by Jane Zimmerman, Treemont Resident
Always sweet and smiling is the platinum, curly haired Carmin Cleavenger. Outwardly, she is friendly and fun-loving, but her true spirit is helpful, patient and kind; her life story explains both sides.
Carmin was an only child, born in Dallas, Texas on the day after Thanksgiving, December 1, 1933 (Thanksgiving’s date was changed during WWII). She was 8 years old on Pearl Harbor Day December 7, 1941 and remembers WWII. Carmin still remembers the line, “day of Infamy.” Her dad, who had been in WWI, signed-up for WWII, so Carmin swam in the officers’ family pool.
But when Carmin was 6 years old, her friends teased her that one day she would someday become a teacher – mainly because she was already teaching them! She attended and graduated from Incarnate Word High School and had 2 years of college at Incarnate Word College. She then finished at Georgetown with a major in Christianity and minor in Philosophy. She went back to the University of Houston for her Masters in Speech and Hearing Therapy, as she was interested in teaching children, not working in an audiology clinic.
Carmin moved to Houston when she was 22 and taught the hearing impaired In Pasadena. The first child she taught was 1-½ years old in pre-school hearing impaired. She then taught primary, then junior and senior high school English and Social Studies. She taught hearing impaired a total of 33 years. Recently she heard from one of her students, who is now a grandmother. After teaching, Carmin became a school librarian for 10 years, then retired at the age of 55. As a librarian the children were the most fun. One little boy checked a book out for 2 years.
Carmin always lived with her mother and helped care for her and Carmin’s aunt when they were elderly and her cousin moved to New York. She does have Sydney, her adopted granddaughter now, who pats her on the arm and says she will take care of her. Sydney comes here to visit often and takes music lessons from Richard Shanks. After Carmin retired, some female students (all grandmothers now) called and they had lunch together. As she has no children of her own, Carmin considers them all part of her family.
After retirement, Carmin did genealogy research at the Mormon Church for 8 years; after that she was a receptionist at Westbury United Methodist where she is still a member. She enjoys living at Treemont with activities like “Color Me Calm” and says she has met many nice people. She likes the Hallmark channel on TV and watches sports such as gymnastics, skating, track, and the Olympics. Loving books as much as she does, she is grateful she can still read and that her mind is still sharp: “as long as there is a book, there is something interesting to see.” Carmin has a very nurturing nature and is very happy - “you have a choice - that’s life.” She says she has been blessed and would not trade her life with anyone!
If you enjoyed meeting your Houston assisted living neighbor, then click here to meet more residents of this dynamic independent living in Houston community. There is much documentation on the value of social interaction and friendships in keeping seniors happy and content. Active Activities Programs are key to resident happiness in senior living in Houston communities. Seniors want to live with interesting and engaging residents. At Treemont, from concert pianist Ann Wang, to Nelda Sims of the Sims Trio and also Wilma Carr and Lillian Lee, residents enjoy in-house entertainment, and meeting new neighbors with whom to engage and share their new community. Please make sure you ask about the residents and the activities for seniors programs when you tour senior living Houston TX communities.