Posts Tagged ‘spotlight’

Friday Spotlight

November 16, 2012

—by Donna Mitchell

I visit teach Joan Tracy, who lives in York, Maine. I decided that she would be a good person to spotlight because so few people in the ward have met her. It has been difficult for her to get to church because she cannot drive right now due to problems with both arms.

Joan was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee but grew up in Bell, California, which is near Watts. It was a lot different then than it is now. When she was about 14 or 15, her family moved to La Mirada, a nicer area also in California.

When she was 17, Joan married Bob Tracy. Three years later, they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Six months after that, they moved to New Hampshire, Bob’s home state. Joan joined the Church in the Manchester Branch, though she was baptized in Concord. They lived in the Manchester area for 18 years, where they adopted their daughter in 1975. In 1979, they moved back to California to help care for Joan’s mother, who died in 1980.

The Tracys moved to Frazier Park, California, which is in the mountains between the Santa Clarita Valley (where I lived for about 15 years) and the San Joaquin Valley, the big central valley of California. It snows in the winter, so Joan had no problem adapting to the cold when she moved back to New England.

About six months after they moved to Frazier Park, their son Jason was born. This was after 20 years of marriage! Joan found out she was expecting the week before Halloween and her son was born the week after Christmas. Her cousin was jealous and upset because she felt that Joan had the shortest pregnancy on record. Joan was planning to go to an amusement park after her appointment with the obstetrician, but instead she went to the hospital and had a C-section. She is very proud of her son, who among other accomplishments was the yoyo champion of the world in 1997.

While the Tracys lived in California, they bought several video stores. Joan also worked for the phone company for 18 years. Bob died on May 1, 2005. Joan continued to care for his mother, an Alzheimer’s victim, for two and a half years until she died in 2007.

Joan has a good friend from her ward in Frazier Park whom she has known for 35 years. This friend moved to Wells, Maine, and urged Joan to join her there. In 2011, Joan retired from the phone company and came to York. She got a job as a visiting companion/helper, but after a very short time had to give it up for the present.

A couple months after she arrived in Maine, Joan broke her right arm and has been in agony ever since. She has had three surgeries on that arm and now has radial palsy of her left hand, caused by a bruised nerve which will take months to heal. Although she no longer has to wear the braces continually, she is still unable to drive, to lift anything heavy, or to open most cans, jars or bottles. Since it is difficult for her to cook, she greatly appreciates the meals which the Relief Society sisters have brought her. She especially enjoys visiting with those who have the time to spend with her. Thank you so much to all who go out of their way to serve!

Joan loves eating peaches, spinach, watermelon, shrimp and lobster. She loves reading, watching movies, visiting people, and sightseeing. In August, she and her friend Char from Wells went to Boothbay with the York Senior Center. They had a good time shopping, going for a boat ride, and attending a lobster bake. Next month she is planning to go with the Seniors to Conway, New Hampshire for three days of fun including a sleigh ride, shopping, and shows. She is also planning to go to California to visit her son for Christmas and his birthday. In spite of her handicap, Joan does her best to keep up her spirits and enjoy life. Let the good times roll!

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Sister Spotlight: Joy Gleason

May 11, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s spotlight will be Sis. Gleason. She was kind enough to provide me with her story for this post. My apologies for the formatting, I’m afraid I need more practice with wordpress.

 

I grew up in Midway, Utah. I am the youngest of 8 children. I will admit to anyone, the youngest is spoiled, but they deserve to be spoiled. All my siblings have come to this understanding. One week after high school graduation, I moved to Logan, Utah to go to Utah State University. I graduated in Business and Information Technology Education.

 

My last year of college, I met Brian. A mutual friend tried to set us up and I wasn’t going to support anyone in school, so I wasn’t going on any dates with anyone who was still in school. (This came back to bite me.) After I graduated, I contemplated a mission. Everyone in my family had served a mission and my parents were serving a mission in Mongolia. It was a struggle to decide, but I knew it was the right thing to do. On my 22nd birthday, I left for Georgia.

 

I got a job teaching in Provo at an at risk high school and as luck would have it, Brian got a teaching position at my old high school and I happened to be living at home until I got enough saved up to move out. We were married after our first year of teaching. Remember how I said I wouldn’t marry someone in school? Technically, Brian wasn’t in school, but was accepted for a masters program. It came back to bite me and it was for more then the 2 year masters program.

 

We moved to Logan, so Brian could go to USU and I taught math and computer classes in Preston, ID at the middle school for two years. In 2007, Brian was accepted to University of Georgia for a Ph.D. program and we moved when I was 7 months pregnant. We were there 1 1/2 months and had Jocelyn the week before classes started. Perfect Timing!

 

After four fun and adventurous years in Athens, Georgia which we loved so much, we applied for jobs all along the east coast. All but one of the jobs were at private schools. We had offers, but nothing felt right. Brian applied at UNH and it was the only university job he applied for. We didn’t think he’d get it since the first interview didn’t go so well due to some power outages with a snow storm in Georgia. LIttle did we know, this is where we were supposed to be. It was a hard decision, but we received a clear answer to come here and it was hard to turn down the private school jobs.

 

Through all this adventurous times, I’ve enjoyed working as a teacher, but I’ve enjoyed staying at home more. It was a huge struggle for me at first, but I started some great hobbies. I love to sew. I am not a pattern follower when it comes to sewing. I prefer to come up with a pattern on my own. I also love to do recycle sewing. I’ve been able to create clothes for Jocelyn by using our old shirts and pants. I’ve made some fun quilts out of old mens shirts and sheets.

 

I also work from home for as an auditor for a company out of Utah and it’s been a great job for me. It came at the right time for me.

 

I enjoy exercising. It may not seem like it, but I do. I used to run in college for fun and I was told by a doctor I shouldn’t be running on my ankle, so I stopped. I have decided I may have ankle issues when I am 50 or 60, but I need to enjoy by 30’s and 40’s! We love to go for family bike rides and we’ve found some great trails around here. It’s a workout to pull Jocelyn on some of the trails, but we have fun doing it.

 

We love camping and we are excited to be in an area that we can actually have a fire while camping. (It’s too warm in GA to have a fire. We would take an AC instead.)