Meet Jeannine. Jeannine was born September 13, 1929. She grew up in the Iron-ore mining town of Crosby–Ironton, in northern Minnesota. Her mother was a homemaker, taking care of Jeannine and her two brothers. Her father worked in the mines as a truck driver transporting Iron-ore. Some of Jeannine’s favorite activities as a child were swimming in surrounding lakes, biking and playing in the snow making snow angels and snowmen. She attended Ironton Grade School, Crosby-Ironton High School and Brainerd Junior College. In 7th grade Jeannine was to receive a certificate for her penmanship, but her teacher said she was too young. Although that was disappointing, she did like her teachers.
Jeannine first met her future husband, Donald, in Brainerd, MN when she was almost 16. He told her that their paths would cross again someday when she would be older. Donald was correct. They met again in Sigourney, IA. Jeannine was now 18. They were married in December of 1948. When she was 19, she began working as a Telephone Operator. She had jobs in Belview, NB, Washington D.C., and at Northwestern Bell in Brainerd, MN., until they started a family. In Brainerd, Jeannine worked the night shift and recalls accidentally falling asleep one night. The police came thinking something was wrong and had to wake her up. It was a bit of a scare. The best thing about being an operator was being able to make free calls. You weren’t supposed to but sometimes they would.
Throughout Donald’s career, he was in the Navy, the Air Force and the United States Information Agency. They traveled to many places including; Newfoundland, Spain, France, Moscow, Morocco, Switzerland, Japan, Liberia, Tangiers, Nigeria, Madeira Island in Portugal, Okinawa in Japan and many of the United States. The most memorable places they visited are Japan and Portugal. Donald retired in 1986 and the United States Information Agency was disbanded in 1999.
Together, Jeannine and Donald raised five children; Barb, Robert, Gregory, Mark and Garth. Most of their growing up years were spent in Liberia in West Africa. The neighborhood they lived in had its own golf course and pool for everyone to enjoy. Jeannine knows their children benefitted greatly from their exposure to many cultures. People have told her she should write a book about their adventures of living all over the world. Jeannine now has 15 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren to share her stories with. They are a very close family and spend most holidays together.
Jeannine enjoyed collecting area specific items during her travels. She has African art from Liberia, Lladro pieces from Spain and linens from the Madeira Islands. There was also a large variety of food available. Donald tried any food, in any country they visited. Jeannine is more of a picky eater. Her favorite food was, and still is, Roast Beef with mashed potatoes and gravy. Some of her favorite activities used to be bowling, dancing, golfing and ceramics. Now she enjoys watching “Deal or No Deal” or any game show really. She also likes to draw, play Tripole, volunteer here at Good Shepherd delivering mail in the Nursing Home, and get her daily exercise by walking the halls. Jeannine has been living at Good Shepherd for almost two years. She says, “As I age, it’s a perfect place to be with many activities, quality services, and a great location. The staff is wonderful, people are friendly and I have the best apartment.” We’re proud Jeannine calls Good Shepherd home.