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William Ronald Benzing
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Helen 2012-08-06 20:40:34
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Cynthia Zaia (Beraud)
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Retired Married Bob Travel, Weaving, Knitting, Reading, Trailer camping. 2012-11-28 22:56:20

Where to begin?  A lot has happened since 1962!!!  I graduated from Syracuse University in 1966, majoring in Housing and Interior Decoration.  Bob and I met there while he attended SUNY College of Forestry, earning a degree in Landscape Architecture.  After graduation, I applied and was selected for the Dey Brothers Executive Retail Training program and Bob worked for Onondaga County Parks as a parks designer. Being 1A, Bob joined the Air Force in 1967. After Officer Training School in San Antonio he was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington. In 1968 we got married and I headed to Spokane. While on base I did some volunteer work at the base library. When Bob’s tour ended in 1971 and with no other commitments, we bought a small trailer and set out on a 3 month adventure traveling around the US, eventually returning to Spokane.  While in New Orleans, we visited Sonnie and Bill Robb and their dog Brandy. What fun it was to see good friends.

While at Fairchild we traveled as much as possible around the Pacific Northwest, never dreaming that’s where we would eventually settle.  The more we saw the more we loved the area. We decided to give the Northwest five years to see if we liked it well enough to make a permanent home away from our families. Bob was hired by a landscape architecture office in Spokane and I returned to retailing. A year later we moved to Olympia, Washington when Bob was hired as a park designer with Washington State Parks.  I took a year off to fix up our rented house.  While at Parks in addition to design, Bob became the lead for  writing environmental impact statements. Subsequently, he was offered a job with the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal power marketing agency to be on their newly established environmental staff. So in 1973, off to Portland, Oregon we went.  I returned to retailing as an Assistant Manager with one of the local department stores. After about 2 years I’d had enough of retailing and quit. We had bought our first house and since I wasn’t working, I spent time settling in and working on it. After a couple of years one can just do so much to a house and I applied and was accepted for a Program Analyst position, also with Bonneville Power Administration.  Program Analyst is a title with a broad definition depending on where in the Agency you were employed and which had nothing to do with computer programming.  I worked in the Office of Engineering & Construction.  As an analyst, I worked with the engineers and construction staff coordinating and setting up construction and equipment procurement schedules for major electrical transmission /communication projects throughout the Northwest. In 1985 Bob got an offer he couldn’t refuse and went back East to work for a private consulting firm in Manhattan. It was a hectic period but fun.  We commuted coast to coast just about every other weekend for a year. We almost moved back there, but Bob missed the Northwest and returned to Portland, taking a new position again with Bonneville Power as a Manager in the Fish and Wildlife program and later in Environmental Analysis.  Boy was I glad. I really didn’t want to move.

My job changed over the years though the title stayed the same. My last position was in the Chief Engineers Office where I analyzed the engineers’ project estimates after their projects were completed identifying cost over runs, cut backs, and equipment location.  This information was factored into the rates charged to the rate payers in the region.

I was fortunate that through out my 25 years at Bonneville I had opportunities to participate in various activities both at work and outside the office.  For eight years I was on the agency’s Art Committee, responsible for the creation and implementation of a continuing program of acquisition and exhibition of artwork created by Northwest artists for display at the agency headquarters.  I was the point person for bringing panels of the AIDS quilt for display in the headquarters lobby in recognition of AIDS Awareness Day. I served as a member of the committee which interviewed and selected charities to be the beneficiary of Bonneville’s annual charitable giving program and fund raising auction. 

While enjoying my job, my interests were really outside the office. I was a driver and delivered meals for the Meals on Wheels program.  I learned how to weave using a Navajo upright loom (no moving parts) and apply techniques of traditional Native American weavers. During that time period, I was fortunate to work a flexible schedule, allowing me to spend almost a full work day every week on my weaving. I used to call it my mental health day.  I weave mostly rugs and some wall hangings which are used in our home. Some of my work has been exhibited in local weaving shows. 

In 1979 we bought our second house and over the years when it came to choosing a trip over fixing the house the trip always seemed to win out.  We’ve traveled extensively throughout the states and after our three month trip around the US in 1971 we took long trips whenever possible.  We took a horse back pack trip into a mountain wilderness area, went on a white water rafting trip down the Snake River, and took a three week trip up into western Canada. In 1997 we rented an RV and went on a month long exploration throughout the Southwest. We’ve traveled to Hawaii and Mexico and taken cruises to Alaska, and the Caribbean. Over the last eight years since we retired, it was off to Thailand, then Italy, and a cruise to Greece and Turkey.  While still traveling, we’ve cut back somewhat keeping it closer to home to work on the house. We’re finally getting around to doing the major rehabs we kept putting off. Traveling is more fun though!!

Before I sign off I'd like to thank the committee members for pulling together a terrific reunion. What an amazing job. Special thanks  to Martha (Meyer) Steinbach who set up a fantastic Website and Sue (Chamberlain) Miller for taking over for Martha when the need arose. It was so well done and covered so many subjects. What a kick it was to browse through them, especially the classmates. I had a great time and even Bob said how much he enjoyed himself. I was amazed at how many alums attened. I entered my profile after we attended so I can honestly say what fun it was.
Again, thanks to all for a huge job well done!!!!!

 

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Catherine Elmina Smart (Boyzuck)
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2011-08-23 18:29:44
Deceased - See Memorial Page
Bill Brennan
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Retired Single Volunteer Red Cross & Airport 2015-06-27 15:15:34
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Robert Crawford Brewer
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Janice 2012-08-06 20:40:35
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Patricia Jones (Brockett)
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Retired Widowed 2 2012-08-06 20:40:30
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Allan Broder
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2011-08-23 18:31:45
Deceased - See Memorial Page
Margaret Law (Bullard)
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Robert 2012-08-06 21:16:18
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James Edward Burdick
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Deceased 2012-12-27 18:07:53
Judith Lou Niziolek (Buske)
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Retired from Oswego City School District Committed Relationship 1 Jesse Swiger Possible volunteer work at hospital, Grandchildren, Consigment shopping 2012-08-06 20:40:28
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