when his draft letter came. In 1946, even after the war had ended, the draft continued. There was still work to be done. Anyone who served in the military up until December of 1946 is a World War II veteran.

Verdie was stationed in Korea as a radio teletype operator, sending messages to Japan. Verdie compares the teletype work to early computer work. Not only was the work he did there purposeful, but the experience of living in another country for two years was what Verdie calls outstanding. He was immersed in the Korean culture and enjoyed getting to know many of the people living there, including a young man he worked with in a civilian job when he wasn’t fulfilling his service work.

After two years in Korea, Verdie was discharged from the army and returned to his family farm near Montevideo, Minn., until he could return to Luther College to finish his education in the fall of that year. Verdie graduated from Luther in 1950 with a degree in business education with a minor in history – Verdie loved and still loves history. Verdie was a teacher until he earned his master’s degree in education administration in Missoula, Montana. He then worked as a principal before becoming super intendent of schools in Glencoe, Minn.

Along the way, during the time when he was in college, Verdie married the love of his life, Norma. Many use the term “love of his life,” but if you ever have a chance to hear Verdie talk about Norma, you’ll know that no other words are truer or could be used. The couple had four children and 10 grandchildren.

When they retired, Verdie and Norma moved to Moorhead, Minn., to be close to two of their children. After Norma developed rheumatoid arthritis, the couple moved to Eventide on Eighth into an apartment in Linden Tree Circle. Norma passed away in 2011 and Verdie continues to live at Linden Tree where he is active in the community.

In October of 2015, Verdie had the opportunity to go on the WDAY Honor Flight. He brought his son Todd along and Verdie toured Washington D.C. with fellow veterans. He’s proud of his service to his country and had an amazing experience on the trip.

Today, on November 11, 2016 – Veterans Day, we’re thankful to you, Verdie, and all of the veterans!

Veteran Spotlight: Earl Roesler, Eventide Sheyenne Crossings

earl1 earl2In 1942, at 23 years old, Earl Roesler’s life changed. He went from working on his farm near Leonard, ND, to being drafted into the army during WWII.

Earl found himself at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas. There he went through basic training. When completed, he and other soldiers would check the bulletin board to see what opportunities were available so they could leave infantry training. A position for a cook caught Earl’s eye and he signed up, although not too excited. Then he saw an opportunity for an auto mechanic – this was something he could get into! Next to farming, mechanical work was a hobby he really enjoyed. And so began Earl’s adventure in the army as a mechanic.

After spending time on Angel’s Island near San Francisco, not knowing what the future had instore, Earl stepped foot on a ship. Twenty-one days later, he found himself at the Fiji Islands. The soldiers lived near a seaport and did mechanical work. After nearly two years on the Fiji Islands, Earl again found himself on a ship. On their next adventure, the soldiers crossed the equator, Earl noting it being a strange thing to see.

“That’s quite the experience, crossing the equator,” says Earl. “All you could see was water. Looking west of the ship, the water was blue, looking east of the ship, the water was green. It was a line between blue and green across the hemisphere.”

This time when the ship reached its destination, Earl was on the Solomon Islands, where there was very little civilization and an active volcano, something he was always aware of. Earl and his fellow soldiers occupied one end of the island, while Japanese soldiers occupied the other end. After the Solomon Islands, Earl was sent to the Philippines. The island offered very hot days – once up to 126 degrees, but mostly around 100+ degrees – and cold nights. Although the temperature would stay around 80 at night, the air was so damp that the soldiers would shiver beneath many layers of blankets. It was nothing like back home. While there, the war ended.

On November 1, 1945, Earl arrived by train to Casselton. He went back to farming where he grew many acres of grains over the years, while also raising cattle in the winter months. In 1951, he married his wife and together they raised five children. Earl and his wife eventually started spending winters near Orlando, which allowed Earl to golf all year long, something he very much enjoyed. Earl lives at Eventide Sheyenne Crossings, is 97 years old, and has five generations below him with the farm still in the family.

Veteran Spotlight: Robert J. Sarbaum, Eventide Jamestownrobertsarbaum

Robert J. Sarbaum was drafted in 1946 when he was 23 years old. He trained at Fort Snelling in Minnesota as MP (military police) and was stationed in California. His role was to provide security for the German prisoners of war (POWs) held at the POW camp. He served in this role for two years, received the WWII Victory Medal and remains a member of his local VFW today.  

Upon honorable discharge from the army, he and his wife Myrna farmed near his hometown of Marion, North Dakota. Today, he lives at Eventide Jamestown.

Veteran Spotlight: Tim Kurtz, Eventide Heartlandtimkurtz

In 1947, at the age of 17, Tim Kurtz joined the National Guard, wanting to join his brothers in serving his country.

“It means a lot to me,” he says. “To have served my country with my seven brothers, all of us serving in the Army.  It made my father so proud that every one of us was able to serve our country.”

Tim began his service at Camp Rucker in Alabama and then went on to Fort Worth, Texas. After receiving an honorable discharge, Tim returned to his hometown of Devils Lake where he worked in a furniture store and also assisted in a carpet installation business with his older brother.

When Tim was 22 he married his wife Mary Anne. In January they will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. The couple raised two daughters and three sons; they lost a three-year-old son who had cerebral palsy. timkurtz1

Tim’s special interests have included woodworking, gardening, helping others and following his Catholic faith.  An avid football fan since he was a child, Tim continues to follow his favorite teams, the North Dakota State University Bison and Minnesota Vikings.

Thank you, Tim, for your service to our country!


Veteran Spotlight: Sheila McMullen, Eventide Fairmont

Moorhead native Sheila McMullen has always been up for adventure. After finishing nursing school in Valley City, ND, Sheila was a nurse at St. Ansgar Hospital in Moorhead and then moved to Minneapolis to continue her work as a nurse. Living in the big city was exciting, but still, she wanted to do more. Following in himg_5288er father’s and brothers’ footsteps, she joined the military to put her nursing skills to work for her country. After enlisting in the Air Force, even more adventure ensued. Sheila completed basic training and then spent two years in San Antonio, Texas – a place she very much enjoyed. Later, she was stationed in England where she served as a nurse to men who’d been injured in Vietnam and were transitioning – either to go back home to the United States or to finish their duties elsewhere after they were restored back to health.

As a nurse, she knew how to help the injured, and as an empathetic person who enjoyed her work in mental health, she knew how to connect to the soldiers who’d been injured in war. The service was meaningful and rewarding and her role was important. img_5285fullsizerender

“I worked with great people and it was an honor to serve,” says Sheila.

Being in England offered Sheila an opportunity to go on another adventure she often dreamed of, one that meant something on a different level – she got to go to Ireland. Some of Sheila’s ancestors were from Ireland and she’d always embraced a deep interest in those roots.

Although Sheila considered staying in the military, she decided 10 years was the right amount of time for that adventure. After leaving as a Captain, she returned to the Moorhead area where she could be close to her family, continue her career as a nurse and embark on another adventure – learning. Sheila has always had an intense interest in history and politics which led her to get a degree in international relations at Concordia College. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she still continued with the work she loved – nursing – until she retired. Today, she continues to have a passion for learning – something she fulfills by reading many books while living at Eventide Fairmont.

Thank you, Sheila, for your service to our country!

Join Us for the Annual Eventide Benefit Auction

Join us at the Eventide Benefit Auction on Friday, October 28 at 6 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo.

Entertainment by Fun Pianos! By 176 Keys

Wine tasting courtesy of Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops

Hors d’oeuvres and Silent Auction

This year, proceeds of the auction will benefit residents with the purchase of a new It’s Never 2 Late system. With this program a simple press of a button launches hundreds of applications – including music, games, travel, exercise and more. From using e-mail to connect with family and friends, to enjoying mind stimulating activities and entertainment, to improving hand-eye coordination as part of a rehabilitation program, seniors with a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities, are now enjoying technology using systems adapted especially for them. Read more about the system here.

To register for the Eventide Benefit Auction, click here, select “Other” under donation amount and input the amount that reflects how many tickets you would like.  Tickets for the event are $75/person.

Contact Trudy at Trudy.latozke@eventide.org for sponsorship opportunities and levels.

An Educational Event: Mom, Dad … Can We Talk? Insight and Perspectives to Help Us Do What’s Best for Our Aging Parents

dickedwards-edit mdcwt-final-coverSeptember 12, 2016

Eventide invites you to join Dick Edwards, author of Mom, Dad … Can We Talk?, for a conversation on adult children and their aging parents – it’s a timeless and timely topic. Join us as we host an event with author Dick Edwards who specializes in conversations that make a difference as our parents grow older.

Edwards, author of Mom, Dad … Can We Talk? Insight and Perspectives to Help Us Do What’s Best for Our Aging Parents will be at Eventide Fargo on October 4 at 6 p.m. and at Eventide Jamestown on October 5 at noon.

The events are free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please register.

Registration for the Eventide Fargo (hors d’oeuvres included) event: dickedwardsfargo.eventbrite.com

Registration for the Eventide Jamestown event (lunch included): dickedwardsjamestown.eventbrite.com

Or call 218.291.2206

This event is sponsored by Eventide Senior Living Communities and FM Area Foundation.

Residents Share Wedding Dresses and Memories

IMG_1465White lace and silk dresses. Beautifully decorated cakes. Bubbles floating through the air. A punch bowl and pastel mints.

Sounds like a day of love and wedded bliss, doesn’t it? It was, but it wasn’t an actual wedding.

Residents of Sheyenne Crossings gathered the afternoon of June 22 to share wedding dresses, photos and memories of their special days. It was a joyful celebration for everyone present, many of those thinking their days of showing off their wedding attire were a thing of the past. (See photos below.)

The event was called “Say Yes to the Dress,” complete with a showcase of wedding dresses that the women not only said yes to, but wore down the aisle many years ago.

“They absolutely loved it,” said Becky Butenhoff, life enrichment coordinator and organizer of the event. “Residents and their children came. There were laughter and tears. They really had a great time reliving those memories.”

The afternoon was rich with love and stories that were shared.

Nadine Wigtil told of her double wedding with her sister. Her sister lived in Washington and came home for their wedding. When the sisters opened their garment bags to show one another their wedding dresses, they discovered they had each purchased the same dress!

Gladys Rust’s story involves her passion for softball. She was playing for the Twinette’s team and about to head off to the national tournament when her future husband decided he better ask Gladys to marry him before she went to Texas for the tournament and found someone else. Not only did they get married, but Gladys’ team won the national championship!

Vera Kummer shared that she eloped with her husband because her family didn’t like him. The couple enjoyed a long, happy marriage.

Eleanore “Ellie” Radtke’s story is nothing short of interesting. Her fiancé George came home from Japan during World War II with the thought that he would be home and start a life with his new wife. Unfortunately, he was called back to military service and had only two weeks before he would have to leave. George proposed to Ellie and they had to plan the wedding quickly. During WWII, it was very hard to find white satin material. Ellie and her sister made her wedding dress out of “heavenly blue material.”

The couple’s wedding cake also posed a challenge. During the war sugar was not easy to find. In order to make a wedding cake, George and Ellie and all the neighbors rationed all their sugar so they could have a cake for their wedding day.

These stories and others were shared the afternoon of the event and each memory brought joy to all those in attendance. This was the first time Sheyenne Crossings hosted the event, but it was so popular, Becky assures they will do it again.


Music & Memory Program Brings Joy to Eventide

shuffle 1We all know what it feels like when an old, favorite song comes on the radio. Feelings of elation and excitement take over as we’re transported to a special place in our memory; we’re comforted by the nostalgia of a time in our life that has passed, but is still treasured. Now that you’ve evoked the feelings that come with hearing your favorite tunes, imagine what a playlist of beloved songs can offer memory care and nursing home residents.
It’s for this very reason that Eventide Senior Living has become certified in the Music & Memory program. The idea behind the program is to renew lives lost to dementia. Care professionals are trained to set up personalized music playlists on iPods and other digital devices for those in their care. These musical favorites tap deep memories not lost to dementia and can allow participants to feel like themselves again. Read more.

Eventide Fargo Now Open!

Eventide Fargo offers spacious senior living apartments that will suit any taste and lifestyle, with elegant, modern common areas and customized services to assure comfort, security, and satisfaction. Our new location also has skilled nursing care and short term transitional care, delivering nursing and rehabilitation services in a high quality, compassionate environment.

Our new community offers close proximity to shopping, recreation, and healthcare in a rapidly developing sector of the city. We’re excited to expand our services to the south Fargo area and provide the high-quality accessible care that Eventide Senior Living Communities are known for.

Call for a tour of our senior living apartments today at 701.478.1745.

It’s Never Too Late to go High Tech!

IN2LEngagement, interaction, recognition, positive feedback. The same elements that drive Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are ramping up the quality of life for many of today’s elders. Eventide has introduced a new computer system designed specifically for seniors with the belief that it’s never too late to join the digital revolution.

The It’s Never 2 Late system is currently being used at Eventide Jamestown and additional systems have been purchased, thanks to donations received, for Eventide’s Fargo-Moorhead locations. A simple press of a button launches hundreds of applications – including music, games, travel, exercise and more. From using e-mail to connect with family and friends, to enjoying mind stimulating activities and entertainment, to improving hand-eye coordination as part of a rehabilitation program, seniors with a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities, are now enjoying technology using systems adapted especially for them.

“Many of our residents said, ‘I’m too old for a computer’,” says Nancy Steckler, Life Enrichment Manager at Eventide Jamestown. “I just tell them, ‘This is different.’ And they enjoy it … they really do. It has everything to make it easy for seniors to use.”

The technology was developed by Colorado-based It’s Never 2 Late (IN2L), a company founded in 1999 that specializes in connecting older adults and their caregivers to the benefits of computers and the internet. IN2L’s picture-based, touch screen platform enables almost anyone to use a personal computer, even those with dementia.

A profile for each resident saves the activities they enjoy most.  As a result, no two residents will have the same “portfolio” of activities.  The system is a huge asset to our Life Enrichment programming.  The mobile unit offers endless possibilities for group and one-on-one activities, and provides a fun, easy way for residents to connect, engage and live life to the fullest.

Eventide is committed to ensuring the highest levels of resident care possible. Blending technology, therapy and activities together to holistically care for our residents fits perfectly with our mission- caring for the whole person and enhancing the lives of those we serve.

Chaplain Steve Streed Honored

Chaplain Streed Honored

Chaplain Streed Honored

We are very excited to announce that Chaplain Stephen Streed, of Eventide Senior Living Communities in Moorhead, was recently honored by LeadingAge Minnesota with the District C Caregiver of the Year Award.

The District Caregiver of the Year Award honors individuals in older adult services who demonstrate exceptional commitment to older adults, and enhance and enrich the quality of life of those in their care. Stephen was one of six caregivers selected for the regional award out of a field of 50,000 professional caregivers throughout the state.

“Chaplain Streed’s influence is not impacted by the walls of our Eventide campus or by our organization at all,” says Mark Bertilrud, executive director at Eventide on Eighth. “His approach is so very personal and so geared at serving others, wherever and whenever their need may be. He serves resident, family, visitor, guest, team member and stranger with equal devotion. Simply, the world is a better place because he is here.”

Chaplain Streed accepted the award at the LeadingAge Minnesota Institute, the state’s largest and most comprehensive aging services conference. Nearly 4,000 professionals in all aspects of older adult services attend the annual three-day event to learn about new and innovative programs, share best practices and network with their peers.

Chaplain Streed is an important presence at Eventide. He serves with grace, charisma and dedication. He’s a pleasant man, who always wears a bright, unique tie and a welcoming smile. Chaplain Streed has impacted many of Eventide’s residents and served as a resource, comfort and guide to many of their families.

An Eventide team member of over 14 years said: “He has a gift that goes beyond hearing, he listens with his heart. Beyond the interactions we have at work, Chaplain Streed has been there for me in so many personal ways. Recently, Chaplain Streed was a major part of me being able to say goodbye to my wife of 41 years. He was there through the struggles and was there at the very end.”  

A family member of a resident said: “For my mother-in-law, she loved his ties, and that was just one of the many conversations they had throughout the years. She wanted to see what tie he was wearing and he wanted to know what book she was reading. My mother-in-law told me a few years back that when she died she wanted her funeral to be at Eventide and Chaplain Streed to perform the service. When I asked if she was sure as she had always wanted to have it held in Enderlin, where she spent most of her adult life, her response was, ‘I want it here with Chaplain Streed, this is my home, these are my friends, the people that know me, and Chaplain Streed not only knows who I am, but cares for not only me, but so many others … Plus, he makes me laugh.’”

These stories are just a glimpse of how Chaplain Streed has touched the lives of others –there are so many stories and so many lives he’s been involved in and we at Eventide Senior Living are so fortunate to have him on our team.