Centenarian Project

Hope Olsen has wide, genuine smile

by Pat Lay Wilson 

centenarian sub-committee


The first thing noticed when entering Hope Olsen’s tidy apartment is her wide smile of genuine happiness.

When asked how she lived to be 100, Hope shook her head and said, “I guess I was one of God’s chosen ones. I don’t know what I had to do with it!”

Hope was born in South Dakota 100 years ago, the day after Christmas. “I never had a real birthday party,” she said, “and one of my granddaughters was born on my birthday, so she has had the same problem.”

From the time she was born, religion played an important role in her life. In addition to attending church regularly, she sang in the choir and taught Sunday school. She never smoked nor drank.

Music played an important part in Hope’s life and long ago, at school, she delighted in singing and giving dramatic readings. Hope also enjoyed dancing in the past. With a wistful look she said, “I danced my life away.”

Of course, other aspects played a part in her young life– growing up on her father’s farm, horse-back riding with her girlfriends and eating healthy food from their vegetable garden and orchard, were all part of her formative years. Healthy food is still a part of Hope’s life, although she does admit to nibbling on a cookie every now and then.

With a wry smile, Hope said she had never learned to roller-skate because, “there were no sidewalks on the farm.” However, she always enjoyed walking in the hills that surrounded the farm.

As an adult, when she moved to the San Bernardino mountains, she continued her daily walks with her Scandinavian husband. She walked until two years ago when a stroke put an end to that.

Hope has several collections on display in her apartment. There is a large set of Indian arrowheads, which her husband collected in the Black Hills and a plate collection. “The plates were mostly my mother’s collection,” she said, “so some of them are real antiques.”

During her long marriage, Hope was a dedicated wife and the mother of one son and one daughter, and she maintained a lovely home. Occasionally she worked outside the home in a pharmacy and at church. The family moved to Southern California, during World War II.

Hope Olsen has lived in Leisure World for more than 20 years, when she moved in with her husband. They had a long and strong marriage of more than 60 years, until he passed away a few years ago. Good genes played an important part in her family’s longevity; both her parents died in their 80s.

At the end of the interview when asked to wave at the camera to her children and grandchildren, Hope quickly complied. With a glowing smile and a kiss, she said, “I love all of you a whole bundle!”


Sunshine Club

Carol Weller will speak tomorrow

Carol Weller, mutual administrative manager of the Golden Rain Foundation, will be the guest speaker tomorrow, Jan. 31, at the Sunshine Club meeting at 10 a.m. in Clubhouse 3, Room 2.

Mrs. Weller will talk about community support services her department provides to Leisure World shareholders.

She began working for the GRF in 1982 and has held several positions. She was reservation coordinator, secretary to the mutual administration manager and the recreation department manager.

She transferred to the Stock Transfer Office in 1994 and was promoted to stock transfer agent shortly thereafter.

In 2006, she began working in conjunction with the mutual administration manager dealing with issues related to the mutual corporations, in addition to holding her position as stock transfer agent. Last year, she accepted the position of mutual administrative manager.

She lives in LW with her husband, Gene, a retired GRF building inspector.

The Sunshine Club hosts classes to help with everyday living in Leisure World, on Fridays in Clubhouse 3, Room 8 or Room 2, from 10-noon. It is an English- speaking class. All shareholders are welcome to attend; no membership is required. Refreshments will be served.

Call Anna Derby, 598-6796, for more information.

—Anna Derby



Special advisory board meeting set

There will be a special meeting of the Multicultural Council’s advisory board on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m. in Clubhouse 3, Room 9, including past, present and future advisors, or anyone interested. The group needs to be strengthened and expanded to be more community-wide in scope. The council would like representatives from all cultural/ethnic clubs and organizations to attend.

Multicultural Council (MCC)had a general assembly on Jan. 21.

The agenda called for the election of the board to serve through 2015.

The new officers are President Ellen Brannigan, Vice President Debbie Lee, Secretary Anna Derby and Treasurer Kathy Park.

Ellen asked for team work and for specific committees to be formed.

A hospitality committee is needed to help fulfill the goals of the MCC. Volunteers were hesitant, yet the next couple months are covered.

The organizational design of the MCC is unique. Although considered generally as a “club,” it is a council. The attendees sit in a circle to emphasize equality.

Anyone in Leisure World, sharing MCC goals, is welcome at the general assembly monthly meetings, and may be considered an advisor to the council or a guest. An advisor may be a representative of one’s self or of an organization, either cultural or ethnic. As such, these form an advisory board and may bring to the attention of the general assembly upcoming events, ethnic celebrations or concerns. This sounding board has the potential of reverberation throughout the community, due to the wide range of representatives attending.

The goals are succinctly expressed in the bylaws of the Mulitcultural Council, “organize cultural events including but not limited to lectures or presentations on traditional culture, history, geography, stories, etc., to enhance knowledge and understanding among Leisure World residents.”

The purpose of the activities is to help all residents to respect each other and live in harmony in Seal Beach Leisure World.


Yiddish Club

Nobel Laureate is topic Feb. 6

The Yiddish Club of Leisure World will meet Thursday, Feb. 6, in Clubhouse 3, Room 2, at 7 p.m.

The topic will be Nobel Laureate for Literature 1978 Isaak Bashevis Singer.

After new words and proverbs in Yiddish are introduced the president of the club review the life and creation of the remarkably talented writer I. B. Singer. He is a master of the Yiddish language and his original works are enhanced by his stylistic and linguistic skill. The Nobel Prize awarded to him is not only a personal triumph, but a triumph for the Yiddish language and Yiddish literature. Excerpts from I. B. Singer’s stories will be presented.

Refreshments will be served after the program.


Friendship Club

All invited to computer classes

Computer classes conducted by the Friendship Club in Clubhouse 3, Room 4, are open to all Leisure Worlders and their guests.

A repeatable introduction to the personal computer (most versions) with Jeff Sacks will be conducted Monday, Feb. 3, from 9-10 a.m., followed by open computer questions about PCs and/or Macs from 10-11 a.m. Questions about how to use Windows 8 or how to find a Windows 7 PC can also be included.

New Windows 7 computers can still be purchased from Dell online or by phone and refurbished ones can be found by searching the Internet. The warranty is better on the new computers.

Wireless Internet is available in Clubhouse 3, so wireless laptops are welcome.

Light refreshments are served. The cost is $5 for one or both classes. For information, call Jeff Sacks, (714) 642-0122.



Club will celebrate Valentine’s Day

The American-Latino Club of Leisure World will meet Friday, Feb. 7, at noon in Clubhouse 4. Membership dues, $5, will be collected at the meeting in addition to $1 to buy supplies, such as napkins, forks, plates, cups and coffee.

Valentine’s Day will be celebrated with a cake. Organizers need a head-count to order the cake, so call Maria Rodriguez, 430-3405, and leave name and phone number before Saturday, Feb. 1.

The club will have a 50/50 drawing and a raffle. All are welcome.


Italian-American Club

Next meeting is Feb. 5 at noon

The Italian-American Club will meet Wednesday, Feb. 5, at noon in Clubhouse 4. The club returns to its regular schedule of meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. The board is planning sweet treats with a Valentines’ Day theme. Coffee or tea will also be served.

Come and enjoy the social time with entertainment followed by bingo. A 50/50 drawing is held with the last winner receiving the bell to get a bonus during bingo when his/her lucky number is called.

Dues are $5 per calendar year. All residents who are of Italian heritage or who enjoy Italian people and customs are eligible to join. For an application, call membership chair Martha Destra at 431-6368, or come early to the February meeting in Clubhouse 4.



Valentine’s Day party is Feb. 8

Saturday, Feb. 8, is the date for the Filipino Association of Leisure World’s potluck Valentine’s Day party, instead of Feb. 15 as announced by the FALW President Ren Villanueva.

Group 2 will coordinate the menu to be served. Julie Nulod is the chairperson. Let her know what members are planning to bring so there will be no duplications.


PHOTO-HAPPY BIRTHDAY— The Filipino Association of Leisure World (FALW) honored its monthly birthday celebrants: Ren Villanueva (l-r), Tony Tabora, Joe Sabroso, Ester Velayo, Winnie Daincin, Rene Jose and Ric Dizon, with a variety of sumptuous food and well-wishes.


Algona Picnic

Annual event is breakfast affair

The annual Algona Picnic, breakfast, will be held Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 9:45 a.m.-noon at the Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park.

Upon arrival, ask to be seated at the Algona table near the Garden Room. Bring pictures, stories, etc. for “show and tell.”

Breakfast will be over at 11 a.m. The cost is around $7.

For more information, contact Howard Genrich,