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Authors galore! Waverly Gardens celebrates its writers

Prompted by a half dozen books by resident authors on a shelf, a volunteer librarian believed the authors should be recognized. That idea morphed into a weeklong celebration when the full extent of writing talent at Waverly Gardens, North Oaks, Minn., became known.

Through meetings with the resident council and Waverly Gardens’ life enrichment director, volunteers and staff developed a flyer asking all resident authors to identify themselves. Initially, a conventional author introduction and reading format seemed appropriate. However, when 18 residents identified themselves as authors, that format was discarded, and a weeklong party took form. Responses from both authors and residents exceeded expectations.

Meet the Authors

Ann Kmit delights in sharing her Ukrainian heritage. Ann, whose family owned a Ukrainian gift shop, asked her mother and sister to collaborate with her in writing a book about decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs. She then printed and sold 40,000 copies of Eggs Beautiful. She has also published five other books on Ukrainian arts and crafts.





Mike Lamey always wanted to be a sportswriter. Through hard work, he lived his dream. During his tenure writing for the Minneapolis Star, he covered professional baseball’s World Series, hockey’s Stanley Cups, and the U.S. Open Golf at Hazeltine. Mike interviewed 64 hockey, 10 football, and 58 baseball Hall of Famers during his long and happy career.





Janice (Jan) Johnson knows the pain of feeling unwanted and the joy of being loved. Told as a child that she wasn’t wanted, Jan experienced significant emotional pain. Fortunately, some caring adults truly loved her, and she was also introduced to Christianity and God’s love at a local church. Jan shares her childhood story in Dear Lord, I’ve Often Wondered.





Anders Himmelstrup attempts to always fill his life with color. Following a 36-year career as a lithographic artist and as the owner of graphics business, Anders turned his full attention to art. His first book, Himmelstrup, 10 years of Painting and Sculpting, was published in 2012. Painting and Sculpting, his second book, was published in 2020.





June Male Hochbrunn has traveled the world. Raised in South Australia, she met her husband, Don, as a flight attendant for Qantas Airlines.  They married in 1956, and alternated between homes in Minnesota, Dusseldorf, Milan and Paris. June’s book, My Life and Times from Down Under and to my Home in America, chronicles her life.   





Mary Bath saw her mother succumb to breast cancer when Mary was a college student.  Later, she, too, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Experiencing reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy and two hospitalizations, Mary chronicled her experiences and feelings in Messages of Hope. She is in good health today.  





Gene Glader loves sports, nature, history and people. His first book, A Study of Amateurism in Sports, evolved from his Ph.D. dissertation. He served as a professor in Bethel College’s athletic dept. before buying Cascade Lodge on Minnesota’s North Shore. His books include Cascade Lodge, and Downtown Grand Marais.  





Judy Dalman Larson fondly remembers her happy childhood centered around family meals. Raised on a farm and then a small town, she and her sister, Jill, loved to cook, bake, and talk about their mom’s and aunt's good recipes. They collected them, and Judy wrote short stories about their upbringing. They printed and sold 1,250 copies of A Peek into the Country Cupboard





Jerry Williams is the son of a country doctor, but the appeal of this healing profession didn’t stick. Following WWII naval service, Jerry earned an electrical engineering degree, was employed by Univac, Zenith, and Control Data, founded Williams Sound, and holds seven U.S. patents. He has published two books: an autobiography, Led by the Spirit of Truth, and Thanks, Doc, his father’s biography.




Delores Mixer knows the hardships of poverty. She lived through the market crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression years of the 1930s. She writes of feeling nearly penniless. To get by, Delores’ father bought bulk fruit and vegetables. The family would then package them, and she and her brother would sell them to neighbors. Delores recounts her story in Growing Up in the Great Depression.




Nile Harper is energized by the interplay of theology and sociology. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Nile served churches in three states, held professorships, and was campus minister at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. While chairing the Presbyterian General Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, he traveled internationally, conducted research and published Journeys into Justice. He also wrote Will the Church Lose the City, and Urban Churches: Vital Signs.




Diana Rankin honed her writing skills while earning a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She then began work as a grant proposal writer for Southeast Asian and other community-based nonprofits. Though retired, Diana, a gardener, began writing for Minnesota Gardener in 2013. She continues to write for her church today.





Phool Chandra grew up in India and became a medical doctor who practiced in India, England, and the United States. He taught medicine at universities in Boston, Ann Arbor, Mich., and El Paso, Texas. Phool chronicled his life story, interwoven with the history of India and insider tales of medical practices and advancements, in The Life Story of Phool Chandra.





Pam O’Meara has the “travel bug” in her blood. A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Pam moved to St. Paul, where she taught middle school English. She went on to a 30-year writing career at Lillie Suburban Newspapers, North St. Paul. This work fostered a second, passionate career as a travel writer. She has traveled extensively and has received numerous awards for her columns and stories.





Bob Cuthill was born in Buffalo, N.Y. The ordained Presbyterian minister retired in 1995. Bob’s wife, Carolyn, contracted Parkinson’s disease during Bob’s retirement, and Bob served as her caregiver. Following Carolyn’s death in 2020, Bob sought new purpose in life. He asked his brother Bill to co-author a book about their Buffalo childhood, recorded in Boyhood Memories.





Arland Hultgren is the professor emeritus of New Testament at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. He served in pastoral ministry, and taught at Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y., and at Luther Seminary. Arland has lectured in Australia, Scotland, and Sweden. He is the editor of four books and author of 11, including Paul’s Letter to the Romans: A Commentary, and the Parables of Jesus: A Commentary, among others.




Fred Knox breathes history and genealogy. He has invested countless hours researching and writing about five different families and two individuals. The former St. Paul Companies executive also explores biblical texts through a historical lens, producing several monographs. Fred’s books include A Portrait of the Piekutnoski Family, and The Life Story of Frederick A. Knox, among others.





The late Warren Hoffman cared deeply about faith, health, and leadership. Warren first served as pastor to Presbyterian churches in the Midwest. He then founded and served as executive director of North Central Career Development Center, St. Paul, Minn.; developed and led physician leadership groups; and formed the Action Wheel Leadership consulting group. His books include Ya Gotta Wanna, and The Unraveling and Re-Birth of Healthcare, among others.  




We acknowledge and celebrate these, and our other gifted authors and residents, within the Presbyterian Homes & Services family!

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