Direct Supply Partners with SafelyYou to Reduce Falls in Senior Living Amid COVID-19 and Beyond

Direct Supply recently introduced the 2020 Falls Action Research Project, a year-long initiative with the sole focus of significantly moving the needle on the problem of resident falls in assisted living communities. While COVID-19 has forced its way to the top of the list of concerns for communities, falls are still significant and are increasing by a staggering 20% in memory care facilities during these times of social isolation, according to SafelyYou data……… – Read More

RingCentral Case Study

With RingCentral, this Senior Living Facility’s Communications Infrastructure Enters a New Golden Age. Company profile: Since 1985, Carlton Senior Living Communities have provided Northern California seniors with an array of individually tailored care options, from independent and assisted living to award-winning health and memory care programs. Residents of the company’s dozen Silicon Valley-area communities enjoy delicious, healthy food and a wide range of activities and entertainment in a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere where they can make friends, enjoy life, and continue to thrive……… – Read More

COVID-19 Update

Carlton Senior Living has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation since it first appeared in China. In our best efforts to protect our residents and staff from COVID-19, we would like to inform you that, in conjunction with the county and state public health departments, we are proactively working with highly qualified medical advisors in infectious disease to anticipate our needs, implement maximum safety protocols and act assertively when anyone in our community becomes symptomatic. We are also hiring more staff in our communities to support our daily operations……… – Read More

Coronavirus and Senior Living

Coronavirus stories are dominating the news, leaving senior living providers with many questions. The resources below offer guidance to communities on how to prepare for and prevent the spread of the virus. As the situation is rapidly changing, it is recommended that you always follow any guidance or instructions from health care providers, local or state health departments, state regulatory agencies, and your organization’s policies and procedures…….. – Read More

COVID-19 And Trying To Make A Tough Situation Brighter

To jazz up our room service deliveries, we will now be sending out “The Carlton Daily” as a liner on the dinner tray, or it can be folded and put into the dinner to-go boxes in the hopes to bring a bit of fun activity to the dinner hour. We will send out a new one every day in the hopes to bring not only a fun activity but a bit of optimism to our cherished seniors……… – Read More


COVID-19 Update March 7th, 2020

We at Carlton Senior Living feel it is important to keep you updated on our efforts and the measures we are taking in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to our Communities…….. – Read More


COVID-19 Update February 28th, 2020

Carlton Senior Living has been actively working within the guidelines provided by the CDC and our local Health Department. We will closely monitor developments and follow the directions of our County Health Service Department and other related agencies……. – Read More


Carlton Senior Living is a winner in the 2019 McKnight’s Technology Awards!

This annual event recognizes providers who have harnessed technology to make life better for their residents. This is an extremely competitive contest, and to be selected as one of the few honorees is a notable accomplishment…… – Read More


Carlton Reduces Resident Falls by 31% with SafelyYou

Falls and fear of falling are often a big part of the decision for a resident and their family to choose assisted living. In assisted living, a care team can support making sure the right protections are in place, and if anything does happen, trained personnel are there to help….. – Read More


Luther Burbank Center And The Santa Rosa Symphony Announce The 2019 – 2020 Symphony Pops Series

Today, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts (LBC) and the Santa Rosa Symphony announced the lineup for the 2019-20 Carlton Senior Living Symphony Pops Series, to be presented in the Ruth Finley Person Theater at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts (50 Mark West Springs Road in Santa Rosa)…. – Read More


RiseUp Project to Hold Groundbreaking on December 10th

On December 10th, 2018 at 11am at 15 Brighton Court, Lot 7, southeastern corner of Old Redwood Hwy and Mark West Springs. Rebuild NorthBay Foundation (RNBF) and Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County (HHSC) have partnered on a project to replace a mile of common fencing for two (2) subdivisions in the Larkfield and Mark West Springs areas—a region devastated in the firestorms of 2017…. – Read More


Carlton Senior Living Receives Approval on New $30 Million Senior Community North of Santa Rosa

The Sonoma County Board of Zoning Adjustments has approved plans by Carlton Senior Living LLC to build a new senior living complex in Sonoma County, just north of Santa Rosa. The Concord, California-based owner and operator of 11 existing Northern California senior living communities expects to break ground soon on 134 rental apartments – including independent living, assisted living and memory care options… – Read More


Carlton Acquires Prime Santa Rosa Site for New Community

CONCORD, CA – Carlton Senior Living LLC, the Concord, Calif.-based owner and operator of 11 existing Northern California senior living communities, has agreed to buy a 3.68 acre site in Sonoma County, just north of Santa Rosa, for a new senior living complex… – Read More


Veteran Senior Care Executive to Lead Carlton Senior Living

David Coluzzi, a senior care executive with more than 26 years of industry experience, has joined Carlton Senior Living as president. The company owns and operates senior living communities in Fremont, San Leandro, San Jose, Concord, Pleasant Hill and the Sacramento region… – Read More


Young Entrepreneurs Move Into Senior Housing

Living in three different senior housing communities in one year is hardly typical. But then, either is Sameer Dhar, a 23-year old entrepreneur and product designer for older adults. He and his 20 and 30-something colleagues were creating a sensor called Sensassure that attaches to an incontinence brief (a.k.a. adult diaper)… – Read More


Carlton Senior Living Wants to Built new Senior Facility in Larkfield

A Concord company has proposed building a $30-plus million senior assisted-living facility along Old Redwood Highway in Larkfield. Anticipating more growth in the local senior population, Carlton Senior Living has applied to Sonoma County to build a 142-unit complex next door to the Larkfield Shopping Center, about a block north of Mark West Springs Road… – Read More


Alice’s Embrace Envelops Alzheimer’s Patients With a Blanket of Comfort

For Alzheimer’s patients, it’s like getting a warm embrace. On a recent morning in Davis, about 35 seniors – all with varied degrees of dementia or Alzheimer’s – were treated to a handmade blanket or shawl from Alice’s Embrace, a nonprofit group that has delivered hundreds of them to memory care patients throughout California and other states… – Read More


New Incontinence Sensor Being Tested at Carlton Senior Living

A 23-year-old has founded a company that has created an incontinence sensor, which is being tested at Carlton Senior Living. Sensassure employees worked at the San Leandro facility to learn about managing incontinence in senior care, and used the feedback to create a design of a practical sensor… – Read More


Iron Chef Challenge Whets the Appetite for More

Things got hot at Carlton Senior Living on Wednesday as resident Chef Andrew Moret, foreground, took on Chef AJ Webb in an Iron Chef challenge. Chef AJ Webb of Black Pine Catering gets saucy Wednesday in the competition kitchen at Carlton Senior Living for the Iron Chef Challenge… – Read More


Carlton Senior Living in Northern California Names New President

Carlton Senior Living in Northern California has named David Coluzzi as president of the company, which is comprised of 11 independent and assisted living facilities as well as memory care communities. Before joining Carlton Senior Living, Coluzzi served as CEO of the Esquire Group, a senior living and apartment company with 1,200 units on seven properties in New Jersey… – Read More


Oak Grove Capital Arranges Loan for Fremont Facility

Oak Grove Capital has arranged a $14.7 million loan for the refinancing of Carlton Plaza Fremont, a 122-unit independent and assisted living community in California. It also offers respite care, and is one of eight California communities owned by Carlton Senior Living… – Read More


Carlton’s New Davis Community: Home, Sweet Senior Home

Davisite George Hinkle refers to two dates in his life with powerful distinction: Dec. 7, 1941, and March 22, 2014. His life, as he tells it, changed radically on both days. In one, he embarked on a path from being a young barber to an assistant military medic, earned the right for a free ride to college and launched his career in education… – Read More


Company Has Two New Senior-Living Campuses

Concord-based Carlton Senior Living has opened an upscale assisted-living facility in Elk Grove and begun construction of another in Davis. The company entered the Sacramento market in 2004 with Carlton Plaza on Fulton Avenue… – Read More

From the Carlton Senior Community Blog

Carlton Senior Living Innovates by Equipping All Carlton Residents with Amazon Alexas and Smart Plugs Through Partnership with Speak2Family

Carlton Senior Living Innovates by Equipping All Carlton Residents with Amazon Alexas and Smart Plugs Through Partnership with Speak2Family

Modernization Connects Residents to Internet, Staff, Community, and Family. [caption id="attachment_25211" align="alignright" width="400"] Carlton resident, Ilda, smiles in her apartment at Carlton Pleasant Hill - Martinez with her Alexa in the background.[/caption] Concord, CA, November 01, 2021 ( Carlton Senior Living, a leader in resident engagement and an award-winning workplace, has again taken the lead in innovation by providing an Amazon Alexa device for each of its residents. Through Amazon's generous donation program, Carlton has partnered with Speak2, a senior care-focused technology vendor, to provide a unique, game-changing experience for residents and families to connect and engage through voice-activated technology. Carlton is always looking for innovative ways to help make the lives of residents, their family members, and staff more efficient, and bringing Alexa into the communities, with its unique and modern way of communicating with residents--was a natural next step. "Our culture is all about residents engaging with staff, the community at large, and their families. Providing a device that enables them to connect by simply using their voice was an easy decision," says Dave Coluzzi, President of Carlton Senior Living. "Watching a resident who struggles with screen-based technology simply say 'Alexa, call Maria,' and seeing the smile come across their face as their call connects, it's an unmeasurable feeling of satisfaction." When Amazon offered free Alexa devices several months ago, Carlton was eager to work with the tech giant to leverage their growing suite of artificial intelligence (AI) products that focus on Senior Living. "Being able to deploy 1,000 Alexas in a matter of a couple of months would not have been possible without Amazon and Speak2," says Chung Chow, CFO of Carlton. Specifically, Chow was referring to the streamlined security, multiple layers of privacy protection, and ease of deployment. All this is made possible by the Amazon Hospitality platform, which allows providers to manage a large number of Alexas centrally while prioritizing personal privacy-no sensitive personal information needs to be shared or saved to use an Alexa device. "Our residents and families wanted to know that it was safe and our staff wanted to know it wasn't a burden. Amazon and Speak2 came through on both of those things," says Chow. [caption id="attachment_25212" align="alignleft" width="400"] Flora, a long-time Carlton resident, uses her Alexa daily.[/caption] "It's always easy to identify leadership and innovative companies in the Senior Living space," said Jillian Guerra, partner at Speak2, who provides a content platform and management of Amazon's hospitality suite. "When Carlton invested in Wi-Fi, their staff were excited to help and the whole culture and atmosphere were open to trying new things and making the most of the technology. Residents can make hands-free calls, get real-time announcements, and access on-demand information like dining menus and community activity schedules using just their voice. Our most rewarding feature is the Daily Affirmations, which we have populated with a variety of different voices across the whole country. The residents love this feature because it's an actual person's voice, not just Alexa's voice, so it provides an extra level of human touch," says Guerra. Carlton Senior Living, which was recently named #1 in California and #2 in the nation for Best Workplaces for Aging Services™ by Fortune magazine, is known for incorporating innovative technologies and solutions into all that they do, and their alignment with Speak2 runs deep. Coincidentally, Carlton and Speak2 were each formed by their respective founders to meet the needs of their aging parents when no suitable solutions were available. That like-minded approach to business has allowed the Carlton-Amazon-Speak2 partnership to improve the lives of many-not only seniors. Carlton's next phase is to incorporate more smart technology like lighting, temperature controls, and security features across their properties. "We like to try out new technologies that can help our residents, and this first st ep with Alexa is only the start," says Taren Petros, VP of Business Operations and Technology at Carlton. "Watch for more to come!"     About Carlton Senior Living: Founded in 1985, family-owned Carlton Senior Living communities provide Northern California seniors with an array of individually tailored care options – ranging from independent and assisted living to award-winning health and memory care programs. Residents enjoy delicious, healthy meals prepared from scratch. They may participate in a wide range of activities and entertainment in a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere where they can make friends, enjoy life and continue to thrive. Carlton Senior Living's mission statement encompasses commitment to love, honor and provide to all residents, family, and associates. It is this kindness and compassion, and "culture of caring" that makes Carlton unique.   About Speak2: Speak2 leverages voice command, smart technology and cloud to change the way aging adults connect with their screen-obsessed family, friends, and caregivers. Speak2 allows people to send and receive messages, manage reminders and activities, consume information and gain assistance in the most natural way possible. A simple user interface is provided to the entire community of trust, making it possible for people to effortlessly engage and share the information they need. Whether by voice, app, web, or assistive smart technology, Speak2 brings people together. For more information, visit: Read more

Please join us in welcoming Sarah Connor-Kerr as Executive Director of Carlton Senior Living Poet's Corner

Please join us in welcoming Sarah Connor-Kerr as Executive Director of Carlton Senior Living Poet's Corner

Please join us in welcoming Sarah Connor-Kerr as the new Executive Director of Carlton Senior Living Poet's Corner. Sarah began her journey with Carlton over seven years ago as Dining Room Manager for Carlton Senior Living Davis. Since then, she's held numerous leadership positions, including Associate Director, Human Resources Specialist, Director of Resident Services, and now, Executive Director of Carlton's dedicated Memory Care community in Pleasant Hill. Sarah got her start in senior living at Carlton Senior Davis, where she helped to open the newly constructed community. Sarah credits colleague Lindsey Feifert for encouraging her to pursue a career working with seniors and for helping her to get acclimated to a community leadership role. "I really loved getting to know the residents, learning their life stories, and being able to make an impact on an important stage of their life," says Sarah. "Since then, I feel like I've grown and it's just incredibly natural to serve them. I can't imagine doing anything else." While she has dedicated much of her career to serving Carlton's Independent and Assisted Living population, Sarah feels her time working with Memory Care residents and families has been most impactful. "Our residents living with dementia are truly special and I love that our job is to celebrate and help the person that they are now without judgment of their past," she says. "I feel it takes an incredibly special person to serve these residents, and because of that, I feel our staff have some of the biggest hearts. Every single day is different but every single one provides an opportunity to make a resident smile." Sarah and the team at Carlton Senior Living Poet's Corner pride themselves on providing outstanding support and education for families of those living with dementia. "Our care staff enables the adult child to again view their parent as a parent or for the spouse to step back into that role as opposed to being a care partner," she explains. "We take the challenging situations families face and help them create positive and new memories." In her role as Executive Director, Sarah plans to follow in the footsteps of her predecessor by creating a welcoming and supportive place for residents, families, and staff alike. "I have the opportunity to continue toward that vision and to make this community a place folks want their loved ones and where people want to work," says Sarah. "I look forward to continuing my education in dementia and to bringing new people into the industry and in turn educating them. Caring for someone living with dementia is an honor and I want to keep spreading that vibe." Sarah began her career with Carlton when her daughter, Olivia, was just six months old and her career choice has also played an important role in her personal life. At 8-years-old, Sarah welcomes any opportunity to involve Olivia in the community to help teach her daughter to care for others with empathy and compassion. Sarah's job title isn't the only thing that changed recently: She wed Justin Kerr in February and now goes by Sarah Connor-Kerr. Justin is currently finishing up a pipeline construction project in Kentucky, and Sarah looks forward to her family being together again soon. Read more resident and associate stories on our blog. Read more

Resident Spotlight - Cyndy Bradley of Carlton Davis

Resident Spotlight - Cyndy Bradley of Carlton Davis

[caption id="attachment_25012" align="alignright" width="500"] Making ice cream on July 4th at Carlton Davis[/caption] Meet Cyndy Bradley, Carlton Senior Living's spotlight resident of the week. Cynthia “Cyndy” Manfred Bradley was born on August 23, 1935 in Niagara Falls, New York. Her father, Pete, was a gym teacher, and her mother, Agnes, was a bookkeeper. She grew up in Lewiston, New York, near Niagara Falls. She has two older siblings, Ben and Mary. Cyndy recalls being a mischievous child. One time, when a house was being built in the neighborhood, Cyndy and a friend went over and unscrewed every screw in the house. After high school, Cyndy continued her education at William Smith College in Geneva, New York. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She moved to Riverside, California with her first husband, who was in the Army. She has lived in California ever since. Prior to moving to Davis, Cyndy lived in Stanford, California and Cupertino, California. While in Riverside, Cyndy met her second husband, Jack Bradley, through a fraternity brother of his and a coworker of hers. They were initially set up on a blind date and had dinner with friends. They hit it off and continued seeing each other. Cyndy was a teacher at a parent co-op adult education program. She taught courses for the parents of the children who attended the associated preschool. She also taught needlework and was a judge at county fairs. Her other major job was being a mother. Cyndy has one son, Mark, from her first marriage and two children with Jack, Therese and Scott. They have four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Cyndy and Jack also hosted two exchange students, one from Japan and one from Germany. Cyndy counts marrying Jack and having her children among her favorite life experiences. Cyndy has traveled to Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, and Alaska. She has also gone on many camping trips. She especially enjoyed camping in Northern California and Oregon. She would pick wild berries and then can them when they returned home. Cyndy would like to be thought of as someone who likes life, is always kind, and has a great sense of humor. She believes that you should never do anything you don’t feel one hundred percent about. She also believes in stopping to smell the roses. Here at Carlton Senior Living Davis, Cyndy’s favorite things are the food and the staff; she describes the staff as more than polite! Her favorite meal is waffles and her favorite dessert is chocolate. She enjoys painting, needlework, and crafting in general. She likes to dance and enjoys upbeat music. She also likes Celine Dion, Neil Diamond, Brooks & Dunn, and folk music. View additional Resident Spotlight articles. Read more

Opportunities for growth abound at Carlton Senior Living

Opportunities for growth abound at Carlton Senior Living

[caption id="attachment_24905" align="alignright" width="150"] Jennell Revera, Carlton Senior Living Elk Grove's new Executive Director[/caption] We’re pleased to welcome Jennell Revera as the new Executive Director of Carlton Senior Living Elk Grove. Jennell has been with Carlton for over 11 years and her years of experience as Carlton San Jose’s Executive Director and various leadership roles within the community will help to ensure a smooth transition. Amanda Smith, Carlton Senior Living Elk Grove’s most recent Executive Director, has joined Carlton’s Home Office team. Amanda is now heading up Purchasing and Carlton’s new culinary program. Amanda's expertise in senior living will be invaluable as she helps to support Carlton's 12 Northern California communities. [caption id="attachment_24906" align="alignleft" width="150"] Amanda Smith joins Carlton's Home Office team[/caption] In the South Bay, Shantela Yadao is settling into her role as the new Executive Director of Carlton Senior Living San Jose. Shantela joined the Carlton family in November 2011 as Carlton’s very first Associate Retirement Counselor. Since 2013, Shantela has been helping seniors find their home at Carlton San Jose as the communities’ Retirement Counselor. [caption id="attachment_24907" align="alignright" width="150"] Shantela Yadao, Carlton Senior Living San Jose's new Executive Director[/caption] When asked about her new leadership position Shantela said, “I am honored and excited to work alongside such amazing and caring individuals. I look forward to growing together and enjoying every moment to come.” Her mantra is “Be the reason someone smiles today,” and Shantela will no doubt be bringing many more smiles to Carlton Senior Living San Jose in the years to come. Carlton Senior Living is excited to congratulate Jennell Revera, Amanda Smith and Shantela Yadao on their new leadership roles!   We want to invest in you! Learn about Career Opportunities with Carlton.   Read more

"There’s a Bit of Daredevil Inside! The 20th & 21st Century Life of Bobbie Rose" by Harriett Burt

It is an interesting coincidence that Barbara Sharp ‘Bobbie’ Rose was born in San Francisco on June 21, 1918, right in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic, the last deadly worldwide health assault before the Covid-19 pandemic we are now experiencing. Bobbie’s mother was in labor for three days. It took her five months in the hospital and one month with relatives to recover, at least partially, from a serious infection. It was not totally cleared until sulfa drugs were developed in the late 1930s. Another problem in this most difficult birth was that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Bobbie’s neck. To keep the baby alive during the birth, the doctor held the cord away from her neck. Even then, Bobbie showed the focus and strength that has served her for over a century. The family also helped out by having a friend who invited Bobbie’s mother to have her baby for free at the San Francisco hospital he owned including the unexpected extra five months mother and daughter stayed there. Bobbie is also testimony to the fact that we can live and even flourish through hard times as she survived and even flourished through not only the Spanish Flu pandemic but also the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the last year of World War I, all of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and all the wars in the Middle East. She has also witnessed and benefitted from so many medical breakthroughs and the countless inventions we now take for granted including film and television. To top it all off, the arts both in crafts and music, are the gifts which she was born with and has shared over the years. Bobbie also had caring parents who made sure she had many opportunities to grow and expand. “I guess the folks sacrificed an awful lot for me. I wish I could have appreciated it more at the time,” she says. Bobbie’s maternal grandfather had come to California from England sometime in the second half of the 19th century when he was 17. His immigration papers said he was to go to Portland, Oregon although it should have been Portland, Maine. While in Oregon, he worked for the Post Office before joining the United States Army. But he also met and married Bobbie’s grandmother who was living in Portland at the time. Long story short, they married and he joined the Army around the time of the Spanish-American War. He was stationed at Corregidor in the Philippines then at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay for two years. The family lived in Alameda while Bobbie was growing up. The paternal part of her family included her great-grandfather who grew up in Philadelphia in the early 1800s. In the 1840s, before the Gold Rush she says, he decided to bring his family including eight children to California using the Isthmus of Panama route. It was a difficult way of reaching California from the East Coast before the Panama Canal existed as travelers had to survive a 44-mile walk through the jungles. Many died of malaria and other tropical illnesses. Bobbie’s ancestors made it to San Francisco alive, however. It was most difficult for the family, especially for Bobbie’s then eight-year-old paternal grandmother who struggled to walk as she had rickets. In the end, however, they all lived and were soon on the ship to San Francisco. The good news is that once the family reached the City, the great-grandfather who was a doctor, had no problem finding work.  Two of his sons also became doctors. The third son, Bobbie’s grandfather, was an inventor of short-lived success when he developed a chemical to preserve plywood. The problem was, after great early sales, all the stock and the building it was housed in burned down because the “miracle” plywood chemical contained highly inflammatory material. The inventor’s son, Bobbie’s father, was born in 1889. As a young carpenter, he was hired to work on the Panama-Pacific Exposition where he helped build the iconic Palace of Fine Arts, the only building of that famous Fair which still stands as a San Francisco landmark. When no longer needed, he was laid off when the project was finished just before the grand opening in 1915. However, the young Pacific Gas and Electric Company was expanding as statewide more and more buildings and homes using the utilities we now take for granted. Fortunately, Bobbie’s dad had been trained to work with and repair much of the type of machinery used by the new power company. He was quickly hired as a PG&E engineer and assigned to one of the PG&E service offices and powerhouses in small towns and cities to assist customers and provide local power along what is now called the I-80 Corridor from San Francisco to the California/Nevada border. Although Bobbie had been born in San Francisco, the family lived outside of Auburn at the time. When she was five, she went to a one-room, one-teacher schoolhouse for 1st through 8th grades. There were 10 or 12 students, half of whom were Native Americans and one who was Japanese. “We all played together,” she recalls. “We didn’t think about it.” In 1927, her father was transferred to San Jose. How was the move for nine-year-old Bobbie? Ninety-three years later, she doesn’t hesitate to say, “It was horrendous!” First, she had to repeat fourth grade as the curriculum in San Jose was much more advanced than in a one-room school. Second, the kids teased and pestered her unmercifully. She had long red hair which was constantly being pulled. “I begged my mother to cut it but she wouldn’t.” To make things worse, Mother made Bobbie wear a hat when she went outside during recess….just one more thing to be teased about. Her years at Herbert Hoover Junior High were no better but San Jose High, class of 1937, was somewhat easier. The next stop was San Jose State College, where she earned a degree in general business and found her future husband. Hugh Rose was an accounting major. She met him when the professor used the alphabet to seat students at a long table. R was obviously next to S. Finding out accounting was Hugh’s major, Bobbie took advantage of his knowledge whether she needed it or not, she notes, with a twinkle in her eye. The numbers ‘added up’ so to speak in the mathematics of love. College tuition was reasonable in those days but her mother held on to the purse strings carefully as PG&E salaries had been cut as the Depression continued. “I always bought used books unless it was something I wanted to keep,” Bobbie remembers. Among her memories are taking dancing and music lessons but it was really the decorative arts she loved. She was taught to knit by her grandmother when she was four years old. She also embroidered and did other art crafts. When asked about quilts, she admits that she had made one although it took her seven years to finish it. Her father was quite a good oil painter, she says. Several paintings of scenes in the northern Sierra and the Oregon coast in her apartment attest to his skill. Bobbie graduated from San Jose State in 1941, a year after Hugh. To her shock, she had barely taken off her cap and gown when “my father very politely threw me out!” She replied in alarm, “I am going to get married! But I have to wait until he has some money!” Hugh had already purchased a cedar chest for her but that would not be enough to live on or in. “You are now through with your studies. Get a job.” was the quiet but firm reply.  So, she was hired as an accountant with the Food Machinery Company, a long-standing Santa Clara County business that in peacetime produced cannery machinery. During the war, it also produced for a time Water Buffalo Tanks, designed for use in marshes and swamps. “They took us for a ride once but the tanks were not that successful,” she notes. Bobbie and Hugh married in 1943 after Hugh had finished not only Army basic training but also training in military financial procedures and Officer Candidate School. He eventually reached the rank of Captain. In fact, at the end of the war, he was about to be promoted to Major which would have required him to stay in the service a little longer. He refused because, he told Bobbie, he missed her so much. Bobbie adds, “we were both so darned lonesome, we couldn’t wait to get together.” He was quickly hired by the Dole Cannery in San Jose. “The day he came home, I was through” at Food Machinery Company, Bobbie says. “I was a housewife after that!” In addition to her basic housekeeping duties, “I made all my own clothes. I love sewing.” She also volunteered to sing in a number of choruses and in grand opera and light opera concerts in San Jose. The couple lived in Santa Clara for a short time and then bought a home in Los Gatos where they lived until 1970 when Dole closed the San Jose cannery. Dole sold the cannery equipment to Tri County Cannery in Modesto so the Roses moved there where Hugh worked his last five years and they planned their retirement and the home they would build on the five acres near San Andreas in the Sierras they had bought in 1965. In 1975, the couple then became a home building team. Hugh did the heavy construction work, Bobbie did whatever was needed to assist Hugh, the home carpenter/cement layer/sheetrock installer, etc. The strength of their marriage was such that the two of them worked side by side for two and a half years without a fight or a divorce. Part of the reason may have been that the couple took a few months off each winter of those years and drove to Arizona for two or three months. But Bobbie says they only did that because you can’t build a house when it is snowing. After the house was finished, they traveled whenever they could. “We went to Alaska four times and across the United States and Canada several times.” When asked if they traveled to any foreign countries, her reply was a quick “No. If you couldn’t drive, you didn’t go.” Over the years they owned a variety of recreational vehicles to drive from San Andreas to Alaska, across North America and of course, each winter to Arizona. Bobbie learned to tow every type of ‘rolling home’ from camper, trailer, mobile home to a fifth wheeler. For 33 years their travel time during Northern California’s winter was spent in Yuma, a popular ‘second home’ for many seniors from all over the country and Canada. While some retirees bought or rented homes in Yuma itself, Hugh and Bobbie made friends with folks who gathered each year in a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) camp about 18 miles north of the city. The couple bought a Volkswagen ‘bug’ with a Porsche engine which they stored there in the winter for use from December to February, March or April. It was no vacation for ‘fraidy cats’, however. Bobbie fondly remembers some of the group’s favorite activities. Some days 20 or so vehicles of various models including a number of Volkswagens would go out into the desert hills to explore the narrow canyons and roads. Hidden Canyon, as its name implies, was hard to find and harder to get to unless a group of strong men “bumped you over” (i.e. lifted the rear end of your car and moved it a foot or two over to the right wall of the very narrow mountain road under an overhang of solid desert rock.) The driver could then turn the car to the right and move on down the road). Another ‘road’ took you up and down some “steep, steep hills.” At one point on that road, there was a 90-degree turn that the driver and passenger could not see because the car windows only showed sky. The “Captain” in charge of the drive could see them from below and would radio “Rosebud” and “Thorney” (The couple’s CB handles and Arizona names) giving stern directions to “TURN NOW”. “Weren’t you scared?” was this writer’s horrified response. “No, I loved it!” was Bobbie’s daredevil reply as if it were no bigger a deal than confidently stepping off a curb with your eyes looking straight ahead at the same time. Another of the many activities the group organized were ‘moonlight rides’ into the desert on nights when the moon was full. They would go out just before dark and ride around the desert, some without turning on their lights, until midnight.  Bobbie says she and Hugh always turned their lights on. 2010-11 was Bobbie and Hugh’s last winter in Arizona. He was 94 and she was 91.  His health had begun to fail with symptoms of dementia and macular degeneration. In fact, she had been driving them to Arizona for the previous several years because of his worsening eyesight. Hugh passed away on February 28, 2013 after nearly 70 years of marriage. Around the same time, Bobbie was in the same hospital with pneumonia. As she recovered, she got to sit with him a time or two before he died. She has fond memories and great stories of their life together. Her own complete recovery took six months during which time, her niece, who lives in Pleasant Hill and is as close as a daughter would be to Bobbie, brought her to Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill-Martinez where she has lived for seven years. Bobbie kept their home near San Andreas which she visited from time to time after moving to Carlton only to lose it and everything in it, including most of her decades of craft artwork, the only quilt she ever made, and all the pictures of her family and of her and Hugh’s life together in a 2015 wildfire in the Sierras. Asked how she dealt with that, she said with soft-spoken resignation, “It was hard but if you’ve lost everything, you just have to deal with it.” Now 102, Bobbie continues to be positive and busy with her many hobbies and enjoys playing Rummikub and Mahjong with friends. As for living in 2020, she says “It’s no worse than any other time as long as I‘ve got my health and can do a few things.” That’s Bobbie Rose for you—sensible, focused, strong, honest, and pleasant to be around whatever her age is or has been. Written by Harriett Burt, Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill-Martinez Resident Read additional pieces by Harriett Burt Read more

Fran DeGaetano & The Tale of Princess Peppercorn

Fran DeGaetano & The Tale of Princess Peppercorn

Frances was born in Ocala, Florida and was raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her father worked for the ACL train line. After graduating from high school, Fran went to New York for a fashion and modeling class. As a student of the modeling class, she was given a room to rent on Long Island but spent her days in New York City. Fran says she quickly learned that modeling was not what she wanted to do. She says that in those days, models were not respected or treated well. She found a job in New York with a management group where she worked as a clothing buyer supplying large department stores. When retail buyers came to New York, she took them on buying trips. Fran met her future husband in New York. One day her coworker informed her that there was a call for her When Fran answered, it was her future husband. They became friends and eventually married. Fran and her husband have four sons. After her husband passed, she moved to Carlton San Leandro to be near her oldest son who lives five blocks away. Fran has nineteen grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and her little dog Pepper. Fran loves her apartment at Carlton San Leandro She is happy that she doesn’t have to cook, clean or do laundry. Fran says living in the community has been good. The Tale of Princess Peppercorn Pepper is Fran DeGaetano’s sweet Shih Tzu and Poodle dog. The DeGaetano Family has nicknamed her Princess Peppercorn. Pepper was found abandoned in the neighborhood of Fran’s son, Richard, and daughter-in-law, Barbara. Barbara approached Pepper who immediately ran toward her. Pepper allowed Barbara to take her home, wash, feed and care for her. When Richard and Barbara took Pepper to visit Fran, Pepper fell in love with her. Fran’s husband had passed away shortly prior to this time and Richard believes that the meeting of Fran and Pepper was serendipitous. The two formed an instant bond. During this time, Barbara says she noticed Pepper’s belly was getting bigger so she took Pepper to the veterinarian who determined she was pregnant. Pepper eventually had four puppies although only two survived. Barbara was working while trying to care for Pepper and the puppies which became a monumental job. She asked Fran if she would like to care for Pepper and her puppies. Fran loves animals but had never been a dog person. However, Fran jumped at the opportunity to provide care to the mother and her pups. Shortly after Fran moved to Carlton, the COVID-19 pandemic added complexity to the care arrangements for Pepper and she remained with Richard and Barbara for some time. The separation was challenging for both Fran and Pepper but we’re happy to report they’re together again. Richard and Barbara continue to care for Pepper during the evening and night with Fran and Pepper spending their days together. Pepper can be found walking in the courtyard with Fran, watching TV, or riding atop Fran’s walker as they stroll through the community. She loves the opportunity for residents and staff to show her some love. Pepper is the Love Ambassador at Carlton San Leandro and eagerly welcomes everyone to each new day. View additional Resident Spotlight articles. Read more