I am very excited about our upcoming reunion, as I have not been able to attend many in the past. Still find it hard to believe it has been 50 years since we graduated.
Following graduation, I attended Santa Ana College and in Spring ’67, the Semester at Sea. I then went to UCLA, where Sharon Storm and I were roommates on pledge porch of the Kappa Alpha Theta house!
I received my teaching credential in Elementary Education and taught 3rd and 4th grade in Oakland, CA. After 4 years, I decided to take a 2-year leave from teaching. I wanted to experience living in Norway, as my Grandma Welty had immigrated from there. I worked as a secretary and became active in the American Lutheran Church, where I met my husband, Dean, from Decorah, Iowa. When he heard I was from Santa Ana, California, Dean asked if I knew Bryn Henderson, a Luther College classmate and friend!!! Small world!!! Dean and I became engaged in Oslo, and when we were deciding where to begin our married life, Dean said he had always wanted to live in California and I was his ticket!
Rather than returning to my teaching job in Oakland, Dean and I chose Santa Barbara, and I taught at the Christian School of Santa Barbara until our son Tobin was born in 1980, when I became a stay-at-home mom. With job changes for Dean, we continued to move south. Our daughter Megan was born in Huntington Beach in 1983, and in 1997, we did something we said we would never do … we moved from San Diego to Decorah, population 8500, and home of Luther College, where Dean worked until retiring. With our kids being 14 and 17 at the time, we did pray about this move, and they said let’s do it. Decorah has definitely become home for me, although I no longer want to be here during the winter months!
In 1988 I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, and although it isn’t something I would have chosen, there have been many blessings from it. I am now 28 years cancer-free.
I am very thankful that I am finally a grandma to 2 precious grandkids, 3 and 2 ½ years. Because they live a distance away – Istanbul, Turkey and North Carolina – I am always happy when we get to travel to spend some extended time with them. (As our son is with the State Department, they relocate every few years.
We do love to travel … but I wish we lived closer to our kids/grandkids.) Our family photo was taken in July 2014.
I love to quilt, which I have been doing since 1970, and I am very involved in our church, Bible study, and Moms in Prayer.
It will be wonderful to reconnect with our classmates! Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Barbara Welty Nelson