For the past few weeks on Wednesday mornings, Lenore Rogers has been practicing a variation of the Royal Wave as she sets tables at the Community Center. You get the picture—she slowly moves her hand back and forth, placing napkins, placemats, cups, etc.
Lenore has been getting ready to do “The Steilacoom Wave” that she’ll demonstrate for about an hour on the Fourth of July as she rides through Town during the traditional afternoon parade.
Rogers is the Town’s 2015 Citizen of the Year—a well-deserved honor for this authentic hometown girl—born and raised in Steilacoom—a woman who’s spent most of her life sincerely “giving back” to the place where she grew up.
Working on Wednesdays at the Community Center is just one of many places where Lenore is likely to be found. Sometimes she’ll be weeding Steilacoom Garden Club plots (another great wave exercise!); sometimes she’ll be serving at Oberlin Church events, other times she’ll help at Steilacoom Historical Museum Association activities—whatever needs to be done, Lenore likely will be there (she Docented at the Museum on Wednesday afternoon, from 3-7 after working at the Community Center).
Although she retired from teaching in 2004—she hasn’t truly “retired.” Volunteering is just ingrained in her make-up. As long as she’s able, she’ll volunteer. “Keeping busy (with a variety of volunteer works),” she adds, “is better than spending time out shopping at the Malls.” Furthermore, anyone can find something useful to do—if they’re willing.
Besides the Garden Club, she’s also a Kiwanian and a member of Steilacoom Historical Museum Association. She’s also curator for the Orr Home—a “natural” for her since she lives right down the hill from the Orr Home! Her school ties have included serving as School Board member, working for the Levy, and funding a SHS golf scholarship. A talented artist—she designed “Sun Bonnet Sue”, the wrought iron figure next to the Bair Store—in addition to designing an assortment of Steilacoom ornaments.
After graduating from Steilacoom Historical School District in 1960, Lenore attended Puget Sound College (now UPS), and returned here as a P. E. teacher. During her decades as 6th grade teacher at Pioneer she inspired dozens of students. She’s pleased to see that many of them have returned here to live and raise their families.
Lenore, who retired in 2004, is mother to two daughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandsons. All giving her reason to stay involved in this Town on the Sound. As for her well-honed “Royal” Wave—she’ll mark Independence Day on Saturday, and then on Sunday she plans to celebrate her own Independence because it’s her birthday.
Three cheers for Lenore—Steilacoom’s Home Town Girl who enjoys “Simple Pleasures”–coming down where she’s meant to be.