Celebrating Women’s History Month with our Female ‘Amazing Seniors’

Celebrating Women’s History Month with our Female ‘Amazing Seniors’

With Women’s History Month almost over, we want to reflect on some of our female Amazing Seniors that have been included in our previous editions. These women are an inspiration to all from their grit and hard work to the way they nurture their families, communities and all who are around them. We are happy to be spotlighting Cheryl Jenkins, Barbara Andersen, Melanie LaJoie, Maria Chaviano, Mirta Ramos and Phyllis Lozeau, who have all walked through various situations in life but stayed strong and persevered. Cheryl Jenkins When we see others go through adversity and turn it into a positive, it always shows more about who that person is than anything else. Cheryl Jenkins went through hardship in a very short timeframe with a diagnosis of type-1 diabetes at 51 years old. During that time, her mother needed hospitalization and rehabilitation while being hundreds of miles away. Relocating an elderly person is no easy task and doing it mostly alone is even...
Read More
Amazing Senior: Maria Chaviano

Amazing Senior: Maria Chaviano

Imagine being born in a country where your rights are limited and your freedom is non-existent. Maria was born in 1952 on the beautiful and colorful island of Cuba. She was raised by her dutiful grandmother, Magdalena Perez. By the time she was seven years old, dictator Fulgencio Batista had been overthrown by the young Cuban revolutionist, Fidel Castro. During the first few months of his reign as Prime Minister, the island seemed to be prospering. The people were happy and life on the island was finally looking up. But it didn’t take long for Castro’s reign of terror to spread. After a few weeks in office, Cuba’s new leader began his campaign of repression. Laws that hindered freedom of speech and fundamental rights were strictly enforced. There were surveillance teams in each pueblo, and military force was used to ensure compliance. The streets were littered with anxiety, fear, and snitches. No one spoke out or trusted anyone, not even long-time friends....
Read More
Amazing Senior: Juan Armando Montes

Amazing Senior: Juan Armando Montes

There aren’t many Americans who can say they have jumped out of airplanes to fight for America’s freedom. Not only that, but to have served in the Army for almost 30 years, fought in combat as a Ranger and went from being a private to retiring as a full-bird Colonel. A true hero, Col. Juan Armando Montes was born to be a military man and destined to command hundreds of troops. Born in Cuba on October 27, 1936, Juan grew up with a hardworking father and loving mother. His father, Juan Sr., worked in many lines of business while getting his education, such as moving storage, owning a shark fishing industry and other jobs. Juan’s parents pushed him to be a scholar as well, and he eventually graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from La Luz College in Havana, Cuba. He later obtained his Civil/Criminal Law Juris Doctor from Saint Thomas Villanova Catholic University, also in Havana. Although he was...
Read More
Amazing Senior: Tom Yarbrough

Amazing Senior: Tom Yarbrough

Tom Yarbrough is not exactly your typical 85-year-old retiree. Tom still enjoys riding his classic Ducati motorcycle, a sleek machine that comes all the way from Bologna, Italy. When asked if he was still an active rider, Tom seemed amused by the question and replied, “I’m still young enough to ride!” Born 85 years ago in Gadsden Alabama, Tom attributes his continued youth, good health and ability to ride a motorcycle to a life time of hard work.  At a young age, Tom moved to Coral Gables, Florida where he went to school. He had his first job at age 13, a paper delivery route for the Miami Herald.  After school, he would help his uncle in a shoe store on Coral Gables’ famous Miracle Mile shopping strip. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he spent 25 years in America’s service. During that career, he saw a lot of the world, including spending 3 years...
Read More
Amazing Senior: Mirta Ramos

Amazing Senior: Mirta Ramos

| Originally published in the Spring 2020 Edition of OurSeniors.net Magazine | Mirta Ramos has experienced love, pain, fear, separation and a reunion. She grew up as an only child in Havana, a vibrant city filled with culture, music, nightlife and tight-knit neighborhoods, one that went from a democracy to communism in her lifetime. Her father traveled to the United States regularly for business and came home with stories about the country located just 90 miles across the Florida straits. Although she had never been there, it was a place she wanted to see. She deeply loved her homeland. But that changed dramatically in 1959, when Mirta was only 23 years old. Fidel Castro took power after a military coup, and life was never the same. Her father lost his restaurant to the regime. Mirta’s closest friendship ended when her best friend became a government “snitch.” Food dwindled. Meat became a rare commodity and life as she knew it was lost forever. “The first year...
Read More
Amazing Seniors: Jerry and Esther Krueger

Amazing Seniors: Jerry and Esther Krueger

Stories from veterans are some of our favorites at OurSeniors.net, as each story is unique from others and all experiences are one of a kind. That’s why our Amazing Senior for this issue is Jerome (Jerry) Krueger, along with his wife Esther Krueger. They have been married for 72 years and moved to Daytona Beach to live closer to family in the area. These two have stayed active since they met in 1946, with a life full of extraordinary careers behind them and now, a busy schedule working with WISE (Wisdom In Senior Education) at Daytona State College. Jerry is also treasurer of Temple Israel in Ormond Beach. Jerry is a WW2 veteran who served in the Army Air Corps as a flight radio operator. He started in Miami, FL, for testing, flew to Sioux Falls, SD, for radio school, then to Long Beach, CA, to wait for assignment. He flew overseas to Australia for delivery of new aircraft. From there,...
Read More