Meet Carlton Senor Living’s spotlight residents, Dale and Abby Faust - Dale was born in 1935 in Culver City, California where he was raised along with his younger brother. His parents were employed by Douglas Aircraft Company; his father worked as an aircraft engineer while his mother worked part-time in the tool crib. After graduating high school in 1953, Dale attended college at the New Mexico School of Mines for two years before joining the U.S. Navy. He completed his Navy boot camp training in San Diego and then was stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1956.
Abby Westwood was born in 1941 in the town of Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire, England. Her father was in the British Army and, while her mother worked as a waitress, Abby’s maternal grandparents stepped in to raise her. When Abby was nine, her parents separated and her mother decided that she and Abby would move to Memphis, Tennessee to be near her sister. Abby’s mother found work as a ward in a hospital and met a young sailor whom she married. In 1956, the family moved to Hawaii when Abby’s stepfather was assigned to the Navy base in Honolulu. Abby was about 15 at the time and she continued her high school education in Hawaii.
As fate would have it, Dale and Abby would first meet in 1958 during Abby’s senior year of high school. Dale had been invited by his Naval Chief to attend a barbecue he was hosting in his neighborhood for many of his neighbors. Beautiful young Abby lived in the neighborhood and was also invited to the barbecue where friends would introduce her to the handsome young Naval Electronics Technician, Dale Faust.
Shortly after their meeting, Dale was deployed to many locations across the Western Pacific for the next six months while Abby remained in Hawaii working as a dental assistant while remaining in contact with Dale. When Dale returned from his deployment, the young couple decided to marry, and were wed in August 1959. Following their wedding, Dale was deployed for another six months and, after returning home, Dale and Abby happily welcomed their first daughter, Debby, who was born at Tripler Army Hospital in Hawaii in June 1960.
Dale soon received orders to attend training at a nuclear power school in Vallejo, California before being transferred to West Milton Nuclear Training Facility in New York. Abby and Debby accompanied Dale to New York where they would live for about two years before welcoming their son, Michael, into the family in April 1962. The young family then moved to Virginia where Dale was stationed on the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
Dale and Abby completed their family in December 1963 with the birth of their son, Eric. Dale’s next mission would require that he be away from Abby and the children for 11 long months during which time he and Abby exchanged many letters and photos and even spoke with each other occasionally via Ham radio.
In 1965, Dale received orders to return to Vallejo to teach at the nuclear power school and so Abby and the children joined him once again in California. When Dale retired from the Navy in 1977 as a Chief Petty Officer ET, the family finally settled in Martinez, California. After the Navy, Dale was looking forward to having a little time off to spend with his family and relax but he intended to go back to work eventually. He applied for a few positions and was even called in for a couple of interviews when he received a call from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory asking him to start immediately. Without so much as a vacation from his naval career, Dale began his 18 year career with Lawrence Berkeley Labs.
Following Dale’s retirement in 1995, he and Abby enjoyed many years of travel including trips to England to visit Abby’s family, as well as Scotland and, of course, Hawaii- the couple’s favorite spot and the place their love story began once long ago. They also made many memorable camping and fishing trips in their motor-home along the California coast and Oregon river delta. When Dale’s health began to decline, his loving family decided to look into assisted living and they selected Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill where Dale would move in September 2016. Remaining in their nearby home in Martinez, Abby visited her husband daily before eventually joining Dale at Carlton Pleasant Hill. Dale and Abby have been married for 58 amazing years and enjoy each other’s company at Carlton where they also like visiting with their friendly neighbors and sharing stories with fellow veterans.
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Written by Patrick Coleman