Meet Carlton Senior Living resident spotlight- Sue Bolender. Sue was born in 1940 in San Francisco, California to Leslie and Elizabeth Stocker. Her father served in the military and her mother was a bookkeeper and an accountant. In her youth, Sue lived in Marin County as well as Hawaii where her father was stationed during his time in the service. After her father’s service ended, the family returned to Marin County and her parents eventually divorced when she was 8 years old. As a child, she also lived on her grandparent’s 50-acre salt marsh north of Novato with her cousins who were English colonials from China. In eighth grade, she moved to Petaluma in Sonoma County.
As a young adult, Sue attended college at the University of California, Berkeley. At age 59, she returned to college and received her degree from Dominican University of California in San Rafael after which she began her 11-year career as a Resource Teacher. During her marriage, Sue lived in Washington, Los Angeles, Portland and eventually settled in Orinda where she raised her daughter, Betsey, and son, Rush.
Sue has had many interests and hobbies over the years including hiking, boating, camping and volunteering. As a girl, she was taught to read music by her grandmother and also learned to play a little piano. She enjoyed ballet as a child and as an adult, she also took up belly dancing, ballroom dancing and tennis. Sue has a bit of an adventurous side and in more recent years, for her 65th birthday, she had taken a vacation which include a scuba diving course and she even went swimming with sharks without the security of a cage.
Over time Sue has also been involved in a garden club, swim club, friendship circle and has also acted as a Mary Kay consultant. In 2013 she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. She retired in 2014 and underwent shoulder surgery that same year after which time she moved to Carlton Senior Living Concord. She now lives at Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill where she spends her free time reading, listening to music and visiting with her four grandchildren.
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Written by Patrick Coleman, Personal Expressions Manager at Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill