In lieu of International Women’s Day March 8th, Sojourn found it fitting to celebrate four ladies in this month’s Sojourn Spotlight. Our “Fantastic 4” come from all different backgrounds and have had achievements on many levels. Whether it was working to achieve an advanced degree, being an entrepreneur, or giving their time to care for animals, Carla, Gerri, Carrol and Karon are dynamic!
Thank you, ladies for your contributions! You have all set the bar high for our future generations of women!
The oldest of two children, Carla grew up in Minnetonka on a hobby farm. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Minnesota, followed by a law degree at the University of Michigan. After passing the bar exam, Carla worked as an attorney and CPA in Detroit. She is very proud of her beautiful daughter, Leslie, who grew up to be an oncologist in California. Carla is a featured soloist in Sojourn Choir concerts and her friends are impressed by her intellect and musical talents.
Gerri holds a B.A in Home Economics as well as a Master’s degree in Child Development and Family Sciences. Her creativity started in 4H when she was young growing up in Ashley, North Dakota. Always ambitious, Gerri started working at age 12 in a Bakery and lifeguarding. She spent her career as single mother and Home Economics teacher at the junior high and high school level progressing into teaching in the extension program at North Dakota State University before retiring. Gerri is quick to point out her father, Andy Bosh and her three children as her inspirations. Gerri’s mother Mary Ryan was also a remarkable woman. Born in Ireland, Mary met Gerri’s father in England at the close of WWII. After getting married and moving with her new husband back to his home state of North Dakota, Gerri says she knows her mother must have worked through great adversity while adapting to a new culture. Clearly the desire to learn and the fortitude to push forward is an inherited trait in Gerri’s family. Teaching others the elements that can expand and improve lives has been Gerri’s passion throughout her life. She continues sharing her excitement to learn with her grandchildren just as she did with her own children when they were growing up. How lucky they are to have her in their lives!
Carrol owned and operated Carrol Shepherd’s Consignment Shop for 23 + years. Located in Deephaven, Carrol’s shop was known and loved by many. Her shop was the subject of many lustrous newspaper stories, and “Best of the Twin Cities” mentions in Minnesota Monthly, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazines and the Star Tribune. Carol’s interest in antiques started in the 1970’s when she joined and became president of Wausau, Wisconsin’s YWCA’s Antiques Study Club. Her area of focus became English and American furniture from the 19th and early 20th century and French and Italian decorative items. When she moved to Minnesota from Wisconsin in 1975, Carrol joined the Corner Door in Wayzata as a salesperson, where she learned the consignment business and how to conduct estate sales. In 1983, with help and encouragement from her husband Preston, she started her own shop. Carrol had several employees, including her husband who would swing by on his lunch hour away from work from time to time. “I’d come back from running a quick errand and find my husband had sold something! My clients loved him.” Carrol attributes the success of her business to her honesty and fair pricing, which in turn rewarded her with an incredibly loyal following. “Her estate sales were legendary.”, remembers Carrol’s daughter, Nina Shepherd. Both Carrol and her daughter agree, it was the friendships she made over the years that she considers the most valuable. Nina adds, “She holds dear an enormous box of thank you letters and fan cards from her consigners, including a letter from Clayton Moore, the original Lone Ranger.” Carrol isn’t shy when speaking about her love for people, “I was so fortunate to meet so many wonderful clients. I truly loved my job.” Clearly, her career was meant to be!
Karon grew up on a farm with her fraternal twin sister Sharon. She attributes life on a farm to her love for animals. Karon has lived at Sojourn’s Country Club suite with her domestic longhair cat Heidi for 10 years. She has a tender heart that blesses everyone who knows her. In the past, Karon has volunteered at a local animal shelter. She also took excellent care of the house mascot, Papa bunny for 7 years before he passed away. In the time Karon cared for Papa bunny, she trained him to give her a kiss on her nose before he was fed each day! When not working with animals, Karon loves to sing in the Sojourn choir. She is quick to add, “Singing always makes me happy.” When asked what, she likes most about living at Sojourn, Karon praises the friendly people. “When I lived alone, I became lonely. At Sojourn, there are many nice people to meet and speak with. I love it here.”