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Retired, but not retiring

Kurt Hildebrand

Jean Sullivan may be retired, but she certainly isn’t retiring.

The 78-year-old former U.S. Geological Survey employee is keeping up as secretary and, until recently, the temporary public-relations chairwoman of the Carson City chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.

She had just handed off the job to Bob Williams when I called her on Thursday.

Jean still has a hint of the accent she acquired growing up in Lynn, Mass., just outside of Boston.

She lived in Carson City briefly 20 years ago before moving on to Portland, Ore., but when she retired in 1990 after working in Sacramento, it was Nevada’s capital that captured her heart.

In addition to her work for the Carson City chapter of the retired federal employees, she is a part-time care giver for a friend.

The association’s mission is to keep track of legislation that affects former federal workers.

“We spend a lot of time writing letters to our legislators in Congress,” she said. Jean has also attended the association’s national conference.

The Carson City chapter has 150 members, but 20 to 30 show up for the meetings at Grandma Hattie’s on the third Tuesday of every month.

Jean wrote me a letter telling me about some of the members of her organization.

“We have two members who are 91 years old, still active,” she wrote. “One still bowls, the other collects for the Alzheimer’s Fund and does a remarkable job. We have World War II veterans; one who gives talks around town on his survival in the Battle of the Bulge.”

Jean asked that I come and speak to the group, which I’ve agreed to do in the near future, thanks to program chairman Ron Morey.

I received an e-mail from an old friend whose organization also meets on the third Tuesday of every month.

Lee Radtke wrote to tell me that his club, the former Carson Area Nevada Bell Pioneers, has changed its name to the Carson Area SBC Telecom Pioneers.

The parent organization has also changed its name from the Telephone Pioneers to the TelecomPioneers.

Lee writes that the membership consists of 160 retired and working telecommunications professionals from as far away as Bishop.

I dealt with the Pioneers in their clothes drives for the Carson City School District Children In Transition program. The first time I met Lee, he was driving around in a car with a trunk full of shoes they’d gathered for underprivileged children.

For more about the pioneers and what they do, call Lee at 885-8166.

I read that Lee plans to seek the vacant seat on the Carson City Board of Supervisors. I thought about trying to talk him out of it, but Lee’s a giver and being appointed to that seat would give him plenty of opportunities to continue his good works.

My mom wrote me to say father-in-law Gim Hollister’s picture appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal last weekend.

It is the same photo, taken by photographer Cathleen Allison, which appeared in the Nevada Appeal. It shows Gim pointing out the location of the first stage stop in Genoa to a group of onlookers.

I have to acknowledge the only person to consistently navigate my voice mail to leave me regular reports about the Silver Springs Spay & Neuter Project.

Tom Blomquist calls me once a week with items of interest from Silver Springs. This week he said a litter of puppies, which he suspects to be

genuine Nevada trailer dogs, will be fixed and get all their shots for $50.

Rosie the Rottweiler has undergone her last surgery and may get back out in public soon. Anyone who can help with the project should contact Tom at 577-3518.

Kurt Hildebrand is former managing editor of the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 887-2430, ext.402 or e-mail him at kurt@tahoe.com.