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Homecoming

Bruce Atherton

Where all have you lived? Where do you live now?

Currently in Benton, IL, on Lake Moses, in southern Illinois. Previously: Minneapolis (30 yrs), Evanston, IL, Chicago, IL, Oak Park, IL, and my home town, Geneva, IL

About your family:

Currently living with Carol who I have known since 2nd grade. I was married twice, the first time for five years and the second time for thirteen years. I had been divorced from my second wife for ten years when she became disabled. I then moved in with her as caregiver for eight years. This wife and I had one son, PJ, now thirty five, married and raising a two year old with his wife in Minneapolis. Can’t wait to see my grandson, Hudson, again this October.

What kind of work did/do you do?

I was trained as a psychiatric social worker at the University of Chicago. I worked the first half of my career in different mental health arenas and spent the second half involved in medical social work.

How do you spend your leisure time?

I enjoy fishing on Lake Moses where we live and Carol and I love to travel. Our trips have taken us many wonderful places. Last winter we had a blast in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

What are your community involvements?

I have lived in Benton, IL for almost five years now and am still working on developing friendships. This generally takes place at one of the many, many taverns nearby.

Things you've learned to be true in the last 50 years...

I don’t know what I thought I knew and time is precious.

Things you've seen in the last 50 years that were spectacular...

VietNam…the birth of my son…British Columbia…the bravery of many of my social work clients…the battlefield at Ghettisburg…finding the love of my life after a fifty year hiatus

Things that have surprised you in the last 50 years....

Finding love at the age of 64.

Things that have disappointed you in the last 50 years...

Not much, except, what the hell happened to my body.

Have you had a life changing event?

Heart attack in 1996, followed by care for CAD.

What are you most proud of?

Raising my son to be a good and honest man.

Other thoughts you'd like to share:

I was very saddened to hear of the loss of our good friend and classmate, Mary Rockwood Diaz. She lived in St. Paul so I was able to see her a couple of times before I left Minnesota. She had a wonderful spirit.

Who you're most looking forward to seeing at the reunion:

Most everyone, but especially my room mate, Ken Oelkers.