Let's Welcome to Grand Haven Retirement
Spotlight on Senior: Margaret “Rusty” Porth
When sitting down to talk for this Senior Spotlight Margaret “Rusty” Bossert-Porth leans back in her chair, turns to me with a stern, serious face and asks “What do you want to know?” But that facade of seriousness breaks as she smiles that infectious grin. As someone who has been an elementary teacher most of her adult life, I don’t doubt for a second that Rusty could be serious if she needed to be- but the Rusty I know (and many of you do) is someone who enjoys a good joke, being creative with friends, and who never passes up a good joke or chance to laugh.
“You roll with the punches, it’s all you can do,” Rusty said. “Why not try to have fun with it?”
Rusty grew up as the baby of her family in and around Montezuma, IA with her parents and three siblings (two sisters, and a brother.) As a high school history teacher, her mother bestowed the importance of education and really put her on that path. Rusty went to UNI and graduated from Marycrest and taught elementary education for thirty years! She loved teaching, saying that it provided her with new experiences every day.
After college Rusty taught at a school in Calamus which is where she met and married a “good looking guy” named Merle Porth. Together they had four children, two boys (Steve and Tom) and two daughters (Barbara and Becky.) Together they’ve given her seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild! Her favorite thing to do with her family was enjoy the local baseball games. “Well,” she admits while trying to hide an abashed smile, “baseball wasn’t my favorite. But it wasn’t about the game. It was about the whole community coming out and having fun. It was a town affair; everyone went. That’s probably where I met Merle, at a ball game.” She enjoyed baseball more as Steve and Tom participated in high school and college baseball.
About twenty years ago Merle and Rusty met Dorothy Clapp who invited them to visit Grand Haven. “Dorothy,” Rusty recalls, “was the Grand Haven cheerleader. She had us over for lunch, and I was sold. I knew that this was where I wanted to be, one day. And I’ve really enjoyed my time here.” Rusty cites doing various activities with her friends as some of the best parts of living here and having Cathy from the local library visit keeps Rusty reading.
When asked about the state of “everything” right now, Rusty paused to think about it. She thinks being so adaptable has helped her get through these troubling times, and keep a clear head. She knows it’s rough, but that bad times don’t last and there is always something to look forward to.
“I have a poem,” Rusty said, “by Robert Hastings taped on my kitchen cabinet, titled The Station. I read it often. It helps me stay positive and enjoy the ride. It speaks to me as I think of my journey. Life is like a train ride, there isn’t one single destination.”
For Rusty, there are multiple destinations. Everything from birthdays, to graduations, to even simply enjoying that first cup of coffee with sudoku or a cryptoquote from the morning paper. “I just really like staying positive, and enjoying this ride.”
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