Meet Carlton Senior Living spotlight resident Dorothy Scherer – Dorothy was born to parents Arthur and Clara Kruppenbacher on July 18, 1930, in Palisades Park, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Her father was a first generation American and her mother came to America from Germany in her twenties to help the family in New York raise their children.
In high school, Dorothy walked about three miles to and from school and worked for a drug store in the evenings. She recalls walking in all kinds of weather with the snow causing the most issues for her. On one occasion on her way home, she found her father and brother stranded after both their cars slid off the road.
She grew up and lived in a few different areas of New Jersey, steadily moving northward up the Hudson River Valley. She met her future husband, Richard, when they were teenagers. Dorothy eventually became a registered nurse and Richard joined the United States Air Force, working as an aircraft mechanic. He was sent to Texas and Illinois; the two were married in Illinois. The Air Force then assigned Richard to Tucson, Arizona and he and Dorothy flew to Arizona from Schenectady, New York to live. After about a year, he was reassigned to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California.
Finding five acres of land in Vacaville, the two built a home and had an almond orchard, which is still in their family today. After her husband’s discharge from the Air Force, he remained at Travis Air Force Base as a civilian aircraft mechanic to perform turnaround maintenance on the multitude of aircraft that arrived at the base.
Dorothy received her bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State University and worked as an operating room nurse. She focused on education and opened the education department for NorthBay Medical Center. She and Richard had three children–Dan, Richard, and Jeanne. They all helped work the farmland in some capacity while growing up.
Describing her life philosophy as “connecting with nature,” Dorothy says she loves exploring and “wandering in the woods.” She enjoys going to unfamiliar places and learning about them, especially with her interest in botany and identifying different plant species.
A favorite life experience was two bicycling trips with her husband through Europe, first in 1977 and again after her retirement in the 1980s. Their daughter Jeanne, then 16, joined them on the first trip. They biked all over the northern part of Europe, including Denmark and the Island of Fohr, where her mother had grown up. They even met family who lived there–aunts, uncles and cousins. The second trip included eight weeks touring the British Isles, including Ireland, where they met the family of Richard’s mother.
Her favorite kinds of music are folk and country, and she is a huge John Denver fan. She loves to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and says nothing beats ice cream for dessert. We are so glad to have Dorothy as a resident of Carlton Senior Living Davis.
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Written by Eric Demuth