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Retirees in retirement: Sharing your story (March 2021)

For this issue, we asked Extension retirees how they are caring for their own wellness and the wellness of close ones this winter.
Gene Bromenshenkel, former county Extension director in St. Louis County, Community Vitality, shared words of wisdom to avoid crowds and stay close to home, although that has sadly meant not going to church in person for a year now. Gene still helps with the local food shelf.

Jeanne Markell, former associate dean and director, says she has, “Updated some things around the house; worked on my memoirs; organized lots of online chats and meetings; sewed about 500 masks; baked lots of sourdough products.” She also participates in one book club with friends and another with her 10-year-old granddaughter. Jeanne recommends the University of Minnesota Community Health Education program. “Folks with a chronic health issue are matched up with student teams (med school/nursing/pharmacy) to share insights as a consumer of healthcare services.”

Kent Olson, retired as associate dean, Community Vitality, and was a professor in Applied Economics with an Extension appointment. He says, “So our daughter and son-in-law could keep working, Linda and I have greatly enjoyed helping our twin granddaughters with virtual kindergarten this fall and winter in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. We have learned a lot!”

Liz Templin, who retired in 2019 as an Extension educator in Community Economics, has missed Extension's professional development but discovered a way to fill the gap through Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. “The virtual classes are like college and grad school courses without tests, papers or homework!” Liz also recommends “Depolarizing Within” free online workshop by Braver Angels, which teaches how to look within to develop strategies for engaging in politics without demonizing.

If you have news or a story to share with fellow Extension retirees, please share it by completing this Google Form or email our central Retiree News email account at

We hope to hear from many of you. Do not be shy — tell us about your activities and successes!

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