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february 2021


Ryan McGaughey/The Globe


Shore keeps himself busy and sharp as 100th birthday approaches By Ryan McGaughey rmcgaughey@dglobe.com

remains all these years later. “My mother (Alma) somehow got to be an invalid; at the time we didn’t know what it was,” remembered Shore, whose mental acuity remains sharp at his advanced age. “So I lived up there with my grandma and grandpa. My mom passed away when I was about 6.” In 1928, Shore’s father, Chester, remarried, and earned a living doing odd jobs on farms around southeast Minnesota. The last town that the family called home before returning in 1934 to the Worthington farm was Chatfield, near Rochester. Shore graduated eighth grade from the

“Middagh School,” a country school located across the road from WORTHINGTON — property owned by the Bob Shore is set to mark Middagh family. He a milestone birthday two then began working on weeks from Thursday, the farm that had been but it’s unlikely that the originally settled by his rural Worthington resigrandparents. dent will slow down too “In 1893 Grandlong to celebrate. pa came here, and two After all, even though years later they (grandhe’s on the cusp of parents) came here becoming a centenaragain and stayed,” ian, Shore isn’t one to Shore said. sit around and simply Shore would stay, be idle. It has just never too, leading a life that been his way. included farming with Shore was born Feb. his dad, raising a fam25, 1921 on the property where he still lives ily, working additional today, though his first jobs off the farm and home no longer stands. picking up multiple Not long afterward, hobbies. he moved to a nearby In the ’30s, corn, oats house at the intersecand for the horses and tion of Oliver Avenue cattle were the focus of and 280th Street that the Shores’ farm work. They had 300-plus acres back then; another 80 acres were eventually purchased. Shore rents out all of his farmland today. In 1941, Shore married Vivian Luing, and the couple would go on to raise three sons and one daughter. It was around that time that the farm was able to trade its 32-volt wind charger for a rural electric connection, he recalled. Not surprisingly, Shore used an array of farm-related equipment Submitted photos over the years. Though %RE6KRUHZKRZLOOEHLQWZRZHHNVJHWVDEDWK he sold some off, he continues to maintain a IURPKLVPRWKHUVRPHWLPHLQ

collection of between 12 and 15 tractors. “As far as grain, I had a one-row picker, and then all the neighbors got together and threshed,” Shore said of his early farming days. “We had a GP (general purpose) John Deere first and had that a few years — not too many, though I remember plowing with it here during the first King Turkey Days (1939). In 1939, my dad bought a brand-new Minneapolis Moline, and we had that to farm with for many years.” Shore’s dad, however, became ill — “he got to be crippled up with the same disease that Mom had” — and died in 1956. Shore eventually farmed his land with Lyn Vanderweff, who lived nearby and was married to Vivan’s sister, Dot. The Shore family, of course, all helped on the farm, Jerry, the oldest son, died in May 2020. Son Jim lives in Sibley, Iowa; son Tom (and his wife, Ruth) live nearby the old farm place; and daughter Alma resides in Omaha, Nebraska. In addition to farming, Shore worked with LB Smith in Bigelow, with whom he did corn shelling and livestock trucking. He was already employed there when

Submitted photos

Bob Shore is shown as a young boy on the rural :RUWKLQJWRQSURSHUW\RQZKLFKKHVWLOOOLYHVWRGD\ he caught on at Worthington Tractor Salvage (Dyke’s Tractor Supply) and worked there off and on for many years. Shore and his son, Jim, also fabricated tractor cabs for several years while he was still engaged in farming. It was 1972 — shortly after Jim had come from military service — that Shore built the home in which he still lives today. He and Vivian settled there together until her death in 1998, but Shore married Dot, his wife’s widowed sister, soon afterward. By then, Shore had slowed down on farming, though he said he still gets on the back hoe

every once in a while. “I headed out this past summer,” he stated matter-of-factly. “When you got tile lines all over, you’ve got to keep after ’em.” Shore put in a line with son Tom just three years ago, which was about four years after Dot had passed away. He now lives with Etta Schroeder, his so-called “partner in crime” whom he has known since she was 7 years old. It was during Dot’s final days that Shore picked up a new hobby he has continued to enjoy. STILL STRONG: page 2



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‘FULL CIRCLE’ JOURNEY FOR RUSSELL AND JAN RICKERS Worthington couple invested in building of Ecumen Meadows, where they now reside

WORTHINGTON — As a nearly lifelong Wortington resident, Russell and Jan Rickers were interested in investing in his community’s future. Russell, who moved to Worthington at the age of 3, and his brother, Don, sold Rickers Photography Studio in August 1981. “Russ” then worked with Client Community Services Inc. from 1982 until his retirement in 1994. It was about 1990, he recalled, when he learned about an effort to build a new living facility for seniors. “I think the real idea came up through Worthington Industries,” Rickers said of a local organization that was a precursor of sorts to what’s now Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. “They were always looking for things that Worthington needed. From there, other people took over ... and decided to get a group of investors together.” The result of those investments is evident today in the Ecumen Meadows assisted living and memory care facility, which is located at

the corner of Collegeway and North Crailsheim Road. Back at the time of construction, however, the vision was a bit different. “It was originally independent living apartments for people ages 55 and older,” Rickers said. “There were not a lot of opportunities here for people that were looking to retire, downsize and have a nice place to live.” Rickers noted that when the property for the apartments was purchased, it was big enough to develop further as the need arose. At first, there was just one building (now known as Ecumen Meadows’ north building), and a second and connected south structure was constructed following a sale to Ecumen on Jan. 1, 2005. “When the building was sold, I think there was something like 34½ shares total (in the original ownership) and probably 15 to 20 people,” Rickers said. “Some people had three shares, some people had two — originally we had one share, but when the project got going there were more investors

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Russell and Jan Rickers, who invested in 1990 in the Worthington facility that’s now home to Ecumen Meadows, became residents of the assisted living complex in September 2020. needed later on, so we bought another half share.” “When it was sold to Ecumen, the wing where memory care is now was for people with higher needs, and the rest was for independent living and then converted to assisted living.” The construction of an independent living building that later

became an assisted living/memory care complex is just one of many ways the community of Worthington has evolved over Rickers’ life. Born in Sibley, Iowa in 1931, Rickers moved to Worthington in 1934 and graduated from high school in 1949. He subsequently served in the U.S. Army during

the Korean War before coming back to his southwest Minnesota hometown. “I came back to the family business of photography in 1952,” said Rickers, adding that Don was then running the business while their parents were still involved but inching toward retirement. “Eight years later, I married Jan — she was a fourth-grade teacher here who I met when I got out of the service.” Now married for 60 years, the couple moved into Ecumen Meadows — the facility they invested in building — this past September. “Our family was not wanting us to be home in the winter with ice and snow at our ages and with health issues,” Rickers said. “When The Meadows was built we joked about someday maybe ending up living here, and it came full circle.” The couple is comforted by knowing many residents from all their years in Worthington, and having familiarity with many staff members. That has helped them endure the COVID-19 pandemic, during which visitors to

Ryan McGaughey/The Globe

the facility have been restricted. Retaining connections with their family has been rewarding, too. Russell and Jan have a son, Joe, who lives in California; a daughter, Sue who resides in Bemidji; and a son, John, who lives in the Bemidji area. “Our daughter is actually teaching from here (Worthington) at our house,” Rickers said. “She teaches at BSU in Bemidji. “With Facetime we communicate all the time with our kids and grandkids, which is great,” he added. “There are not many things that are positive from COVID, but teaching from wherever and FaceTime are.” Thirty years later after investing in a place he now lives, Rickers is happy that many people in the community were able to think progressively about Worthington’s future. “I think it was a matter that a number of people behind it were wonderful Worthington people looking to do something different and take a risk for Worthington,” he said.

Submitted photo

These two Bob Shore paintings are among the many that hang inside his home. At right is work inspired by a An undated overhead photo of Bob Shore’s property. Black Hills, South Dakota campsite at which he stayed.


“Dot was in Hospice over here, and I was always there,” he remembered. “They had this one room back in the corner, and I asked if I could paint back there.” Shore’s watercolor acrylic paintings come from whatever images come to mind. Most are merely products of his imagination, while one of his favorites depicts a campsite in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Many of his paintings hang in his home in frames made of walnut gathered from his property. “Many years we went out west, and I love the west,” Shore said of a common inspiration for his art. Over the course of many years, Shore has also made several clocks to give to both family and friends. Among the creations he also cited was his rebuilding of a motor home; he’d bought what was left of one in Omaha and then

reconstructed it before driving it to Indianapolis, Indiana, he recalled. Perhaps Shore’s No. 1 hobby, though, is quilting, which he also took up shortly before Dot’s death. “Dot had some started and she was working on them, and after a few years it got overwhelming for her,” he explained. “I made one, and then my granddaughter came up from Omaha; she found two more paper sacks full of quilt blocks. I figured out … there were

about 1,600 little twoinch pieces in each one. I said that was too much work to be any fun, so I started making ‘cheater quilts.’” Shore said he takes prints and then puts them over batting with fabric on the back before sewing all around the prints to give it detail. He said it’s safe to say that he’s probably made 75 or more such quilts, and is proud to engage Etta’s help in showing them off to visitors. One of the quilts of which he’s most proud

is one made with a Native American theme. He said he donated one just like it this past year to St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montana. Shore also made a Christmas-themed quilt this past fall that he and Etta both love and vow to keep. While it’s difficult to know exactly what Shore will be doing on his 100th birthday later this month — COVID-19 will preempt a gathering of extended family — it’s safe he’ll likely be quilting, paint-

ing or engaged in some other odd job around his house. If there’s any secret to his longevity, it’s that unwillingness to sit around and do nothing. “You’ve got to keep active, that’s the main thing,” he said. “And pretty much all my friends are about 20 years younger than I am. “At a wedding recently, I was introduced as ‘the youngest old man I’ve ever known.’ It’s about keeping busy.”

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TIPS TO BRING JOY TO SENIORS ALL YEAR LONG Brandpoint Many seniors and their loved ones are taking special precautions to stay healthy, including limiting or eliminating visits and other activities that can cause COVID-19 to spread. Tha’’s because the older you are, the higher your risk of severe illness from the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While these important steps help keep seniors physically healthy, they can have a negative impact on mental well-being. Many elderly people already felt isolation before COVID-19 limitations. Now that many activities and interactions they previously enjoyed are no longer an option, this can be particularly disheartening. In fact, 76% of people 65 and older are anxious to spend time in-person with their loved ones, according to a COVID-19 impact study by Comfort Keepers, providers of senior in-home and respite care. What’s more, 57% are eagerly awaiting the chance to embrace a loved one as soon as they can. “Seniors are struggling with the emotional impact of isolation now more than ever due to COVID-19,” says Carl McManus, CEO, Comfort Keepers North America.

“Fortunately, with a bit of creativity and outside-the-box thinking, friends and family can still bring joy to older loved ones to elevate the human spirit even from afar.” McManus and the experts at Comfort Keepers share their top tips to bring joy to seniors in a safe manner:

ing photos can help older adults feel connected and loved.

Make movie magic: Plan a time to virtually connect and watch a joyful movie together. It might be a classic, an option that’s been on your must-see list for a while, or a new release. A video meeting app can work best for this activity as it allows for Send joy in the mail: easy interaction as you Many seniors still watch your flick, plus hold close the art of you can see each other’s the handwritten let- reactions throughout ter, so try sitting down the movie. For seniors and writing out your who are less comfortthoughts to share with able with technology, a loved one. An alterna- consider sending them tive would be a greeting your favorite film and card with a salutation theater treats to enjoy, and positive thoughts and share your thoughts for the future. While together later over the sending mail for special phone. occasions is always a Name that tune: welcome idea, consider Music is a special part of sending letters periodically just to brighten the human experience and our favorite songs the day. can bring a smile any Share meaning- time of the year. Take ful memories: Show time to make a playseniors you’re thinking list of your loved one’s about them by sending favorite music and send imagery of your times it as a gift in whatever together over the past manner is most easily few years. This could be accessible, digital or on a photo either via text, CD. You can also plan email or mail. You can a list of different songs also have children paint and play them on ranor draw their favorite dom and guess to see memories with senior who gets the most song loved ones. A picture is titles right the fastest. worth a thousand words Video and phone calls and by sharing imagery are also a great time of meaningful experifor a sing-along or ences you’re showing that you cherish time impromptu serenade! together also. And shar-

Get grandkids in on


For grandparents, grandkids are their pride and joy. Invite your kids of all ages to participate in activities, including singing contests, book reading, board games, crafts and more. the fun: For grandparents, grandkids are their pride and joy. Invite your kids of all ages to participate in activities, including singing contests, book reading, board games, crafts and more. Even a simple conversation sharing their interests, what’s happening at school and any craft projects is a pure joy. Also consider asking grandma and grandpa to have a Zoom class to teach kids a treasured craft, activity or recipe.

meet online virtually to start chopping, mixing and blending until you bake and compare results. Kids love participating in kitchen adventures as well. You can also make your favorite treats and gift Become baking bud- them to seniors in your dies: If you both have local area. the ability, it can be a “Having a connection fun experience to bake is so important to so together simultaneous- many seniors, which ly. You might try a new is why a simple act of recipe or one that is a kindness can mean the family tradition. Get all world even if that looks the ingredients ready a little different this and then set a time to year,” says McManus. And many seniors love to connect with children in their community, so consider having kids write cards or draw pictures for seniors that may be feeling lonely or isolated.


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hysical activity is vital to overall health. The World Health Organization says limiting time spent being idle and taking advantage of opportunities to get moving — even if it’s just a little bit of exercise — can go a long way toward improving overall health. In November 2020, the WHO released new exercise guidelines for people of all ages. Adults should get between 150 and 300 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, and that includes older adults and those with chronic conditions or disabilities. Individuals with limited mobility due to age or preexisting medical conditions may wonder how they can meet the guidelines for exercise. Those with chronic pain or illness sometimes find that exercising for more than a few minutes can be challenging. Even brief periods of exercise can pay dividends, and there are various approaches people can take to work around mobility and other issues. Explore chair exer-

cises. Just because you are seated doesn’t mean you can’t get a workout in. Seated chair exercises can work various muscle groups. Seated arm rows, tummy twists, overhead arm raises, hand squeezes with a tennis ball, inner thigh squeezes, leg lifts and extensions, and many other exercises can be customized to be performed in a chair.

ing fit and increasing mobility. Resistance bands can be used in lieu of hand weights for many exercises and be ideal for those who find barbells and dumbbells are challenging to maneuver.

Mind-body exercises are an option. Elder Gym, a fitness from home service for seniors, suggests exercises Work out in the water. like Tai Chi and yoga Exercising in the water for those with limited can assist with movement and reduce strain mobility. These exercison the body. The Arthri- es integrate awareness tis Foundation says of body movement with the water’s buoyancy the exercise through supports body weight, coordinated breathing. which minimizes stress The exercises encourage on joints and can alle- people to focus on slow, viate pain. Water pro- fluid movements and vides gentle resistance deep stretching. as well — up to 12 times Seniors and others the resistance of air. That means it’s pos- with limited mobilisible to build strength ty are advised to first and muscle even just discuss fitness regiwalking or swimming mens with a physician around a pool. to get a green light to Use resistance bands. proceed. Then exercise Resistance bands are regimens can be started like giant rubber bands gradually and altered to that can be used to build become more vigorous up strength and flexibility. Resistance bands as the body acclimates are effective, low-cost to exercise. Increase gear that can offer duration and frequency high-impact results for as strength and endurbuilding muscle, stay- ance builds.

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HOBBIES FOR SENIORS RESIDING IN ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITIES ing to the Chicago Methodist Senior Services, art therapy is a creative form of therapy designed to help older adults with memory loss or those experiencing mental or physical stress. The Harvard Medical School notes that recent research has indicated that engaging in creative activities may be more effective at delaying cognitive decline than merely appreciating creative works. A 2014 study from researchers in Germany found that retirees who painted Art therapy: Accord- and sculpted had greater

and vegetables will be on the dinner table. For example, vitamin D is vital to bone health, which is important for aging men and women who are vulnerable to osteoporosis. A 2014 study from researchers in Italy found that exposure to sunlight can help older adults get adequate amounts of vitamin D. Signing up for a gardening club can be a great way for seniors to get some exercise, enjoy time outside the assisted living facility and promote strong bones.

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ssisted living facilities are a vital resource for aging individuals. Data from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living indicates that more than 811,000 people reside in assisted living facilities across the United States. Assisted living facilities have changed dramatically over the years, making them ideal options for adults who may need varying degrees of help with daily activities. Such facilities can help with activities like bathing

and preparing meals, but they also can help residents find and explore new or existing hobbies. As individuals adjust to life in assisted living facilities, finding new hobbies or rediscovering old passions can be a great way to connect with fellow residents.

residents and a book club can do just that. What’s more, reading every day may be especially valuable for people age 65 and older. A 2018 study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that dementia risk was considerably lower among men and women 65 and Reading: Reading is older who participated a rewarding activity in intellectual activities that can greatly ben- like reading than it was efit seniors and pro- among seniors who did vide an engaging pas- not engage in such purtime for those with suits. limited mobility. Many Gardening: AARP assisted living facilities notes that gardening offer activities that are provides a host of health designed to foster com- benefits that go beyond munication between ensuring fresh fruits


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improvements in spatial reasoning and emotional resilience than a similar group who attended art appreciation classes. Many assisted living facilities offer art therapy or similar programs to residents, and enrolling in such programs can promote social interaction and provide numerous benefits to men and women over 65. Assisted living facilities offer an array of programs designed to help residents develop rewarding hobbies that can benefit their longterm health.

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Active Life: Winter 2021  

Bob Shore keeps himself busy and sharp as his 100th birthday approaches. Worthington's Jan & Russell Rickers invested in the building of Ecu...

Active Life: Winter 2021  

Bob Shore keeps himself busy and sharp as his 100th birthday approaches. Worthington's Jan & Russell Rickers invested in the building of Ecu...