December Newsletter 2023

“Sisters on the Loose”

One Family: Four Daughters, Four Nurses

By Dale Dauten

Just how did it happen that one family of four kids produced four nurses? That’s what we wanted to ask Ellen Jones, whose sisters were just in town for her 80th birthday. Thanks to Teri Douglas, we have photos from that visit…
Ellen summarized the four sisters in the above photo, left to right:


Joanne is the oldest. She was the talented child – played the piano and sang opera. She became an OR nurse.

I’m next oldest. I was the fun child, the cheerleader and party girl. I went into management.

Then there’s Kathy, who hated school but went on to become a psych nurse.

And last, 20 years younger, was the surprise child, Laurie. My dad thought he was finally going to get a son– surprise! She’s the smart one who loves technology, and she teaches computers and tech.


As for how they all ended up as nurses, that goes back to their upbringing. The quick answer is that both parents worked in a hospital. But, Ellen told us the story behind that story:


“We grew up in Wisconsin, in Manitowoc. Mum and Dad both worked at a hospital – Dad did maintenance and Mom was a CNA [Certified Nurse Assistant].


“Mum was brilliant. She was valedictorian of her high school class and got a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin. This was 1930, and that didn’t happen back then. But she got so homesick after half a year that she moved back and got training to be a CNA.


“Dad spoke German till he was five and had to leave school after the sixth grade to work on the farm. He was the one who told us as we were growing up, ‘You have to get an education. I will somehow pay for it, but you have to get an education and be able to take care of yourself.”


How did that excellent dad-advice turn into four nurses? “Back then,” Ellen said, “women didn’t have much of a choice: you either became a teacher or a nurse.” Even so, it wasn’t so straightforward for Ellen. “I was a party girl and a screw-up in school. I didn’t want to go on to school after high school. But Dad told me ‘You have to be able to support yourself in case something happens.’ And he also told me, ‘You always get in trouble, but you always get yourself out of it.’”

Dad was right. Ellen went on to get bachelor’s and master’s degrees and ended up in management, along the way winning numerous awards for her work, including the Nightingale Award for Nursing Excellence. (The Nightingale is the highest award in nursing, chosen by state nursing associations.)
As for ending up in Colorado, that happened because she married Larry Jones, who was in the Air Force, and he got stationed in Colorado Springs. They’re a blended family, with five kids between them – one in Arizona, two in Iowa, one in Colorado and one in Virginia.
As for coming to Silveridge, Ellen told us, “Larry retired five years before me. I loved my job and didn’t want to retire. I didn’t think I’d ever retire. But then I was going on 66 and between us we had four surgeries in three months, and Larry said, ‘Let’s take the fifth-wheel and go to Arizona.’ He had a friend he played poker with who told him to try Silveridge. That was 15 years ago.” And while the couple still split time with their Colorado home, they’re all-in when at Silveridge – Including pickleball, cards, billiards, and Sunshine Friends. Over 75 friends and neighbors joined the four “sisters on the loose” for Ellen’s 80th birthday celebration.
We had one last question for Ellen. With so many more opportunities for women these days, and with all the changes in the medical field, did Ellen think that she and sisters would all still pursue careers in nursing. Without hesitation, she replied, “Yes! We all loved it!”

Silveridge Events

From the Activity Team


Greetings From the Activities Office!


Here it is December already! Now, that we’ve given thanks for ALL that we are BLESSED with, December is the month we CELEBRATE! I hope you try and take advantage of the Activities offered here at Silveridge. We have FUN

and CELEBRATE each day! We have a lot of new residents in the resort. I challenge everyone to invite someone new to our resort to one of our activities this month. Whether it’s a poker or Bunco game, a happy hour at your home,

karaoke, or a dinner dance, bring your neighbor along and help them see why Silveridge is “The Friendliest Park in the West.” Help make them feel as welcome and at home in the resort as you do.

You still have time to be Santa for a Senior. More details are in this newsletter.

May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year.

Teri and I would like to thank everyone for their assistance, support and a great start to our 2023-2024 season. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy

Hanukkah and Happy New Year too!

Lu & Teri





We have now a decade of past issues of “The Silveridge Sun” available online. They are not just at (under News & Updates), but have a SEARCH feature that lets you find people or topics that we’ve written about.
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If you’d like to volunteer to be the subject of an article, or have someone you’d like to learn more about, please let me know.


Or, if you have photos you’ll like to share in upcoming newsletters, please send them.


Dale Dauten, Editor


Text: 480-297-6244


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