Getting to know our neighbors

Marlene Brown.

Marlene Brown was married to her husband, Richard, for a year before he received orders to go to England where they lived for two years. They also traveled to Germany and Austria later in life. The two settled in Keizer and lived here for 38 years. When her husband of 55 years passed away in 2016 she moved to Avamere Court at Keizer. She quilts with St. Edward Catholic Church on Tuesdays; over her lifetime she’s made 20 full quilts, one of which was donated to a Veteran Affairs fundraiser.

Fran Bunch.

Fran Bunch started off as the owner of a beauty shop. An unfortunate car accident lead to a change in careers, she went to college and got a degree in human resources. After graduating she worked for a middle school in special education. Upon moving to Avamere she found out that both her husband and Charlotte Bradshaw’s husband worked together. She also remembered meeting Hernandez before they lived at Avemere. She and her husband enjoyed square dancing and were part of a national square dance convention in Portland.

Bob Graf.

Robert Graf was raised on a farm “seven miles northwest of Beaverton,” an area he said is now suburban housing. He spent three years at Oregon State and then joined the Reserve Corps, which was activated. He was a combat engineer, his first deployment was for two and a half years in the Philippines. After he got out of the service he got a degree from Caltech. He married his wife, who was from Salem, which lead to their eventual relocation to south Salem, where they lived for 30 years. After his first retirement he worked in the Department of Revenue for the state of Oregon. He retired from that and he and his wife moved to what is now known as Avamere. 

Donald Hernandez.

Donald Hernandez was born in England. Early on in life, he and his mother came to America through Ellis Island on the Queen Mary and settled in Chicago. He worked for the Chicago Police Department after he graduated from high school, but left when he got drafted. After getting out of the service he went to school and got a degree in finance. He got hired in Medford as a state trooper and moved to Oregon. He transferred to the Salem Police Department, and then retired in 2000. He worked as a bodyguard for Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber after retiring from the Salem Police. He said he’d been married twice and currently has a girlfriend.

Charlotte Bradshaw.

Charlotte Bradshaw stayed home with her children until her youngest was in the sixth grade. After that she went back to work as a file clerk for the State of Oregon at the age of 62. She said that she ended up going up and down the stairs to the basement to get older files about five times a day, “I think the first month I thought I was gonna die,” she said with a laugh. By the time she retired she was supervising 17 people, one of whom she ran into in the elevator while touring Avamere. After retiring she and her late husband spent their time just having fun.

Paula Davis.

Paula Davis is a retired registered nurse. She worked at Salem Hospital for 23 years. She got her degree at age 47 when she became a single parent of six children, two of which were in college at the time, and the other four were living at home. She has been to London three times, once for her 60th birthday. On one of her trips she and her tour group got to see the queen and the royal family on their way to church.