Resident Profile: Meet the Boltzes
Interviewed and Written by Jackie Schroder
Ken and Elaine arrived at Cornwall Manor in June 2020, during the height of the pandemic. After living in Lititz for 38 years, they sold their home and started traveling fulltime in a motorhome. They have visited every state except Hawaii and have traveled cross country three times. They spend the winter months in Florida mostly in the Orlando and Sarasota areas. They also have an online blog documenting their travel adventures.
Elaine was born in Ephrata at the Ephrata Hospital. When the hospital closed its doors, it became the Mt. Springs Hotel which was famous for holding seances! After graduation from Ephrata High School, Elaine worked as a secretary. She married and moved to Ohio.
Ken also graduated from Ephrata High School the same year as Elaine. After graduation he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Georgia, then off to Thailand. He was a munitions maintenance specialist which meant he did maintenance on the bombing systems on B52s as well as loading bombs on them. After the service, he went to the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. During this time, he joined the family business which manufactured sleep and lounge wear.
Elaine divorced and returned to Ephrata. Ken and Elaine reconnected one night when they both went to hear Elaine’s brother’s band play. A few months later Ken needed a date for New Year’s Eve. He called Elaine and the rest is history.
Elaine worked as a secretary for various companies and was hired by Cornwall Manor resident Barry Free at Lancaster Lebanon IU13 where she worked for 10 years. During her time at IU13 she earned a degree in Psychology from Lebanon Valley College. Degree in hand, she began work at Life Management Associates where she managed employee assistance programs. She also served on a crisis team, responding to critical incidents such as bank robberies, industrial accidents and even responded to the Nickel Mine School shooting. Wellness training was another part of her job. She developed a therapeutic laughter program, teaching attendees the positive power of humor and laughter. She presented programs to various companies such as banks, health care workers, women’s groups, educators and assisted living residents. She retired in 2013.
Ken worked in the family business, Bareville Garment Corporation, for 25 years where he oversaw computer operations and sales. One of the company’s celebrity clients was Jane Russell, who wanted to develop a clothing line. This afforded them an opportunity to visit with her in her glamorous home in Santa Barbara. He reports that she was very personable.
Ken decided to sell his share of the business in 1999, the same year Elaine received her degree. Ken was self-trained on the computer and had received a call from a company asking him to do some programming for them. He then went on to become a Certified FileMaker Developer. For twenty years he developed customized software for businesses. After experiencing some serious health issues, he decided it was time to retire.
Ken was a Shriner and a Shrine clown as well. When his contacts in the New York City garment district discovered this talent, he was asked to be a clown three times a year in the pediatric section of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in NYC. He visited seriously ill children at the Center for five years which was a memorable experience.
For 21 years Ken also taught scuba diving and ran trips to faraway lands with his students. They visited Papua, New Guinea, Galapagos, Australia, the Caribbean, and Mexico to name just a few exotic places.
After Ken experienced significant health issues in 2011 and was no longer able to dive, he and Elaine decided to buy a motorhome. With careful planning, they can travel in their Winnebago Adventurer economically. Their dog, Buddy, loves to travel with them. After living in their motorhome for several years, they decided it was time for a permanent home. They were the first to buy a home in The Pines at Cornwall Manor!
While on their winter getaway to Florida each year, the couple likes to ballroom dance. They have also initiated a travel blog and have reconnected with fellow travelers. On campus they can be seen in the fitness center, in the pool or riding the rail trail.
They’re on the move…..