Diane Workman Bedlington

Profile Updated: July 23, 2019
Diane Workman
Diane Workman

Then

Diane Workman

Now

Diane Workman

Yearbook

Yes! Attending Reunion
Residing In Sun City West, AZ USA
Spouse/Partner Gene
Occupation Retired
Children David, born 1963; Donald, born 1965; Daniel, born 1968
Comments

In the 1961 orchestra picture, the violins are on the left; I am in the next to last row and 4th over.

My life has been rather backwards compared to most students; becoming a Mom at 16 and having my Mom pick out a boy for me to marry so the baby would have a name thus not embarrassing the family, you tend to grow up fast. Fortunately, before that I was able to attend Jr and Sr prom when I was 14 and 15 so I had some fond memories of school.

Being a Mom and having my three sons was the most special time of my life. They were my essence for living and I took the motherhood role very seriously.

My first job was working at the A&W, then Bakers Grocery after the boys were in school. The next goal was to get a GED which I did and am so thankful.

In 1974 after a series of difficult times, it was time to relocate and we moved to Bigfork MT where we lived for 17 years. Living on a mountain had its challenges with not inches but feet of snow and having to drive the kids to school as we lived on a private road where the buses did not come. We had a tractor with a plow to clear the snow off the driveway and the road association bought a grader with a plow to clear the several miles to the county road. It was challenging, but also fun to step out the door and go cross-country skiing.

On occasion there would be black bears roaming through the yard and once in a while a mountain lion would wander through usually to check out what we were building such as the wood shed--they were curious. Sometimes we would just see their paw prints in the snow or mud. We chopped wood, had two gardens, chickens, an orchard, and it was peaceful. One of my favorite past times was to go to the Swan River Mountain Range and pick huckleberries when they were ripe. If you knew of a good patch where the berries were thick, you didn't share that info with others; compare that with a favorite fishing spot. We always carried a gun, but only ran into a bear once in which I ran as fast as my legs would carry me down to the road. Huckleberries are a staple to a bears diet so it's best to give them a wide berth.

It was in MT that I joined Glacier Orchestra and continued to play violin. After two years of studying at Flathead Community College, I received a Secretarial Science and Accounting degree (AAS).

My jobs in Bigfork varied from working for the local nursing home for two years, a housekeeper for the Bigfork Inn then for an agency that helped seniors stay independent as well as doing private cleaning.

Another interesting job I had was being an extra for several months in the movie, "Heaven's Gate" with Kris Kristoferson, Jeff Bridges, and Christopher Walken. Seeing the insides of how a movie is made was interesting from the bags of dirt that would be put down so there would be much dust when the horses were kicking it up during a shootout, to the makeup artists applying packets of what looked like blood to the actors and when it was time for the actors to die, they would have a cord to pull which allowed the blood packet to burst and the actor would fall to the ground. In one fighting scene, we extras would be on the ground with our rifles with the actors on their horses making all the dust--it's doubtful that they could even see us through the dust!

During more dangerous scenes when they were using dynamite, the extras were restricted to the buses. Sometimes Jeff Bridges would come with his guitar and entertain us!

After the boys were out of high school, my oldest, David, moved to FL to work, my middle son, Donald, joined the Coast Guard and we with my youngest, Daniel, moved to Bellingham WA where my jobs included working for Home Health Co as a secretary, a hearing aid company where the last gal had destroyed most of the accounts payable/receivable paperwork which made it a challenge to reproduce a paper trail. For several years I worked for Cascade Chiropractic as an office manager and chiropractic assistant.

Thoughts of continuing my education were servicing again so I quit my job and went to Skagit Valley College in Mt Vernon WA and received my AA degree in business education. One of the best classes offered there was Displaced Homemakers which gave me some self esteem and the courage to finish my education. I enrolled at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham WA studying Human Services and obtained my BA in 1995. That is why I say much of my life was played backwards:-} Most people finish their education before having a family. Honestly though, with my shyness and low self esteem during much of my life, I didn't have the courage to even try earlier.

While studying at WWU, there were internships to complete; mine were done at halfway house for the mentally ill which was to prepare the patients for life on the outside. We helped them with cooking meals, cleaning up after themselves, and kept track of the medications and distributed them to the patients. The second year the internship was with The Bridget Collins House which was there to help children who had been abused--mostly sexually. Most of my job was setting up interviews for the parents and their abused kids along with lots of paperwork. What an eye opener for me when the staff was required to attend a seminar in Bellevue WA on child abuse and pornography put on by police departments. To this day, I still remember one of the slide shows we watched--it was so graphic!

Thinking I might become a counselor, I kept my license for many years, but decided not to go that direction. My dream job came when working for Washington State Department of Ecology's Air Quality Program in Bellevue WA as the secretary. After the interview, my plan was to not accept the job if it was offered to me as there was no way that I wanted to face the Seattle traffic, but it was offered to me and I jumped at the chance! After a year or two a couple of the air monitoring operators started taking me with them into the field when our supervisor was out. Being bored with secretarial work, I relished getting out to learn something more challenging. The two taking me into the field were reprimanded for having me work out of class so we had to curtail our outings. After four years of being secretary there, I was encouraged to apply for an environmental specialist position as an air monitoring operator in Bellevue WA as someone had retired. Was there a possibility of me ever getting that job with no science background, but low and behold I did get that position! I was the first woman in WA State Dept of Ecology to be hired as an air monitoring operator in the state and it stayed that way until I was close to retirement. Of course, being the only woman was a double-edged sword as it meant that I would be expected to do what the men did. My worrying was needless as the guys would help me anyway with things beyond my strength or knowledge such as carpentry, electrical work, and moving the gas cylinders that some of the instruments required. In return for the help, I was very dedicated to the job working longer hours and on weekends if needed. Of course, there were the hoops to jump through like a three-year training plan to finish which I did in half the time. Chemistry class was required which was taken at Bellevue Community College. There were classes to take on the different instruments and learn about the gas laws. I traveled to Portland OR several times, San Francisco CA, Richardson TX, Rutgers University in New Jersey, San Luis Obisbo CA twice and then to Altanta GA to learn to operate the biowatch instrument which was put on by Homeland Security.

There was much on-the-job training to learn how to maintain the air monitoring instruments, calibrate them, conduct studies such as a carbon monoxide study in downtown Seattle and another in Everett WA. And of course reports and graphs to show the findings of the study which would determine if the state should continue to do monitoring in those areas. Most of instruments that were my responsibility at five different stations were in western WA to measure CO, SO2, nephelometer, PM 2.5 & PM 10, meterological tower, ECOC, and ozone. When another staff would go on vacation, it was part of my duties to run their instruments as well which included toxics, etc.

When it was finally time to retire at age 66, we moved to Whidbey Island WA where up to 14 deer would come several times a day to be fed cracked corn, pieces of apples, etc. Some deer would eat out of our hands--Meatballs was one of those deer and was given that name by the previous owner of the home, as well as her fawn, and a little buck. They were great entertainment and we relished in learning some of their habits and how they teach their young. For instance, I never knew how deer communicated, but they do through their nostrils. If they are upset, they blow air through their nostrils at the offending deer and if upset with their fawns, they turn their back to him/her. The fawns might try to get their moms attention, but the mom continues to keep her back to the fawns for several minutes until she thinks the fawns have learned their lesson.

Fishing was a favorite past time where we caught salmon usually from Lagoon Point Beach down the hill from our home. The first fall there my husband and I caught 25 salmon between us! You have to have patience, but how rewarding when you feel the tug of a fish! They can put up quite a fight!

We've been fortunate to do some traveling and took two cruises. One to several places in Mexico including Tulum which had some wonderful history; then one to Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Jamaica has so much lush flora and Grand Cayman with Seven Mile Beach could easily call my name again to visit. Other than that we enjoy going to Canada when we lived in the Seattle area and Mexico now that we live south.

After one year we decided that island life wasn't for us and being tired of all the rainy weather, we moved to Ventana Lakes in Sun City AZ. After a year there, I felt that it wasn't a good fit and we moved five miles west to a condo in Sun City West AZ. We've been here one year now and are enjoying life and sunny days. With over 100 clubs in Sun City West you can join and four rec centers with indoor and outdoor swimming you never get bored. If you've been counting, that's three moves in three years--hopefully this is the one. We rent out our Ventana Lakes home as an investment since the banks don't pay much interest. My spare time is spent quilting and am working on my fourth quilt, I joined the Rip n Sew Club in which I do my share of ripping and enjoy swimming. My violin is also in use, but as much as I can tell from the lack of practicing. This summer while at an estate sale (there are many every week all year long) I eyed a violin for sale and I bought it. It has better sound than the violin that has been mine since around sixth grade.

School Story

My most memorable times at North High were when Mrs. Nelson, English teacher, passed around my homework to show the other students my handwriting. Being a lefty, my writing was sideways and probably difficult to read. That was extremely embarrassing. Mr Thomas, orchestra teacher, was very talented, but not so in dealing with students (my opinion here). One day before class, he shoved me against a wall and told me that I was one rotten apple among the others in orchestra. He had seen me smoking outside by the corner where there was a signal light and a little grocery store on the north side. Of course, he didn't know my home life or any other thing about me at the time. Mr Thomas didn't know that my low self esteem was devastating to me and that I would usually look at my shoes as I walked down the hall of North High and was afraid to talk to most students. Then there was the time was when at 16 and I had to go to all my teachers and have them sign off on dropping out of school. When I got to my biology teacher, he signed it and told me to come back in 9 months.

One regret I have had is not graduating with the great class of 1965. Not graduating with the class meant not being invited to class reunions and being able to socialize with classmates. Recently I realized that many of those I went to school with probably don't remember me and that life continues so make the best of things and not mourn for something decades past. It is rewarding for me to have friends from Miller Park Elementary School that I still keep in touch with. What a blessing to have friends for over 60 years! Several years ago, we even had a second grade reunion at Miller Park Elementary. The principal gave us a tour of the school built in about 1927 and afterwards we had a fun time having lunch at Nite Hawkes. Great to get caught up and show pictures from back then.

In regards to enjoyable things from North, didn't they used to allow students to bring in records and dance during the lunch hour? That was so fun and a good way to burn off some energy.

My life has had hurdles, but my biggest accomplishments and what I am most proud of are my three sons, obtaining my college degree, and my dream job with WA State.

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Aug
01
Aug 01, 2019 at 3:34 PM

Posted on: Jul 31, 2019 at 6:14 PM

How sad to learn that my childhood neighbor and friend, Cheryl Ahrenkiel, has passed in her sleep I believe July 28th, 2019. We used to walk to Miller Park Elementary daily. Her Mom was our Girl Scout leader one year--maybe more--and my Mom another year. We went to girl scout camp together, Camp Maha, which was above the banks of the Platte River in Papillion NE, and Mrs Ahrenkiel and Mrs Drake were our scout leaders one year. They taught us different songs like Peace I ask of Thee Old River, Girl Scouts Together, and Make New Friends but Keep the Old as we sat around the campfire. Another time they was a contest to win a pony or horse by naming the norse and Cheryl won! Of course, living in the city, she couldn't keep the horse, but she received $100 instead. She also had the most shoes of anyone I knew. Her closet had many boxes of them--I was envious! I have many cherished memories of Cheryl and her family. May she rest in peace.

Jul
31
Jul 31, 2019 at 6:12 PM

Posted on: Jul 30, 2019 at 3:39 PM

I really enjoyed reading your biography. Your story shows that with hard work and dedication and will, much can be accomplished. I am sure you have been and continue to be an inspiration to many.

Jul
30
Jul 30, 2019 at 3:48 AM
Diane Workman Bedlington posted a message. New comment added.
Jul 30, 2019 at 10:31 PM

Posted on: Jul 30, 2019 at 3:28 AM

We have had a busy year with family visiting and trips to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and picnics at the White Tanks Mountains not far from where we live. A trip to WA State was in March and it was fun visiting with my sons and grandsons. This summer my favorite past time has been quilting. Finished my 23rd quilt and am working on the next one. Here is a picture of one that I made for my best friend in Omaha.

This is a quilt I made for my best friend in Omaha NE of 60 years.
Jul
23
Jul 23, 2019 at 3:14 AM

An early Happy Birthday, Kathie!

Diane Workman Bedlington added a photo to her profile gallery.
Jul 23, 2019 at 3:04 AM
Gene and me when we lived on Whidbey Island WA with a salmon I caught.
Diane Workman Bedlington added a photo to her profile gallery.
Jul 23, 2019 at 3:02 AM
Gene and me 2019
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Jul
31
Jul 31, 2019 at 1:40 PM

Posted on: Jul 23, 2019 at 2:46 AM

Wishing you an early Happy Birthday, Karen! I still have a picture of you and others that were at a party Cheryl Ahrenkiel put on taken outside with some others people. If you are interested in it, let me know and I will scan the pic and add it on here. Diane Workman Bedlington

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Jul
16
Jul 16, 2019 at 7:06 PM

Posted on: Jul 12, 2019 at 5:01 AM

Happy Birthday, Cheryl; have a wonderful day!

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Jul
12
Jul 12, 2019 at 12:12 PM

Posted on: Jul 12, 2019 at 5:00 AM

Belated Happy Birthday, Linda; hope you had a wonderful day!

Diane Workman Bedlington added a comment on her Profile. New comment added.
Mar
27
Mar 27, 2019 at 10:14 AM

Posted on: Mar 27, 2019 at 10:14 AM

Mar 27, 2019 at 10:11 AM

Happy Birthday, Tom! Have a wonderful day!

Mar
18
Mar 18, 2019 at 9:15 AM

Happy Birthday, Evelyn!

Mar
03
Mar 03, 2019 at 8:28 PM

Happy Birthday, Bob; I hope it was a good day!

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Feb
04
Feb 04, 2019 at 11:21 PM

Posted on: Feb 04, 2019 at 6:22 PM

Hi Susan, wishing you a wonderful Happy Birthday and hoping you are having a great day!

Jan
23
Jan 23, 2019 at 9:09 AM

Here's to wishing you an early Happy Birthday; have a wonderful day!

Jan 23, 2019 at 9:07 AM

Thought I'd get an early start in wishing you a Happy Birthday! Wishing you a wonderful day!

Jan
14
Jan 14, 2019 at 4:33 AM
Nov
09
Nov 09, 2018 at 9:04 PM

Belated Happy Birthday, Jim; hoping that your birthday was a special one!!

Sep
22
Sep 22, 2018 at 12:12 PM

Belated Happy Birthday, Janet!

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Posted: Jul 30, 2019 at 3:43 AM
Gene and me when we lived on Whidbey Island WA with a salmon I caught.
Posted: Jul 30, 2019 at 3:44 AM
Gene and me 2019
Posted: Jul 30, 2019 at 3:43 AM
Me in 1962
Posted: Jul 30, 2019 at 3:45 AM
In the 1962 Yearbook in one of the front pages. I'm in the top left-hand corner in blue gown