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Sharing Memories

4 Questions with 4 Fairwinds-Sand Creek Seniors

Published online: Oct 03, 2023 Senior Living
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Charles “Charlie” Boge

Long time orthopedic surgeon, Charles Boge, reminisces about his favorite memories throughout his life. Born in 1929 in Challis Idaho, Charlie has fond memories of growing up near the hot springs. “That’s a good place to grow up,” Charlie said. 

After growing up in Challis, Charlie attended both Idaho State College and Oregon State College where he received a degree in chemistry. Charlie was then drafted and would spend the following three years in Fairbanks, Alaska with a ski infantry. All the while, being married to a local girl from Challis, whom he shared three children with.

Charlie describes his longtime career of being an orthopedic surgeon one of the things he is most proud of in his life. “I had a lot of experience in reconstructive surgery,” Charlie explained. He recalls the defining moment for his career when fellow orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Stan was thrown off a horse and needed an operation on his broken leg. Charlie was the only other orthopedic surgeon in town at the time and performed the operation the following day, resulting in a successful operation.

Charlie has lived in Idaho Falls since 1964 and has grown to love the town as much as Challis. “I’m proud of my accomplishments here in town,” Charlie says. “It’s a good place to live. 

Looking back at his life, Charlie gives the advice to “spend more time with my family” to his younger self.  

Claire Altheuser

At 93 years, Claire Altheuser reflects on her pivotal time in the Navy and her experience as a teacher. 

Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Claire describes herself as a Yankee. After being raised in Springfield, she attended college in Pennsylvania, taught in New Jersey and joined the Navy. 

Her time spent in the Navy shaped her future in a way she could not have imagined. It would bring her all the way from the East to the West coast and put her in Cupid’s way. “I just so happened to meet this very handsome lieutenant, and we got married,” Claire said. 

Over the course of her life, Claire is especially fond of her time spent teaching. During her 36 years teaching, she spent time as a counselor and a principal but holds being a teacher in the classroom most dear to her heart. 

Claire recalls the class that changed the way she looked at her experience teaching. “I taught in the Mexican district and those kids needed a teacher, someone who cared about them,” Claire said. “That changed my perspective of what teaching ought to be.”

After spending much of her life teaching, Claire reflects and gives this advice to her younger self, “stop thinking you know everything.” The many things she learned have shaped who she is in a wonderful way and she hopes her next big accomplishment is making it to her 100th birthday.

Jack Taylor

An Idaho Falls native since 1928, Jack Taylor, shares his life journey and the many wisdoms that came with the years. “I’ve lived 85 years and have 200 years of experience,” Jack shared with a laugh. 

At just 19 years old, Jack began farming for himself, having come from a farming background. “My grandfather was the first to build a potato cellar in Idaho,” Jack said. But this was just the beginning of his story.

As a distinguished veteran, Jack gained much of his wisdom during his two years spent in Japan in 1952. During his time spent overseas, Jack became a radio operator, learned morse code and met someone special whom he would marry and return home with. 

Jack reminisces one of his favorite memories is when he returned home. After returning home, he went back to work on the farm and following his time on the potato chip farms, he decided to switch to sales and would spend 20 years selling.

Recollecting some of his favorite memories, Jack shares he is especially pleased with his time spent serving the country. “I’m most proud of our country,” Jack said. The many years and experiences he has lived have granted him the wisdom he shares with others today. 

Thinking back to his younger self, he gives the advice that education along with work ethic are of utmost importance.

Shirley Petersen

Born and raised in Idaho Falls, Shirley Petersen has made a pleasant life for herself. Growing up as a farm girl and formerly Shirley Reed of Reed’s Dairy, her time on the farm greatly shaped her future.

“I literally jumped the fence and married the next door neighbor,” Shirley said. It was a match made in heaven when Shirley married Hank in November of 1956. The 63 years that they would share together are deeply cherished in her memories.

Other memories that Shirley cherises are being Miss Rodeo Queen in 1957 and being an exchange student in 1956 in Bradenton, Florida. “That was a lot of fun,” Shirley said. “Then I met Hank and that’s been a lot of fun since.”

In the 63 years they spent together, they shared four sons and seven grandchildren. Shirley holds her family and Frank’s memory near her heart. “Hank always said life is like turning pages in a book. You get to a new chapter and you turn the pages again,” Shirley said. “And then every chapter is a different time frame in your life.” 

In the midst of all the fun throughout her life, Shirley also gained a lot of knowledge and still continues to learn until this day. “I’m learning now to slow down a little,” Shirley said. Thinking back to her younger years, the advice she gives to her younger self is to slow down.

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