Van Schaack Christmas Letter 1997

Joyce Van Schaack December 25, 1997 200 No Comments

Merry Christmas Happy 1998

Lee, Linda, Dena and Nathan joined Mom and Dad Van Schaack to visit former President Reagan in his Century City office in late November to thank him for his great deeds as Calif. Governor and President of the U.S.A. On the way up to his office, they met old friends from 1975, Mike, Colleen and Cameron Reagan. Cameron is now 19 years old, the same age as granddaughter Dena. It’s hard to believe the kids grew up so quickly. Daughter Dana went to the 1980 Republican National Convention with Mike and Colleen — they were so kind to her. Mike’s radio broadcast is nationwide now, and Colleen is an international travel tour agent. After the photo-op with the President Joyce threw him a kiss, and he threw a kiss back. He looks great, and says Alzheimer’s isn’t all bad, you meet new people every day!

Granddaughter Dena was a top honor graduate last June, attends Concordia University in Irvine, Calif. (carrying 17 units with a major in Psychology), and even works as a part-time secretary. She received $13,000 in grants and scholarships. Dena is a true beauty, and dates Sean De La Tory from her high schools days. Sean is an Economics major at the University of Calif., Irvine.

Following in his sister’s footsteps at the Capistrano Vailey Christian School is 15-year-old brother Nathan, who stands 5’10” and weighs in at 225 lbs. He plays both Jr. Varsity and Varsity football on a terrific team. Hard to imagine him tackling anyone as he is such a gentle young man. Besides football he enjoys motorcycling, skateboarding and has placed among the best on his surfboard. You’ll find Nathan with Mom Linda, and Dad Jim, at the beach daily. They love the Pacific Ocean. In their infrequent spare time they’re off to Mexico vacationing with surfboards. They are all active in their church. They are truly good Samaritans. Linda continues working at Nathan’s school, and Lee with his general contracting and Boys Town, USA.

Grandchildren Natalie and Nick Stamos joined their Calif. family during summer vacation. Joyce’s niece Waneen and family, Jon, Peter, Nick and Sarah also visited from Virginia. All had a great time. Natalie is a beautiful young lady, and is now in high school. She’s great in sports; however, last winter she fell snowboarding and was helicoptered to a Reno hospital, and there they found her dislocated shoulder (not a feared broken neck.) She’s back on the slopes now. Grandson Nick, a typical red-headed siren, works hard in Jr. High School, plays the trumpet, is active in church, skates and snowboards. He loves collecting “Spawn” characters. Grandson Adam turned 18 in July, and is 6’2″ tall. He attends Truckee Meadows Community College and also studies hard. He worked for Electronics Boutique in Reno, and with all his experience he hopes to work for Comp USA’s new Reno store. Tom and Dana are also active in Reno Christian Fellowship Church. Tom actively works at the family’s investment portfolio. He looks and feels great — working out daily at the gym. Dana’s business “Biggest Little City Graphic Design” is growing with digital imaging. She is active with the Sierra Nevada Craftsmen’s Club — a printing field group of designers and printers. Their home, 20 miles from Lake Tahoe, is nestled in a forest of trees, with snow galore. Their summer and winter visits to the lake are also beautiful.

Chris and Mary have had a busy year. Chris’ native plant nursery continues to grow. He is well known on the environmental circuit ns a speaker His general contracting also keens him busy. Mary is a terrific painter in watercolors. Earlier this year she left her regular job to stay at home and paint, and is now contracting as a computer specialist in her spare time. Both Mary and Chris love to travel, and enjoyed Thanksgiving in Palo Alto.

Jim and Joyce continue to look for their ideal property in Orange County, hopefully in San Clemente. IVII be a difficult move — leaving their family home of 30 years, with Tarzana’s beauty, and especially leaving all their friends in the San Fernando Valley. They prefer living in a cooler climate, being closer with family, and where Jim and Lee can continue working together on building projects. Jim has also worked with Chris, designing and remodeling homes. Jim is designing other new projects — enjoying his many daily hours on the computer. It is hard to believe all he can do! As a board officer of Institute of Store Planning he’s setting up plans for a visit to the new Getty Museum in L. A. He is still active in the Mason’s, and recently joined the China Society of Los Angeles.

Jim and Joyce traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana to visit Joyce’s sister Lorene and family, along with friends Barbara and Dick Barnes. They visited Joyce’s former high school and the Indy Speedway. All were pleased to see the recognition of niece Marsha’s husband, Gene Robinson, as his war letter was engraved in marble on the new Korean War Memorial. Joyce also visited relatives’ gravesites from the 1800s. (This was so informative as she is tracing the Anderson or Andrieszen family tree from Holland since the 1600s.)

Indiana was really lovely, but they traveled on to Disney World in Orlando, Florida for the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation’s presentation of $100,000 to a science winner, and $25,000 to a jr. high school group of community project winners. The highlight of the trip, however, was meeting with cousins Shirley and Jack (Lowe) and Shirley’s husband Ed Steele. Joyce hadn’t seen them since the 1950s. It was truly catch-up time. Joyce was elected as President of the California American Mothers and finds it very rewarding. Recently she was appointed by Calif. Governor Wilson to the Calif. Commission on Improving Life Through Service. The commissioners oversee community work with the U.S. AmeriCorp program in Calif.

She continues teaching at Pierce Community College (took her English Second Language class to meet Mrs. Reagan at the Reagan Museum last week), and Glendale Community College. Joyce still serves on the San Fernando Valley Fair Board, and is active in Republican projects.

Her California sisters, LaVern and Janice, are well and taking fun cruises. They all hope sister Lorene and hubby Lowell come back to visit sunny L. A. You’re all invited to come visit Tarzana soon, or wait to visit them in Orange County. Love and good health to each of you!

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