Deb (Deborah Hewes) Waldo Interview

INTRODUCTION

Deb (Deborah Hewes) Waldo was the first volunteer to be interviewed by the class of ’68 Golden High School that was posted earlier this summer on the ’68 GHS Facebook. We’re pleased to post her interview on this website along with her family photos. Deb is a key team member who successfully planned the 50th reunion for the ’68 Golden High School class. She still graciously offers her assistance to the 55th Reunion Committee.

Celebrate Deb’s remarkable life journey.

INTERVIEW DEB (HEWES) WALDO

After GHS, I went to CSU. I started in psychology but changed to Social Work. My first job was a social worker working with people with cognitive, physical, and behavioral challenges. I later went to work in Poudre School District as a school social worker and therapist attached to a program with students with behavioral disabilities. I also started a part-time private practice working with families and their adolescents. The plan was to eventually be full time in private practice

I married and had 2 children, a girl and a boy. Life had other plans and I was divorced after 10 years of marriage. Being a single mom, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go financially to a full-time private practice so concentrated on my job in Poudre School District.

About 15 years into my job there, Poudre school district decided to cut social workers along with other positions in a cost-saving move. I thought maybe I would go back to school to be able to become a high school counselor. My boss and mentor wouldn’t hear of that. He encouraged me to go back to school in education with a principalship endorsement. So that’s what I did. I also wrote a large grant to fund an alternative program for students who had been expelled. I was appointed principal of this program as well as an alternative program for students with severe emotional disabilities. I’m proud to say the program for expelled students became a model program in the state. I went on the speaking circuit about it in Colorado and in a few other states. I worked in Poudre School District for 33 years.

I remarried but that relationship didn’t last either. I remarried a 3rd time. 3rd time was a charm. The funny thing about my 3rd husband is that our kids knew each other. My daughter had gone to school with one of Ralph’s sons since kindergarten and this boy had been to my house numerous times over the years. Small world!

Following my retirement, the local juvenile magistrate asked if I would be interested in working for the courts part-time as a parent advocate for parents who’s juvenile was entering the court system. This was to help families understand what was happening in the courtroom and what to expect. I continued in this job for 2 years until my current husband was diagnosed with cancer. I quit to care for him during his cancer treatment.

During Ralph’s cancer treatment, I noticed his memory was affected. The docs kept saying it was chemo brain….not so fast. The memory loss and confusion continued way past cancer treatment until he was diagnosed with dementia and then Alzheimer’s. Such a cruel turn of events. This disease is no joke! Ralph is still at home and I have a caregiver coming in so I can maintain friendships and do everyday living like shopping, book club, etc. This was before Covid 19. Now we are at home all the time now.

My daughter is married and has 3 children, my grand darlings. My son is engaged and will marry when Covid is over. Hopefully, they will also have more grand darlings for me to spoil.

My son is a sommelier and works for a large wind distribution company in Colorado. Ralph also has been a collector and consumer of fine wines. I’ve been lucky to have 2 family members to introduce me to great wines. Good wine and good food are some of my guilty pleasures.

My coolest experience was being able to help birth my oldest grandson, Kaden. My son in law was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery a week before Kaden was born and was unable to be the birthing coach. He was in the room in a bed next to my daughter but I got to be the coach and “catch” that darling boy. I love all my grandchildren, but to this day, have a special connection to Kaden.

In high school, I was acutely aware of how shy and unassertive I was. I decided I didn’t want to continue to be that person and have worked hard to become a confident person. Further, caring for my family and fellow human beings have been a high priority for me. During this Covid time, a lot has been said about being kind. It’s true, being kind and being a caring person to all you meet is what I’ve tried to live by.

Published by Linnea Tanner

Linnea Tanner is a native of Colorado where she attended Golden High School and the University of Colorado, earning her BA and MS in chemistry.

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