Encore May 2023

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ncore E

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

What’s Inside....

C4 — Bill & Lois Tjoelker find love again after loss

C6 — Phyllis “Boots” Roosendaal hangs up her career boots

C10 — Looking back on Ron Van Soest’s 40 years officiating

A supplement of the Lynden Tribune and Ferndale Record
ENCORE C2 Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, May 10, 2023 | Ferndale Record

Strengthening commitments to honor older citizens

LYNDEN — Established in 1963, Older Americans Month (OAM) is celebrated every May. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), OAM is a time for us to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of older Americans, highlight important trends, and strengthen our commitment to honoring our older citizens.

This year’s theme, Aging Unbound, offers an opportunity to explore a wide range of aging experiences and to promote the importance of enjoying independence and fulfillment by paving our own paths as we age.

This May, join us as we recognize the 60th anniversary of OAM and challenge the narrative on aging. Here are some ways we can all participate in Aging Unbound:

• Embrace the opportunity to change. Find a new passion, go on an adventure, or push boundaries by not letting age define your limits. Invite creativity and purpose into your life by trying new activities in your community to bring in more growth, joy, and energy.

• Explore the rewards of growing older. With age comes knowledge, which provides insight and confidence to understand and experience the world more deeply. Continue to grow that knowledge through reading, listening, classes, and creative activities.

• Stay engaged in your community. Everyone benefits when everyone is connected and involved. Stay active by volunteering, working, mentoring, participating in social clubs, and taking part in activities at your local senior center or elsewhere in the community.

• Form relationships. As an essential ingredient of well-being, relationships can enhance your quality of life by introducing new ideas and unique perspectives. Invest time with people to discover deeper connections with family, friends, and community members.

For more information, visit the official OAM website, acl.gov/oam, or follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #OlderAmericansMonth.

Tasha Ericksen, widow of Sen. Doug Ericksen, presents a $2,000 check to Jennifer Lautenbach, manager of the Lynden Community/Senior Center, in front of the center’s new stove. Lautenbach recently said that she had “applied for a $2,000 grant from the newly established Doug Ericksen Community Legacy Fund. The funds would be used for the Center’s purchase of a new stove after our stove was deemed irreparable. Due to the inoperable condition of the stove, we were forced to cancel our monthly community pancake breakfasts in January, February and March. In late March, I received a call from Tasha that our request had been funded. Our new stove was installed in time to host the April community pancake breakfast on April 15 and Tasha was able to attend the breakfast and presented the Center with the check." (Courtesy Lynden Community/Senior Center)

C3 ENCORE Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, May 10, 2023| Ferndale Record

Widowed couple finds compatibility, love

Life has been a wonderful adventure for Lois and Bill Tjoelker since they met on Cinco de Mayo 2022. Before they met, Lois and Bill had been married for more than 50 years – each to someone else. In late-2021, each was widowed. (Photos courtesy Lois and Bill Tjoelker)

ENCORE C4 Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, May 10, 2023 | Ferndale Record

‘We feel the Lord had a hand in us meeting,’ Bill Tjoelker said

LYNDEN — Lois and Bill Tjoelker were married for more than 50 years –each to someone else.

In late-2021, each was widowed. Executive director and manager of the Lynden Community/Senior Center, Jennifer Lautenbach met Lois and Bill at the center’s Valentine’s celebration this year in February. The same place Lois and Bill first met on Cinco de Mayo a year ago.

“They both talked about how lonely it was after their spouses passed after being married so many years and how the stars aligned for them to meet at the center that day,” Lautenbach said. “Bill and Lois Tjoelker were strangers, although their families knew each other.”

His second time at the center, Bill saw an extra seat at a table and sat down with Lois and her sister. Although their homes were less than two miles from each other, Lois and Bill had never met. Lynden residents the both of them,

Lois and Bill’s daughters were friends. Their grandsons also grew up together, did fishing, hunting, rode motorcycles.

“They have known each other for a long time,” Lois said. “That made it easier, too, for both families to accept us.”

Lois and Bill said they weren’t looking to get married when they met. Each was looking for companionship, they said.

“We were so compatible,” Lois said. By the time that Cinco de Mayo lunch was finished, Lois and Bill had exchanged telephone numbers. A week after, they went out on their first date.

One night in Birch Bay after dinner, a few months after they’d met, Bill and Lois took a walk on the beach. There, on the beach, Bill got down onto one knee and proposed to Lois.

Lois (Green) and Bill Tjoelker were married on Sept. 17, 2022.

“We feel the Lord had a hand in us meeting,” Bill said.

-- Contact Bill Helm at bill@lyndentribune.com.

Each widowed in late2021 after five-plus decades married, Lois and Bill Tjoelker met on Cinco de Mayo 2022 and married a little more than four months later. “We feel the Lord had a hand in us meeting,” Bill said. (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune)

C5 ENCORE Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, May 10, 2023| Ferndale Record LPM Endowment Foundation 217 Front Street, Lynden, WA 98264 www.lpmendowmentfoundation.org A 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization The Lynden Pioneer Museum Endowment Foundation is inviting individuals to consider providing a bequest to ensure that the history of Lynden is preserved for generations to come. Call Gordon Plotts, chairman, at 360-815-6028 for more details on how you can help. Dedicated to the ongoing financial support of the Lynden Pioneer Museum Are you interested in preserving Lynden’s history?
ENCORE C6 Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, May 10, 2023 | Ferndale Record Dean Prather - Attor ney at Law Estate Planning Wills – Probate Solo Practice – Low Overhead – Low Rates Ph: (360) 643-0499 – Email: deanprather@hotmail.com 1300 W. Holly Street, Suite 203, Bellingham WA 98225 Marine Corps Veteran Owned Business Real Estate Contracts – Deeds – Easements Transfer on Death Deeds www.lyndencommunitycenter.org Where friends become family! 401 Grover Street, Lynden, WA 98264 360-354-2921 Senior Mobile Meals Sit & Sup Exercise Classes Arts & Crafts Recreation FYI Programs Entertainment Special Events Our mission is to maintain independence and quality of life for mature adults in Lynden. Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm 'Boots’ Roosendaal retires - for real
The Lynden Gillies Funeral Home staff, pictured with their antique funeral carriage, is much like a family. Phyllis “Boots” Roosendaal recently retired from the Gillies family. (Photos courtesy Gillies Funeral Home)

'I love people,' says Phyllis Roosendaal after four-plus decades with Gillies

LYNDEN — This isn’t the first retirement for Phyllis “Boots” Roosendaal. This time, however, she said it’s for real.

Gillies Funeral Home advertised an open house for long-time support services employee Roosendaal with a nice big picture and lots of cake and goodies on Thursday, March 30.

As the well-wishers and family came through, Roosendaal greeted them graciously as she has a lot of experience in that very thing – 45 years’ worth from three facilities. Roosendaal said she will now have more time for doing other things she enjoys. When asked how old she is, Roosendaal replied, “86.”

How did she come to

work in the funeral industry? Had she planned to do that field in her teen years?

As Roosendaal sat with coworker Cindy Alsum at the party, they both agreed neither of them had planned for it but both enjoyed doing it.

In Roosendaal’s case, she was an active dairy farming wife with a farm on Depot Road in Lynden that had won Washington Dairy Family of the Year in 1973. She did this while raising the family’s four daughters.

Eventually, the farm was sold to now-ice cream giant Edaleen Dairy in 1976. Then the family transitioned to a new home they had built on a hillside on Guide Meridian in the Laurel district.

Friends came to wish them well, friends that included the owners of Westford Funeral Home, Jack

and Nancy Westford.

The Westfords had purchased their business from family in 1975 and who also served on an agriculture committee, asked what Roosendaal intended to do next with her spare time.

Roosendaal didn’t know. The Westfords had an idea: Roosendaal could work for them. She ended up watching the embalming process with Jack Westford standing there for support. He wanted to see if she was comfortable with the process and would be more understanding if families asked questions.

“I was fine with it. I stayed. Every day is different,” she said of the industry.

Roosendaal drove hearse to the crematory in Mount Vernon, assisted with body removals as the

second person, and met airplanes at SeaTac Airport for bodies being transferred from other locations.

Eventually, Roosendaal became noted for her caring attitudes with the families. None as those things were as difficult as dealing with some of the deaths such as a suicide, she said. Even then, Roosendaal said she was intent on giving strength to the families.

“I love people,” she said.

With another gap time away from the funeral business to travel with her late husband, Don, Roosendaal had a similar experience happen with Gillies Funeral in 2007 with past owner Don Smith after he had performed her husband’s funeral.

Roosendaal stopped by

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Life changes, life choices

No matter what age you are, keep learning

WHATCOM COUNTY — When I was growing up in Everson, after a move from Central Oregon, I remember thinking through a number of possible career choices.

I admired Amelia Earhart, the pilot. I took Ground School for flying but didn’t have the budget to continue. I loved acting but decided to stick with community theater. A few other interests were relegated to being hobbies and not professions.

By high school, I was vacillating between journalism and architecture. Somehow journalism won out and I’ve managed to utilize that skill set for 30plus years.

I still doodle house plans when I am

bored. In the meantime, life has changed both for me personally and within the world at large. When I graduated from high school in 1982, it was assumed I would go to college.

These days there are far more options: different types of colleges, technical schools, and even learning on the job.

Even for those of us who are years removed from high school, here are a few things to consider as you continue to become the person you want to become:

Is college for you? Or is something else?

Just because all of your friends are looking at college, ask yourself a few questions: Will your studies advance you toward your career goal? What does the college route look like cost-wise in terms of future debt load?

If you talk to someone in a field of choice, what would they recommend? A number of local companies are offering on-the-job training.

Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) trains potential drivers whether they have a commercial driver’s license or not, according to a current driver in my neighborhood. She took advantage of that herself and said she enjoys the job.

Likewise, Everson-area resident Greg Klassen is making a name for himself as the creator of fine-art River tables and furniture which he sells around the county. When I interviewed him several years ago, he had studied at a Christian college and worked at Lynden Door which had taught him the very woodworking skills he now utilizes to support his family in a creative enterprise.

Family-owned Barron Heating advertises on its website no experience required and training is provided.

Lyndenite Mark Warren has served in church settings. But he also has operated career/life coaching practice Mark Warren Associates out of a scenic office above Woods Coffee Shop in Fairway Center. One of the things he focuses on is helping you live out your true calling – find clarity and alignment with your core purpose and mission in your personal and work life. On his website, Warren keeps a recommended book list. Visit markwarrenassociates.com. (Courtesy photo)

Life hits you with changes

What happens if after college you don’t like your choice of career? Bellingham business woman and author AnneMarie Faiola has blogged, written books and given lectures about her path. It started by studying something she ended up disliking.

In her bio, Faiola explains that working

in a correctional facility was not for her. As a child, her father encouraged her to be entrepreneurial.

Faiola enjoyed making soap. As an adult in transition, she returned to that and discovered it had potential as a true business. She founded Bramble Berry Inc. in her home, went back to school for an MBA, and continued to watch trends, address these in an ongoing blog, and

ENCORE C8 Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, May 10, 2023 | Ferndale Record 301 West Homestead Blvd., Lynden (360) 354-8200 www.meadowgreenslynden.com All-Inclusive Retirement Living at its Best Free Golf with Cart Chauffeur Car Service 3 Meals Daily in the Outward Nine Restaurant Full Social Calendar
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demonstrates soap making online and also on the Hallmark Channel. Visit www.brambleberry.com for more.

Life changes are confusing

Whatcom Community College offers a program for housewives and other people who may have been away from the workplace and now have to enter or reenter that world.

WCC also has continuing education classes for personal enrichment to add skills in the arts, languages, and so many other things. Visit whatcom.edu for more. School counselors can assess skills, talk about programs, and look at financial resources. The staff at WorkSource in Bellingham also can point clients toward workshops and on-line resources, help look at possible other training options, and evaluate employment needs in the community. Also visit worksourcewa.com.

Clarity and alignment

Lyndenite Mark Warren has served in church settings. But he also has operated career/life coaching practice Mark Warren Associates out of a scenic office above Woods Coffee Shop in Fairway Center.

One of the things he focuses on is helping you live out your true calling – find clarity and alignment with your core purpose and mission in your personal and work life.

On his website, Warren keeps a recommended book list. Visit markwarrenassociates.com.

You haven’t given up

In addition to my writing life, I have like many others cared for an aging family member and supported myself with an array of temporary employment options in office settings.

It’s amazing how many tutorials are available online for computer programs, and what you can learn when you have no choice. Many of our lives aren’t a straight path upward and onward and may take zig zags, stop from time to time, and go off in new directions.

A new movie is at the theater about the life of boxing champ George Foreman. While I was more familiar with his small sandwich grills, I knew little of his life’s story. He started off in a family filled with love – and poverty. He didn’t really excel at anything and had no goals until he found boxing.

Roosendaal: Retires from Gillies

Continued from C7

to pay her bill. The next day Don called to see if she was willing to come back to work.

She returned to work, as long as it wasn’t full time.

Roosendaal uses her first name Phyllis professionally. However, she’s known by her nickname, Boots. When she was a little girl, Roosendaal’s father Arie Noteboom sold shoes at Lynden Department Store and brought her a little pair to wear. The shoes were so large on her that they looked like boots. It became her nickname on the spot.

As Roosendaal’s daughter Lori Scholten congratulated her via Facebook, the comments came rolling in.

Kathy Poortinga wrote: “Boots, Congratulations on your work years. Always ‘classy’ and comforting to see you at the many memorial services. Now enjoy your retirement.” Donna DenBleyker wrote: “What a gift you were and still are to many people.”

Alsum said Roosendaal is “a smart dresser and presents well.” Roosendaal’s

daughter Lori Scholten, standing by her at the reception, said she agreed with that.

Roosendaal said she tended to take a nice black skirt and pair it with a number of different blouses. Coworker Ron Hendricks had told her she should have written down the names of all of the funerals she had helped with. Roosendaal said she wished she had but it would be hundreds of names.

Even though the job focuses on relationships with grieving families, it also forms strong bonds with coworkers.

On one occasion, Roosendaal and a coworker transported flowers to a service in Ferndale. They rounded the corner too quickly and the flowers went flying and so did the water.

They were horrified, laughed hard, and made sure to fix everything nicely when they got to the location. They also drove more carefully on corners in the future.

Between the services and visitations, Roosendaal said her most favorite role has been to “meet the families at the door and go put my arm around them and stand with them for a moment and then leave them to have privacy.”

C9 ENCORE Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, May 10, 2023| Ferndale Record Mo u n t Ver non O c e 1222 Riverside Drive (360) 424-6777 Toll Free 888-264-3528 Everett O ce 2532 Wetmore (425) 348-9914 Toll Free 866-348-9914 Bellingham O c e 4213 Rural Ave. (360) 671-8388 Toll Free 866-522-6435 America’s Choice in Homecare 127th Annual Pioneer Days Celebration July 28 & 29, 2023 2007 Cherry St, Ferndale Pioneer Park Main Stage Attractions: Queens Bluegrass July 29 @ 2pm Danny Vernon & the Devilles July 28 @ 2pm Blaser-Faver Band July 29 @ 6pm Wally & the Beaves July 28 @ 6pm Saturday, July 29 • Grand & Jr. Parade Downtown Ferndale 11am • Pioneer Classic Car Show 1st Ave. 9-2 pm Daily • Crafts & Food Vendors • Kids Activities • Beer Garden • Log Cabin Museum 12-6pm courtesy of Ferndale Heritage Society Friday, July 28 • Hot Air Balloon Glow about 8:30 p.m. FREE All Ages Event in Pioneer Park

Ron Van Soest: An official legend

Spent 40 years officiating basketball games in Whatcom, neighboring counties

LYNDEN — Ron Van Soest loves the game of basketball. He used that love to officiate the community’s basketball athletes for the greater part of 40 years.

Van Soest started reffing high school basketball games in the mid-1980s, but he got his start when he was a 16-year-old playing ball for LC. His basketball coach was the late Garris Timmer, who also happened to be the chemistry teacher at LC. One day, Timmer asked Van Soest if he wanted to go to the middle school and work as a ref for intramural teams. Initially, Van Soest was against the idea, but Timmer offered to let him skip chemistry and Van Soest had his first opportunity to officiate a game.

Following high school, Van Soest helped start a Lynden basketball city league. While he was running the league, he grabbed the attention of the LC and Lynden high school athletic administrators and they asked him if he wanted to start officiating freshman and JV basketball games.

While he was reffing for the freshman and JV, Van Soest was recruited by the high school referees to join them. Van Soest rose up through the ranks and much to his chagrin, was elected

ENCORE C10 Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, May 10, 2023 | Ferndale Record
Ron Van Soest was a referee from the time he was 16 until 2020. Van Soest is pictured refereeing a basketball game (above). At right, a recent portrait of Van Soest. (Courtesy of Ron Van Soest)

president of the Northwest Board of Basketball Officials.

One night, Van Soest was working as a softball umpire at Meridian and he had an officials board meeting in Oak Harbor the same night. The softball game went to extra innings, so he arrived late and once he got there, they had a surprise for him.

“I got there late, so I showed up and they said, ‘Congratulations, you are the new president,’” Van Soest said in a joking manner. “I go well, ‘I don’t want to be president.’”

The board decided they wanted someone young, so Van Soest landed the job and held onto it up until now. Even though he did not want the job at the start, he said it has been a mostly good experience. His presidency will end in June after more than 30 years of service.

Van Soest stopped actively reffing basketball in 2020 after COVID-19 hit. He said it felt like a good time to hang it up as he was getting older and had trouble managing the physical expectations.

During his time as a ref, Van Soest covered numerous state tournaments, which he said was his favorite part of the job.

“I sure enjoyed doing it, and the really

fun time for me was the playoffs, like districts, regional and state tournaments,” Van Soest said. “That just made it really fun, and I watched a lot of Lynden Christian, Lynden games and those were always barn burners.”

Being a referee can be a grueling task, with long nights and drives taking people far from their homes. To stay in the game, ambition and care for the sport is necessary.

“I played basketball in high school and I love basketball. For years I played in the city league, so it was just the love of the sport and a desire to give back to the sport. It is also a personal challenge,” Van Soest said.

Van Soest also worked as a softball and baseball umpire for a part of his career but eventually did not have time to cover those sports.

Now he spends his time driving a truck transporting different materials around the Pacific Northwest for something to do. But Van Soest said he misses reffing high school basketball.

He said, “When I go to watch a basketball game, I wish I could be out there.”

-- Contact Nathan Schumock at nathan@lyndentribune.com.

C11 ENCORE Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, May 10, 2023| Ferndale Record Serving NW Washington since 1983, Dementia Suppor t Nor thwest suppor ts caregivers and those with memory loss through education and direct suppor t services. Daytime Respite Programs - Lynden, WA – Mon. & Tues. - Bellingham, WA – Wed. & Thurs. Support Groups Community Educational Trainings Project Lifesaver Visit our Website: dementiasupportnw.org Email: alz@alzsociety.org ~ Call: 360-671-3316 #2517 Can Exercise Help with Brain Hea lth? Scientific evidence is showing that getting regular exercise not only helps keep your brain stay healthier as you age, but can possibly slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and other dementias! Physical activity is an important part of the daily activities at Silverado, particularly in the exercise pillar of our Nexus® brain health program memory care | community be ll i n g h a m To learn more about Nexus and brain health, call (360) 746 - 6675 Silverado Bellingham 4400 Columbine Drive Bellingham, WA 98226 silverado.com/bellingham (360) 647-8846 • info@elderlaw-nw.com 2828 Northwest Avenue • Bellingham, WA 98225 Knowledge & Experience Comprehensive Estate & Incapacity Planning for Elders, their Families and Disabled Adults Besides basketball,
also served as an umpire for baseball
of Ron Van Soest)
Ron Van Soest
and softball games. (Courtesy
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