Enumclaw is truly a home town filled with kindness, understanding, and compassion for fellow citizens that live here. We have been living here over twenty years.
About twelve years ago we moved Uncle Dennis and his wife, Pauline, from Seattle to the Golden Elm Apartments. They needed to be closer to us so we could assist more. less than a year later, Pauline’s health started failing and she went to Evergreen Healthcare Center. Until her death in 2002, Dennis ate his evening meal with his wife at the care facility. The staff was so kind to the both of them.
Uncle Dennis would walk from his apartment to the Enumclaw Senior Center daily and have lunch. We were concerned (needlessly as we look back) at how he would be received by the Senior Center. Dennis was a kind man of simple wants and needs and knew no strangers. The Senior Center is wonderful. He enjoyed all the activities they provide, talking with others sharing his stories, and enjoying a good noon meal. Enumclaw is so blessed to have the wonderful staff and volunteers that are available to our senior community. He enjoyed putting puzzles together. This activity actually became a nickname for him, the Puzzle Man. He was so proud of his puzzles and framed a lot of them. You may have seen one hanging in a business, at the King County Fair, or shown to you by Dennis himself as you were passing him on a sidewalk in town.
Uncle Dennis walked all over Enumclaw. He regularly visited the businesses downtown. He was a sidewalk superintendent for building projects downtown. He stopped daily at the Bank of America to withdraw a few dollars for his daily pack of cigarettes and a little extra for coffee and a donut at QFC. The Kitchen Restaurant provided him with breakfast and we understand a considerate patron contributed to Dennis’s breakfast fund.
Uncle Dennis called us each evening around six o’clock. We could almost set our watch by the ringing of our telephone. He would share his daily travels, Senior Center news, changes within the business community, and special things that happened that day. We knew he had enjoyed another day in town.
As time went by, Dennis needed assistance attending to his apartment, shopping, and cooking. The Senior Center gave us information to get him help so he could stay as independent as possible. Dennis had several care givers assist him, but we are most grateful to Terri for her kindness and the friendship she provided. We could sense it was more than just a job; she is a genuine caring person and a member of our Enumclaw community. When it became evident that he should move to assisted living the staff at living Court made the transition easy for Uncle Dennis and us. They were very professional while still showing warmth, kindness, and concern for his health and welfare.
Dennis had many friends. One special supportive friend was Dave. At times we would receive calls from a business owner, church member, Senior Center staff, or citizens regarding Uncle Dennis. Maybe they had not seen him for a couple days, or thought maybe he may not be feeling good when he passed by them on the sidewalk, or had missed him at Mass. What a thoughtful caring community.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church was his church home. He always enjoyed seeing everyone. When we were out of town for the weekend Dennis might walk to Mass. A fellow parishioner would bring him back to his apartment after Mass. If Dennis was not with us when we went to Mass our church family would ask about him with concern. When his health changed and he needed to go to the Evergreen Care Center, parish members would visit and take him communion. Another church had regular services and their church members, citizens from our community, would make sure Uncle Dennis got to attend their service.
We are sharing this with you so the patrons of your paper can read about our community, Enumclaw, and about one man, Uncle Dennis, and how we all shared in the care of him and as we do with other citizens in our community. This doesn’t happen everywhere. Enumclaw is a special city, filled with caring people, businesses that go the extra mile to provide services to all, unique organizations like our Senior Center, and churches that reach out to help with our needs.
Uncle Dennis has left Enumclaw for a better place, Heaven. We hope after reading our letter that you will be refreshed with a new appreciation for our community where all of us have chosen to live, Enumclaw.
Sincere thanks to all of you,
Dan and Sandy Nesper