November 2016

In This Issue

"Paint My Walls"  

On a sunny Saturday in September, a small group of volunteers showed up at Ashby Village member Joanne Sultar's Berkeley apartment to help her realize her dream of freshly painted walls.    

Tari and Bill French Community Builders
A Note from Andy

Healthier Aging 
Living Room Chat

Retirement Transition Workshop

In Loving Memory

Ashby Village Links


For Ashby Village this Autum presents a time for more than the usual nostalgia for things of the past.  Ashby Village (like the parent of a college age student) recently waved good-bye to our dear, longtime staff member Andrea Mok who returned to San Francisco State for a graduate degree in gerontology. On her very last day a huge fire broke out at First Congregational Church (like an unexpected Wagner operatic drama).  Having lost use of their administrative offices, First Church - gracious host to Ashby Village since our inception six years ago - is in need of office space.  Now its our turn to give back to First Church and we are in rapid search of a new administrative home so we can give them our space by the end of the December.  
We're embracing these challenges as opportunities, excited about the prospect of a new staff person and a new home where we can nurture the many seeds that are beginning to bloom.   New programs are deepening the connection and support of our members, such as the Healthier Aging Initiative, Decluttering Buddies, Retirement Transitions, and Volunteer Hearts N' Hands.  Moreover, Ashby Village efforts have begun to have a positive impact on our larger community. We recently learned, for example, that Berkeley has been accepted as a new member to the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. The  Age-friendly Berkeley Initiative  was introduced by Ashby Village, and conducted in partnership with several key aging and disability organizations in the Bay Area.  A formal announcement will be made after the first of the year.
May Thanksgiving be an opportunity for each of us to recognize and celebrate what is, what has been, and what is yet to be.

Andy Gaines
Executive Director
Retirement Transition Workshop

Wed,January 18, 2017
1:30 - 4:30 pm
150 University Hall

Open to recent UC retirees and Ashby Village members and volunteers who have retired or are contemplating retirement.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for us to work together as peers to explore aspects of retirement transition. In both small and large group formats, we will discuss these core topics:
  • If retired, what surprised you most? If not retired, what are your main questions?
  • Finding structure in retirement
  • Purpose, identity, and meaning in retirement

Facilitated by Ashby Village members Joel Kaufmann and Mary Graham, a recent UC retiree. For more information, contact Mary Graham at  or 510-235-2034.
Registration opens November 7  For more information or to register 

Village Annual Holiday Party
Saturday December 3rd. 2-5 pm  
Albany Community Center 
1249 Marin Ave
Rides Available (contact the office by Nov  23)
potluck of savories, desserts, drinks
RSVP or for more information, see flyer


On Saturday October 1, 2016 Ashby Village joined other villages in the WALK to End ALZ. Proud to say we raised close to $800 for Alzheimer's research! 

Thanks to everyone who contributed and Member Volunteers Sue Diehl and Diane Resek (and Lola) for walking alongside. Great day!


Pat Carvalho
Operations & Volunteer Manager


uncle sam

To assist member voting, an ad-hoc group of Ashby Village members and volunteers are offering rides to the polls to anyone who needs one.  Please CALL ride coordinator Kit Vanbuskirk (510 610-0061) or EMAIL her at  

RESERVE by November 3.
Embracing Change through Proactive Planning

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 10am-noon
77 Domingo Ave., Berkeley 

Our lives, bodies and minds change with time, as does our living situations.  If you are considering what arrangements or modifications may be needed to say in your home, or making other residential alternatives for you and your family,  this panel will be invaluable!

Alan Morgenstern -  Expert gerontologist and advocate for seniors, he specializes in helping to locate the best residential solutions for seniors and their loved ones. Alan has worked with many of our members and is a valuable resource to Ashby Village community.

Barbi Jo Stim - As a founding member, a former board member, and welcoming team volunteer, Barbi Jo knows the Ashby Village community very well. As a professional she has held the top post at the Jewish Family and Community Services, focused on issues of aging and home care alternatives. In her various roles, she has been a wonderful contributor to the welfare of our members.

SPACE LIMITED!  Please reserve a seat by contacting the office

Hilda Hernández-Gravelle, MSW, Ed.D
Social Care Coordinator

whatreadingWhat We're Reading
Juggling Needs
April 26, 2016
By Susan Miller

". . .you're only as old as you behave!"
June 21, 2016
Psychology Today
By Morton H. Shaevitz, Ph.D.

A New Start. . .How?
July 19, 2016
By Larry Jacobson

More than Just Music!
August 13, 2016
By Peggy Giakoumelos

On-Demand Style Services for Seniors
September 29, 2016
Bay Area News Group
By Marisa Kendall

Fall is the perfect time to get out and walk in nature.  Find a buddy, start a walking group in your neighborhood, or j oin the Ashby Village "Walkers" for three beautiful hikes in November.
Sequoia/ Bayview/Sunset Trails,  Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland
Stream Trail, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland
Jewel Lake Loop Trail  
members-volunteers Members and Volunteers Welcome

Get together with friends!
Nov. 4, 4:00-5:30 pm
Ashby Village Office

Wed., Nov. 2 & 16 11 am
Epworth United Methodist
1953 Hopkins Street, Berkeley
Drop-Ins welcome

Yoga Mat
Thursdays, 10 am
The Yoga Room NEW LOCATION (no class on Nov. 24, Thanksgiving)


10 am Fridays
(no meeting Nov. 25)
Epworth United Methodist
1953 Hopkins, Berkeley

rainbow flag

 livingroomLiving Room Chat
Sunday, Nov. 6, 2-4 pm
Home of Russ Ellis and Julie Shearer
Living Room Chats are smaller events where we give those who might be interested in joining our Village an opportunity to hear from our members, Board Members, or staff about what it means to be part of the Village.

Community Bulletin Board
Readers Theatre collaboration
eventpatnershipEvent Team Launches Readers Theater 

A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud
by Carson McCuller

The Events Team has started an exciting new partnership with the Berkeley Public Library in collaboration with the Epworth Church.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 12:30 PM
Epworth United Methodist Church
1953 Hopkins Street
Berkeley, CA  94704

paleoPaleo support wanted 
I need to lose weight and a doctor recommended the Paleo diet.  I would appreciate meeting someone who has been on this diet, is experienced in preparing meals and who would give me support during my endeavor.  
Please call Annette (510) 506-3125.

In Loving Memory

Danute "Dee" Nitecki

d. October 6, 2016

Danute Nitecki at Codornices Park photo by Sonia Jenson

Dee at Codornices Park, photo by Sondra Jensen

Danute Nitecki generously gave of herself to the Ashby Village community in so many ways. The second Tuesday every month she invited us into her home and served all-comers a scrumptious meal cooked in her own kitchen. She hosted the Macular Degeneration Support Group and a water color painting class. Her joy and appreciation at being read aloud to (and the surprising books she chose to hear read aloud) was described well by the Ashby Village Story Team .  

But perhaps her most significant contribution to Ashby Village were the cards decorated with reproductions of her beautiful paintings.  For the last several years staff have personalized and signed 20-30 cards each month -- wishing our members and volunteers joy on their birthdays and solace in times of need.  Fortunately for us, shortly before she died she made her final donation of over 200 cards. So when we're signing your birthday card in the coming year, and when you receive it from us and are admiring the compelling artwork on the front cover, that's a moment we can all say
"Thank You Dee!"
Newsletter co-editors Richard Bermack and  Charlene Depner