Spotlight on Nancy Baer
When a resignation of a board member created an opening, the search was on to find a replacement to fill the remainder of that member’s three-year term. When asked if she would consider the position, it was an almost immediate response of an enthusiastic, “YES!”. met the newest member of our Shipley Center board, Nancy Baer!
As the saying goes, when you need something done, ask a busy person … that is Nancy, a life-long volunteer and champion of the underdog! Besides now being on the board, she has been one of The Café’s volunteer wait-staff ever since it opened; and recently helped out at the County Fair, and assisted at our Luau.
Volunteering is in Nancy’s blood! After attending WSU for three years, she graduated from the UW with a degree in Political Science and a passion to “save the world”! What to do? She became a Vista Volunteer assigned to various duties in Gary, Indiana, where she met her husband, Rob, also a Vista Volunteer.
After marrying, Rob and Nancy attended Rutgers University, Rob in the School of Library Science, and where Nancy received her Master in Social Work degree in Community Organization, with an emphasis on “changing the system; not just the individual.” Interested in Geriatrics, she was employed in Trenton, NJ by the NJ Housing Finance Agency on Aging for three years, working on senior housing issues.
Some 33 years ago, Rob became Head Librarian in Enumclaw where, under his leadership the current modern library was built. After retirement, he was instrumental in helping to start up the library system for America’s Car Museum in Tacoma.
While Rob was doing his library thing, Nancy was busy with her caring-for-people thing, organizing Volunteer Chore Service in Pierce and Kitsap counties under Catholic Community Services; and later as a Medical Social Worker for Tacoma General, working in different areas of the hospital, in home health, and hospice care.
“Family” has played an important role in Nancy’s life. Born in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley to a farming family, they soon moved to Central Texas. After losing their dairy farm in the 29-year drought, her father worked at construction sites wherever he could find work. In their mobile home, the family of six moved through Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado, the children attending school “wherever we landed!” Before coming to Des Moines, Washington, where they finally settled down, the school count was up to eleven! Nancy recalls that, “Security was family and church.”
Nancy and Rob have two grown sons, David, who manages a fish farm off Anacortes; and Aaron, in the USAF, who just returned to Travis AFB after serving 6 months in Africa. Married for 44 years, the couple loves to travel … and, by the time you read this, they will be in Europe re-visiting countries they had only touched on before, while cruising … Tallinn, Estonia; Prague, Czechoslovakia; and Rothenberg, Germany. As fate would have it, they will be cruising back to Fort Lauderdale on the same ship as Margaret Cox, Board President, and her friend!
Of Shipley Center, Nancy is impressed with all that it takes to be an autonomous “stand-alone” senior center, and she looks forward to contributing her long experience with senior issues to the betterment of Shipley Center members.
Welcome “a-board” Nancy!