Meet The Board
Lisa Ronke grew up in Watertown and returned here to be closer to family. She has twin sons and one daughter-in-law who live in town. She also has one grandson, a granddaughter and another granddaughter arriving January 2023. She serves as the Director of Community Relations at the Village of Harmony Hill, where she helps match potential residents to care services: Independent Senior Living, Assisted Living (opening Spring 2023), and Memory Care (opening Spring 2023). Lisa’s husband Ed passed away from Early On-Set Alzheimer’s in November 2021, at the age of 57. Her personal experience with this dementia-related disease amplifies her empathy for those families needing assistance navigating this journey. As a member of the Memory Care Walk Committee, Lisa helped to promote the annual event, secure sponsorship partners, and increase fundraising efforts in the community. She loves to meet new people and you will frequently find her volunteering and attending community events. Additionally, she is on the Board of Directors for the Town Players and has appeared on stage in a few recent productions.
Dave and his wife, Darlyce, have lived in Watertwn for 38 years where they raised their 3 children. Both are now retired. Dave was a banker and realtor in Watertown and Dar was a teacher at McKinley school for over 30 years. Their whole family became involved in the Dementia and Alzheimer's cause as Dar's mother developed the disease. Their experience helped them to understand that each case is different and progresses in different ways. Our case, fortunately, did not experipence some of the severity that many family members see but we still felt grief and pain as the disease progressed. Visting her regularly and bringing her grandchildren and great grandchildren whenever they were in town brought joy to her and us with every smile and hug. Retirement has given us the opportunity to travel and volunteer. Dar also continues her love of teaching by substituting when avaialble. We recognize that none of us know what tomorrow may bring. We choose to take advantage of every day and try to make it better for others that we serve.
Anna has lived in Watertown for 38 years. She is married and has 3 adult children that are married and 3 grandchildren and another one on the way. Anna has been employed with the Department of Human Service-Long Term Services & Supports for 14 years and the past 10 years as a regional supervisor. She was involved with the Watertown Area Council on Aging for many years and was the Treasurer. WACA decided to end this organization and join forces with the Memory Care group to form the Watertown Area Memory Care and Aging Network. Anna has a desire to help people and raise awareness of the services we can provide to the elderly, disabled and caregivers in our region. Anna also has had personal experiences with family members with Dementia. Her father and step mother both had Dementia and passed away from this disease. Anna enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, going to concerts with friends, traveling and going for walks with her husband and dog.
Member at large
Connie's passion is caring for others. Her career was spent working with seniors. That career lasted over 50 years, with the last 30 years spent as a Recreation Coordinator in a Memory Care Unit. That evolved into creating support for Caregivers also. She created The Watertown Area Memory Support Group in 1998 and continues to facilitate the group today. She was instrumental in starting the Mary Drake Library and The Respite Care Scholarship Program, and Watertown's Memory Screenings. Connie has Co-Chaired the Watertown Memory Walk since it began. She was a charter member of The Watertown Alzheimer's Council and this year when WAMCAN ( Watertown Area Memory Care & Aging Network) was created, she is serving as a board member. Along with her years of experience working with Caregivers and their loved ones, she also cared for her Mom, who passed away from Alzheimers. Both were labors of love. Connie has been in Watertown since 1989. She has three grown children and five amazing (her word!) grandkids. Family is the center of her life and she enjoys spending time with every one of them!
Member at large
Sue grew up on a ranch south of Bison, South Dakota. After high school in Lemmon, South Dakota, Sue attended Northern State University with a double major in Elementary Education and Speech Pathology and Audiology. Sue's passion was public school speech pathology for 33.5 years, especially with special needs students. Sue and her husband Ordean have been married for 47 years. They have three children, nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Upon retirement, Sue noticed Ordean having memory issues. A diagnosis in 2015 revealed Frontal Lobe Dementia or Frontal Lobe Alzheimer's. Sue started attending Alzheimer's support group early in the diagnosis and learned so much about the disease. The Alzheimer's support group, Mary Drake Library and Alzheimer's.org helped Sue to become knowledgeable about the disease. Sue has learned that knowledge is her power! Being a caregiver can be very exhausting and challenging. Sue found going to Alzheimer's support group monthly and hearing about other caregiver stories helped her to cope. It is Sue's wish to help new caregivers through this journey. Ordean is presently in a memory care facility. Sue and Ordean's journey has taken Sue through all the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Receiving counseling, support group, and hearing other care giver's journeys helped Sue to cope with her husband's journey with Alzheimer's.
Member at large
Karla grew up in Watertown and returned home 5 years ago to be closer to family. She is currently the Assitant Coordinator for Homecare Services. She has worked in home health for 20 years. Karla moved in with her mother a year ago to help her navigate through her journey with dementia. Between working with people with dementia and living with someone with dementia Karla has developed a very deep interest in helping and supporting other caregivers. During Karla's off-time, you;ll find her playing with her 8 grandkids, on a road trip, reading a book or sitting quietly by water or in a pasture.
Member at large
Diane was born and raised in Watertown, SD and has a grown son named Jim. She attended USD Nursing school and recieved her LPN degree becuase "she always wanted to be a nurse". Working with the elderly was something she always enjoyed and she started that career in 1989. Diane moved to Arkansas in 1997 and went through Dementia Care Training and assisted in setting up a Dementia Care Unit while there. When she returned to Watertown she continued to care for folks who had Alzheimer's/ Dementia. Around that time, her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and her training helped in caring for him. That passion for caregiving extended after retirement. Diane is very involved with WAMCAN and actively provides Respite Care Services for the WAMCAN monthly support group meetings. Her experience and knowledge are invaluable to WAMCAN.