AARP hears about past presidents, honors them at meeting
Members of the Carson Valley Chapter of AARP #3683 celebrated Presidents’ Month at their Feb. 3 meeting by honoring the chapter’s past presidents. Historian Harold Hall brought the chapter’s history books for everyone to enjoy.
When the chapter was first conceived, the population of Douglas County was 20,000. On Dec. 1, 1982, a steering committee was formed, and they met at the red brick building at Gardnerville Elementary School. The steering committee included AARP State Director Ed Rolls, Ray Butler, Harold Hall and Lillian Jones.
On March 2, 1983, they held their first election of officers. When the chapter received its charter on Aug. 10, 1984, the membership was 17.
Ray Butler was the first president and served for two years, 1984 and 1985. He was an air traffic control officer in Oklahoma City before retiring and moving to the Carson Valley.
Harold Hall was president in 1986. He was a resort owner on the Colorado River near Parker Dam before he retired and moved to the Carson Valley.
Paul Harr was the president in 1987, 1992 and 1999. He was a Realtor in Las Vegas before moving here, but wasn’t quite ready to retire, so he worked at Sharkey’s as a bartender for a few years.
Joe Laas was president in 1988 and 1989. He traveled all over the world working on aircraft carrier overhauls until he retired and moved to Gardnerville.
George Coffey was president in 1990. He was a pilot in World War II and later worked as a civilian for the Air Force for 30 years before retiring and moving to the Carson Valley.
Jane Chism was president in 1991. She worked at the marriage license bureau in Minden and at the Douglas County Senior Center.
Adele Guantonio was president in 1993 and 1997. She worked at the library in Redwood City before retiring and moving to Gardnerville.
Harlan Casebier was president in 1994, 1995 and 1998. He was a printer at Far West Printing Co. in Covina, Calif., before he retired and moved to Gardnerville.
Phil Lehrman was president in 1996. He worked for Shell Oil Co. in California before moving to the Valley.
Th backgrounds of the former presidents are very different, but they all spend their retirement time volunteering and helping others. Resident will remember seeing them hard at work at the library, the food closet, the senior center, the county offices, the schools, AARP Tax Aide, AARP 55 Alive safe driving classes and many other places. The past presidents truly are role models and exemplify the AARP motto, “To serve, not be served.”