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GIVING VOICE TO HIS CALLING

How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?

I have lived in Hernando for a total of six years.

I was born and grew up in Wisconsin. I lived there for 35 years. The first time I retired, I went to the Philippines and lived there for almost 13 years. After a fall down a cliff, I returned to the states and spent three months recuperating with a sister who is a physical therapist and lives in western Colorado.

After living in the tropics for 13 years, Wisconsin was not acceptable except in the summer. Since I have two other sisters living in this area, I settled in Brooksville.

From August 2002 until May 2005, I lived in Honduras, but in June 2005 I returned to Brooksville.

Who are the members of your family?

There are 10 of us (one brother deceased). I am a lifelong bachelor. But, as I said, I have a sister here in Brooksville and one east of Masaryktown. There are three brothers who still live in Wisconsin, and the sister in Colorado, another sister in Illinois, a brother in Wilmington, N.C., and one brother in the state of Washington.

Tell us about your career.

I taught Spanish and social studies - mostly history - for 32 years in the same high school in Wisconsin.

When I retired from teaching, I went to the Philippines, where I was the business manager for our Advent Christian mission and taught part time in the Bible college, Oro Bible College. I also worked for Teen Missions in the Philippines during the time I spent there. I had worked with Teen Missions International, based in Merritt Island, for the last six summers of my teaching career, helping to lead teams of teenagers to India, Mexico, Honduras, the Philippines and Venezuela.

In August 2002, I went to Honduras, where I served Teen Missions International as the coordinator of its youth camp and Bible training school. Teen Missions operates a program of teams within their own country for Honduran teenagers during their school vacation time in December and January.

What kinds of activities are you involved in now?

When I'm here in Brooksville, I work every morning taking care of the yard and vegetable garden at my sister's house in Brooksville.

Four times a year, in January, April, July and October, I return to Honduras with Cristo Salva, which is a mission outreach of our Advent Christian Church based in Miami. I serve as the interpreter for a group that consists of volunteers, usually several doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

We have a clinic building in Macuelizo (in Santa Barbara), which is in the northwestern part of the country. We hold clinics there, and also mobile clinics and home visits in the surrounding area. We have a program that provides daily vitamins and parasite medicine twice a year in the elementary schools in a four-county area. We also have a program of providing prenatal vitamins and care to the pregnant women of the area. And we serve in the area churches with a ministry of encouragement.

I do translations for the Department of World Outreach for our Advent Christian denomination. I am currently translating a book titled Life, Death and Destiny, which was written by a pastor in New Zealand who also served as director of the Bible College in the Philippines.

I also volunteer with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. I work with the Hernando Historical Society's Depot Museum, computerizing records and materials for them.

And finally, since there is no Advent Christian church here in Brooksville, I attend Turning Point Church of the Nazarene and will be involved with the computer lab, which they will be making available to the public, and with the Senior Citizens Meal Center that is in the process of being set up there.

Do you have any special hobbies?

I read omnivorously, and I like doing crossword puzzles, acrostics and jigsaw puzzles. I do water aerobics in the pool at my apartment complex every weekday.

What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?

I like to go canoeing at Chassahowitzka, and sometimes go to Pine Island to swim.

What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?

Replacing some of the members of the County Commission with people who are genuinely interested in meeting the needs of everyone in the county instead of just inflating their own egos and catering to the developers.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

I served for 16 years as the head negotiator for our local teachers union at our school system in Wisconsin. The last contract I negotiated was settled in the binding arbitration system we had in Wisconsin; although the union won the arbitration, the decision came down after I had retired and was living in the Philippines.

Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at jhayes@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1438.

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