Pat Street (now Patty Street-Theis)
I technically graduated from RHS, but finished attending a school in Switzerland, and I took some extension classes by mail, as my dad moved us to Somalia for a project run by EMU. We saw much of East and South Africa and after two years returned via the East—Thailand, India, Japan, Hawaii. I fondly remember Charlotte O. writing and asking me to return early so I could go on the Senior trip. I went to Thailand instead. What was I thinking? Also, speaks to her generous and loving spirit.
I went to MSU as did many of you, and roomed with Sandy until Peter stole her away. I found out she drank COFFEE!!! (grownups drank coffee) and was getting married all in the same weekend. I came home for her memorial, and miss her. We would get together around once a year after I left the state, and I loved that we could pick up as if we saw each other every day. I finished MSU early, and went from a Theater major to a History (pre-law) major, and added Social Work at the end.
I moved to Nebraska to help my sister with her newly adopted baby, was offered jobs, and stayed. I earned an M.S. in Ed. Psych, and then a Ph.D. I learned my job working for others, and then when I was married with kids, went into private practice. In the 70's I helped develop child abuse awareness locally, and then joined a national and then international board. At home I worked with a colleague on family strengths research and programs. I taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a dozen years, teaching one day, clinic work the next. I closed my practice last summer—and I feel unemployed, but I guess I'm actually retired.
I've been married for thirty five years to a very kind and still sexy man I met at work. He grew bored with psychology and went to law school, graduating at 50. He works as a public interest lawyer and judge in water law. We have two sons. Max was back in Ann Arbor for a year and a half doing a fellowship after Dartmouth Medical at the V.A. in patient safety. He works for Albert Einstein Medical Centers in Philadelphia, and we don't see him enough. His brother Biff is married and has a five year old son Atticus, and they live in Pleasant Hill, a suburb of San Francisco. Biff works for IPG Media Brands as Director of Web Design. They have 40,000 employees all over the world—hard to conceptualize. His five year old Atticus is our focus—how we love being grandparents. We see him every few months. It's the best. After Ron retires, probably this summer, we will go back and forth to SF for a while. It's hard to leave a life and relationships you spent forty years building.
Atticus with Flower Pot, May 2013
Life is not all la de da. My dad died eleven years ago, and my mom followed five years later. Due to his stroke, and her dementia, it was hard providing support, and I went back and forth constantly. My husband's parents were in the Atlanta area and we are still dealing with the aftermath of his mother passing last year.
I was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer in 2011, and after four surgeries, more than a year of chemo, and three months of radiation, I learned what it is like to be a full-time patient. Not, fun!!!! I managed to work through it all. I just "celebrated" five years free. Knock on wood.