The Senior King and Queen Contest will take place at 2 p.m. on Sept. 18 in the Entertainment Pavilion with 10 candidates from Brethren Care Village, Colonial Manor, Crystal Care Center, Kingston of Ashland, McMullen Assisted Care and The Good Shepherd Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.
The candidates are:
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Kay James is 81 years old, was born and raised in Ashland with two brothers, Ned and David.
At 17, James couldn’t wait to marry Clarence, who just returned from the Korean War, serving in the Army. Together they have five children, all boys.
James worked many jobs in Ashland, starting as a bus driver for Ashland Schools which she says is her favorite, getting to know all the kids and hoping she had as much of an impact on them as they did her.
She also worked at Eagle Rubber, National Latex and in sales at the Country Club.
Clarence passed away after 54 years of marriage. They would be married 63 years this year and when asked if she ever thought of getting married again, she said, "No, I am too old and set in my ways."
James felt she had a dull life, but also said with five boys it was never quiet.
James was a member of the Open Bible church. She often entered items in the county fair. She enjoys playing dominoes at The Good Shepherd but her favorite thing to do is online shopping and wants the young ladies to know you are never too old to shop.
James’ favorite memory is the birth of her first son. It was then she realized how young she actually was and having a baby at 18 was scary. She remembers counting every finger and every toe and was amazed this little person was hers.
James Jacque, 65, was born in Massachusetts and moved to New York at 17.
He was raised and worked on a dairy farm. He married Kathleen at 32 years old, and together they have three children and two grandchildren. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his kids and watching them show animals in 4-H.
Jacque moved to Ashland in 2006 and began working at WIL Research.
He was a member of the Ashland County Coon hunters, the Black and Tan Coon Association and judged UKC. He hunted in two world championships and was chairman of the board for 13 years and was on the Environmental Council in New York.
Jacque raised coon dogs from age 73 until three months ago.
Jacque handmade long bows and walking sticks. He sold his bows all over the United States. Jacque is a serious Jeopardy watcher and thinks his love of reading helps him get a lot of the questions correct.
Jacque is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church where his wife sings in the choir. While at the Good Shepherd, Jacque enjoys the activities, but his favorite is making the staff laugh.
Dancing queen Viola Veach is 91 and met the love of her life on a blind date when she moved back to Ohio for the second time.
Veach was born in West Virginia and lived there for six years before coming to Ohio for the first time.
In her teen years, the family moved to New Jersey but in her 20s, she made the decision to move back to Ohio. What a great choice that was.
She married Jack, and they had two children, Martie and Terel. Her family has contined to grow and she has four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, who she loves spending time with.
Veach and her husband raised rabbits. She became quite resourceful, and would make her daughter dresses from the flower-printed feed sacks.
Not only did she make feed sack dresses, but she was overall pretty crafty. She liked to crochet and even macrame chairs.
Some of her best memories are from travels to Florida with her husband Jack and the large group of their snow bird friends. While there, they loved to square dance.
Veach was part of the Red Hat Society in Loudonville, and taught Bible study at her church.
It makes sense that Veach loves to visit with friends, family and even those she doesn't know, as she worked at Taco Bell in Mansfield for 13 years. She would keep the dining room clean while chatting with customers.
Veach has a beautiful smile, and the staff loves seeing her roam through the halls at Colonial Manor, where she resides.
Merv Garrison is 85 years old and resides at Colonial Manor in Loudonville.
Garrison has two sons, Brian and Jeff, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is very proud of his boys and their families.
Garrison was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police because of his many years of service with the Richland County Animal Law Enforcement. He was a Boy Scout as a young lad.
Garrison became a pilot when he was 25, not only because he wanted to fly, but because he wanted to sky dive. Interesting enough, he never actually took the leap from the plane, but he flew the plane he owned for many people so that they could feel the rush.
Some of his favorite memories come from the fun he had on the dance floor square dancing and charming the ladies.
He still has a great love for music including gospel, bluegrass, country and traditional hymns. But most of all, he enjoys playing his mandolin.
Garrison has law enforcement is the blood, because he really enjoys "patrolling" the halls at Colonial Major with that adorable smile.
Cheryl Page, 67, was born in Columbus, and later in life moved to Loudonville and enjoyed going to Mohican to walk the trails.
She is divorced with a son Dustin and a grandchild.
Page was actively involved in Girl Scouts, 4H and Brownies growing up.
Her favorite color is pink and her favorite flower is the orchid.
She enjoys doing puzzles and loves collecting elephant knickknacks.
Page’s favorite memory is playing in mud puddles at her childhood home with her brothers and sisters.
She is proud to say her dad and brother served in the United States Army, and she also had a brother who served in the United States Air Force.
Cheryl worked as a server at O’ Charley’s.
Steve Chorpening, 62, was born and raised here in Ashland.
He is married to Rosemary Chorpening and they have five children: Steven Jr., Tina, Vincent, Josh and Blake and nine grandchildren.
He served in the Vietnam War as a clerk for a medical unit in Fort Louis, Wash., in the 9th medical battalion.
Afterward he worked at Custom Hoist and American Auger. He was actively involved in the First United Methodist Church and volunteered at the church cooking meals for Bible study.
Steve is Resident Council president and enjoys playing games on the computer, golfing and fishing. His favorite memory is when he went on a fishing trip with his dad to Canada when he was 17.
BRETHREN CARE VILLAGE
Lora Abel was born in Mentor on Sept. 2, 1919, the 10th child in a family of 12 children. She is the last one living.
Abel enjoyed growing up in Mentor. She and her siblings never minded the four mile walk to swim in Lake Erie, but they did complain about the one mile walk to school.
Abel remembers stowing away on a streetcar when she was 4. One day she accompanied her father to work at his job as motorman for the Painesville Cleveland and Erie line.
A little later, he patted her on the head and told her to go home because he was busy. Instead of following his advice, she crawled into the back seat of the car. Six or seven stops later, her father's co-worker found her. They had to call home and have her oldest brother come and get her at the next station.
After high school, Abel operated a one-girl office for a rose grower from Holland who started a nursery in Mentor.
She then married her husband Robert and the couple had six children. Abel served as den mother for a Boy Scout group, taught Sunday school and was involved in other activities at church.
After 22 years at home, she retrained and worked in the office of Fluid Controls Company, and later drove a school bus for eight years.
Abel's interests include sewing, crocheting, embroidery and reading, and she was quite good at sports. As a child, she played sandlot baseball with the neighborhood boys and girls.
In addition, golf has been a lifelong pastime for Abel. She even received an offer to go pro when young, and then golfed until she was 93 or 94. Fishing was another favorite sport. She caught one of her biggest fish ever at age 96.
Fred Sear, 92, was born in New London on April 2, 1926.
He and his wife, Naorni Grace, had six children. Sear now has nine grandchildren, one great-grandchild and one great-great-grandchild.
Family and church have always been very important to Sear.
His favorite childhood memory is of the Sundays when his family would all get together to play red rover and his mother would come out and play with them.
One of Sear's most treasured accomplishments was serving as one of the Lighthouse Singers, a gospel music group which included his sons, son-in-law and grandson. The group traveled to nursing homes, churches and wherever they were asked to come and sing gospel music.
A longtime deacon for the First Baptist Church of New London, a position he still holds, Sear helped to deliver gift baskets at Christmas and was president of the Sunday School class.
At 13, he started his first job, working on his brother's farm for $15 a month. He worked 18 years for E. Bigelow, in New London, a company that produced drainage tile.
When they closed, he went to Ohio Steel Tube. Later, he served the village of Savannah and then helped fix up the Savannah School. In more recent years, he delivered mowers for Shearer Equipment in Mansfield, retiring at the age of 80.
Sear cut a lot of wood to heat his home and he is also a talented carpenter. He has built fern stands, cradles and other pieces of furniture, including a home entertainment center made of locust wood for one of his sons.
McMULLEN ASSISTED CARE
Eileen Tope is 93 years old and was born in Glendale, Ariz., where unlike Ohio, snow shovels were used to remove dust storms from the dry heat.
Her dad, originally from Ohio, wanted to move west and ended up in Arizona where he met her mother. Tope is the oldest of five having one brother and three sisters. When she was 15, her family moved back to Ohio.
During the depression, it was a simpler life living in Jeromesville and closer to family. Some of her mom’s family even moved with them.
She met her husband, John, at Lakeville High School. He asked her on a date to the Millersburg Fair. After graduation, he entered the Army Air Force and was stationed in Denver.
A year later after Tope graduated, she joined him and they were married. When he went overseas, she went home and worked at the Flxible. She was "Rosie, the Riveter."
"We were young but had to grow up fast during World War II," Tope explained.
She also worked at Gribble’s IGA, then joined her husband working at Wooster Brush, where she retired after 13 years.
Tope missed working with people, but she and John enjoyed traveling. Sometimes they would go on bus tours making many friends.
They traveled to every state and eight different countries. Italy was her favorite, not for the food or wine, but for the history and beauty.
She was a stay at home mom until her two sons went to school. The hardest part to her good life is losing a son.
Tope has been a member of the First Baptist Church in Loudonville for over 60 years. Her hobbies are reading, doll collecting and flowers gardening.
She cared for her husband during his Alzheimer’s for three years before he passed away last summer. They were married 74 years. Her son lives in Las Vegas. She has one grandson and eight great-grandchildren in other states.
Her advice to young married couples is to "take the bitter with sweet. Work your troubles out."
Lee Roesch is 73 years old and was born and raised in Lakewood. He is the youngest of three boys. He is the only Buckeye because his brothers were born in New York.
After graduation, Roesch worked at Goodwill Industries, as a guard at Pinkerton Detective Agency and at Friendly’s Ice Cream.
Because he is epileptic, his oldest brother, Harry, suggested he apply for a firm in Washington, D.C., who places people with disabilities in federal jobs. Roesch got a job in the US Dept. of Agriculture building and was working there the day of Sept. 11, 2001.
After 20 years, he received the outstanding spirit award and also won the distinguished service award from the firm. Roesch was involved at the Old Methodist Church in Washington singing in the choir.
Roesch loved traveling with Harry and took many memorable trips around the world including Iceland, France, Germany, Austria and Scotland. Roesch was very sad to lose his brother seven years ago to cancer.
He moved to Loudonville to be closer to his brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Carolyn Roesch. Roesch loves being a Redbird and living at McMullen Assisted Care.
He wears one of their T-shirts proudly while he gets the mail, waters the flowers, sings during worship and helps with activities.
One of his former hobbies is a CB operator. He also enjoyed swimming and canoeing on a lake. Roesch likes all kinds of music and game shows. He is a friend to everyone.
KINGSTON OF ASHLAND
Sandra "Sandy" Grindle was born in Port Clinton and moved to Ashland at age 2. She dated David Grindle in high school and married him on Sept. 15, 1957.
They have two children William and Susan, and son-in-law Joel, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She is 82 years old.
She went to Bliss Business College for two years and worked in the Columbus area until her husband graduated.
She became a librarian aide for all of the Ashland City elementary schools for 30 years. She was a member of the Garden Club, Bridge and Pinochle Club and Study Club.
She volunteered at the Symphony Board and Salvation Army during her life.
Grindle enjoyed reading, playing cards, especially bridge, and loved to flower garden. During her days at Kingston, she loves to be with her husband and socialize with others.
David Grindle was born in Ashland and lived here all his of life.
He dated Sandy Withers in high school and married her on Sept. 15, 1957.
They have two children, William and Susan, and son-in-law Joel, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is 82 years of age today.
Grindle went to The Ohio State University for five years and has a bachelor’s degree of Architectural Engineering. He worked in the Newark area for a few years, starting out at $1.90 hour.
He then started his own professional engineering company in Ashland of 56 years "Grindle and Bender." He designed and remodeled commercial businesses within 50 miles of the Ashland area.
Grindle was a member of the Young Business Club and a J.C. Member. He volunteered at the First United Methodist Church.
He enjoys all sports, loves Ohio State sports, the Cleveland Browns and Indians and playing cards, especially Pinochle.
During his days at Kingston, he reads the local newspaper daily, watches TV, loves to talk and be with his wife.