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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Me and my old man

Aug 24, 2023 03:03PM ● By Cloie Sandlin

My dad wasn’t “old” when he started having kids, but he was definitely “older” when he had me.  He already had two daughters when he married my mom, who was 20 years his junior. When my older sister was born, he was in his late 40s. 

Growing up, I suppose I knew my dad was older than my friends’ dads, but it didn’t faze me. However, I remember my friends’ blank stares when I tried to explain why my niece—my older half-sister’s kid who was my same age—called him “Grandad.” 

To me, my dad didn’t act any older than my friends’ dads. He had a great sense of humor, and to my knowledge, he didn’t start developing any serious health problems until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s many years later.

I wish I could ask my dad how his experience compares to that of John Schmitz. This older dad from Montrose is taking first-time fatherhood in stride even when most dads his age are becoming grandparents.

In this month’s cover story, read more about how age has better prepared him for fatherhood, along with his work helping other fathers and grandfathers become better role models for their kids.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The BEACON is a proud sponsor of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. 

The upcoming walk in Grand Junction is October 14 at Colorado Mesa University. Click here for more information.

Celebrate Grandparents Month

Looking back, my grandparents’ influence is likely one of the reasons I’m here at the BEACON. Good grandparents fill in the parenting blanks and I had some of the best! So on National Grandparents Day, which is September 10, please let these important role models know just how much they mean to you. And for you grandparents out there, thank you for your love, patience and wisdom. Your guidance and encouragement mean more than you know!

Montrose-Delta BeaconFest is September 14

Come see us at the funnest senior event at the Montrose Pavilion from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, September 14! Free admission, live entertainment, food and seminars await! Plus, BeaconFest is your best opportunity to visit directly with more than 60 local businesses and national agencies devoted to helping you age well in Western Colorado. For more information about this year’s show, visit or call 970-243-8829.

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