MS COLORADO SENIOR AMERICA 2017,
CONGRATULATIONS to JEANNINE MONTGOMERIE, Ms Colorado Senior America 2017, and Special Thanks to Shari Ortiz, President, and the ladies of Ms Colorado Senior America Pageant, Inc., for a wonderful State Queen!
I was born in Illinois, on December 29th, 1952. I started taking voice lessons and performing in recitals when I was 9 years old. In high school I was a member of the Madrigal choir and performed in community theater musicals. I have sung in church choirs, cantored and directed choirs over the years. I met my husband, Chuck in 1973 and we were married in 1974. Our first child, Megan, was born in 1975. We moved from the suburbs of Chicago to Dayton, Ohio in 1977, where our second child, Julie was born. Another job transfer brought us back to Illinois in 1978. This is where we became established in a church community. My growth and development as a leader blossomed when I was asked to head up a three year spiritual renewal program at the 1000-family parish we belonged to. Our daughter, Jessica was born in 1980 and our son, David was born in 1982. Another job transfer for my husband moved us 120 miles away to Bloomington, Illinois. I started working part time in the Activities Department at a nursing home down the street. About six months after I started, I was offered the first ever full nursing scholarship awarded by that corporation. The 90ís were a combination of focusing on raising the four children (teenagers by now) and my career in nursing. There were so many joyful times of supporting the children in sports, speech competitions and theater performances. Within three years of becoming a registered nurse I was promoted to Director of Nursing and three years later became a Regional nurse for the same company. During this time, my husband and I were active in our church and started being part of a prison ministry group.
The highlights of the 2000ís were weddings and grandbabies. I changed jobs to work at the County Health Department for two years and then at a multidiscipline medical clinic. The job change allowed me more time to focus on social issues in our community. Years in longterm care nursing took its physical toll and I had two back surgeries by 2006. I was unable to return to work after the second surgery but this allowed me many opportunities for community service. I started an outreach ministry in 2007, dedicated to serving the poor in Appalachia and my community and volunteered for Hospice. The birth of grandchildren, family gatherings and camping trips are special memories of the past twenty years.
We moved to Colorado in 2015 to be close to two of our daughters, their husbands and six grandchildren here. We had no idea what delightful experiences lay ahead each day. I am active in my local Optimist Club and a volunteer with the Alzheimerís Association. Making new friends and exploring this beautiful state underscore that one is never too old for something new!