In This Issue:

  • Summer Memories
  • Chaska Resident Spotlight on Fern Green Baldwin
  • The Longest Day Recap
  • Waconia Staff Highlight on Lisa Raddatz
  • #AUBURNSTRONG "Dream Team" Winners
  • Waconia Resident Spotlight on Loretta, 101 Years Young!
  • Auburn Offers NA/R Certification Course
  • Chaska Staff Highlight On Josh McKibben
  • Chaska Resident Spotlight on Josephine Mihelich
  • July Activities
  • AHS Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • The Pastor's Corner with Reverend Cathy Kolwey
4th of July Independence Day Since 1776

* Summer Memories *

We asked a few of our residents to share some favorite summer memories or what they did growing up during the summer, here are their responses:

"I enjoyed the 4th of July, but hated the loud fireworks, so I always made sure I watched them from afar."

~ Lavon

In the summer Gary would go to Duluth, Minnesota to watch the ships come and go.

Every 4th of July, Kitty went to her Uncle Stan’s cabin in Long Lake, Wisconsin. They would swim all day, have a picnic and a bonfire.

"My dad had friends in Wisconsin and we would go there every year for 'big fireworks'!"

~ Christian

We would watch the fireworks from the island I grew up on by the monument, "Perry's Victory", recognizing where the battle of Lake Erie was won. I remember the fireworks being launched off of a boat in the bay.

~ Judy

For 40 years, in the summer, Lila would camp on a 55 acre island up north by Park Rapids.  

Every summer Pat and her husband planted and maintained a huge garden and shared their produce with their neighbors.

"I loved taking the kids down to the park to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July."

~ Maxine

"I loved the 4th of July! We would have a big family picnic at the farm, everybody brought food to share and there was a parade at the end of the day."

~ Marie

Diana spent her summers baling hay. “We were farmers.”

"Every summer I worked in my parents restaurant, "Louie's Cafe"; I did whatever they needed me to do; wash dishes, serve and cook."

~ Jean

"I loved watching the fireworks with my kids on the 4th of July."

~ Rose Marie

In the summer Mary would go camping around Lake Superior, but she said her summer really came in the winter when she camped at St. Johns National Park in the Virgin Islands for two to six weeks. 

David played softball in the summer and was a catcher for the Trinity Lutheran softball team. 

In the summertime, Joan enjoyed swimming at Lake Ann in Chanhassen. 

Chaska Resident Spotlight on

Fern Green Baldwin, Poet and Author

Auburn Manor resident, Fern Green Baldwin, is a mother of eight, wife, artist, grandmother, great grandmother...and a poet.

Fern wrote poems (in a "prosy" style with a loose rhythmical scheme) for about twenty years, after all 8 kids had left home, been to college, and then grad school. She dedicated herself to the task, setting aside a couple of hours everyday first to get the ideas down and then to get the prosody just right. Her husband, Herb Baldwin, recalls often finding her working well into the night crafting the exact turn of phrase that finally worked for her.  

Invariably, her poems are about two things: Family and nature -- often spiritually intertwined. The title of her book, "Moonlit Walk Home" was taken from a childhood vignette about strolling back to the farmhouse with her family after a social event in town. Many times, Fern's poetry bears witness to the transcendent lying behind otherwise ordinary family life in the Minnesota woods.

In 2021, the Nautilus Music-Theater in St. Paul staged an adaptation of Fern's poems, also called "Moonlit Walk Home," set to original music by Daniel Nass. The song cycle was performed in May 2022 by Fern's daughters, Jennifer Baldwin Peden and Christina Baldwin, both professional opera singers.

Fern Green Baldwin

Auburn Homes & Services Observes "The Longest Day", June 21st, National Alzheimer's Day

Auburn Homes & Service's residents, families and staff observed "The Longest Day", the National Alzheimer's Association's national event on June 21st, by having events on each campus to honor loved ones, both past and current, who suffer from Alzheimer's.

The Chaska campus did a memorial walk around the building wearing the Alzheimer awareness color of purple and holding purple balloons; their path took them past rainboots painted purple and decorated by our residents to honor all who have or had Alzheimer's. The walk culminated with a blessing by Reverend Cathy Kolwey and refreshments in the gardens.

The Waconia campus had an indoor picnic with hot dogs, chips, watermelon, potato salad and cookies. Chaplin Matty said a prayer and did a blessing. Staff and residents wore purple and they decorated with a purple balloon arch along with Alzheimer’s facts.

Waconia Staff Spotlight on Lisa Raddatz

Name: Lisa Raddatz

Years at Auburn: 10 years

Job Title: Housekeeping

Key Responsibilities: Clean resident rooms, common areas and make sure the building is well-kept

Family: Husband, 4 children, 3 grandchildren

Favorite Past-time: Board games and card games with the grandkids

Favorite Travel Destination: Duluth

When I retire I hope to: Relax, go camping and do some traveling


"I started working at Auburn Meadows in June of 2013. I just celebrated my 10th year in the housekeeping department at Auburn Meadows in Waconia. I enjoy interacting with the residents each day, the staff and fun work environment. "

#AUBURNSTRONG is a week long, annual staff appreciation event that took place the first week in June this past month. Each year, our staff recognizes another staff member that exemplifies the Mission, Vision and Values statement of AHS by nominating them to be part of a select group of employees that are honored with a different award each year. We are proud to announce the following eight employees that won this year's honor of becoming part of #AUBURNSTRONG 2023 "Dream Team":

Susan Henrich, Waconia

Theresa Boon, Waconia

Rachel Hanes, Waconia

Cami Bunn, Waconia

Andrew Hinton, Chaska

Melissa Bruns, Chaska

Randy Borka, Chaska

Jim Stai, Chaska

Congratulations to these eight amazing employees and thank you for all that you do!

Waconia Resident Spotlight on Loretta, 101 Years Young!

Loretta, a resident at Auburn Meadows in Waconia, celebrated her 100th birthday on June 1. Loretta grew up in Victoria, Minnesota. She loved to dance and met her husband at a dance. They got married and had 3 children, 2 girls and a boy. They lived on a farm in Waconia where she enjoyed crocheting, embroidery and baking. Loretta’s advice, “Be friendly to everyone.” And “Don’t tell anyone how to do something, we all have our own way of doing things.” Her secret to living a long life is, “be happy, be friendly and eat healthy.”  

Auburn Homes & Services Offers Nursing Assistant Registered (NA/R) Class in Watertown, August 2023

Have you ever thought of a career change to nursing, but thought "it's too late in life" to do so? Are You just starting out in your career and want to get into nursing? Or do you know someone who wants to make a difference in a senior's life by becoming a nursing assistant?

If so, please consider taking our registered nursing assistant class next month; we are accepting students of all ages (must be 16) to register. For more information and to register, please contact Jessica in the AHS HR Department:,


Chaska Staff Spotlight on Josh McKibben

Name: Josh McKibben

Years at Auburn: 5

Job Title: IT Administrator

Key Responsibilities: Managing all IT related aspects of the business

Family: I have one sister and two cats

Favorite Past-time: I'm an avid reader and I love playing pickleball

Favorite Travel Destination: The North Shore


"I love working at Auburn Homes & Services because every day is a little bit different than the one before it. I've been able to meet a lot of interesting people through working at each of our buildings, and I get to have all kinds of conversations with different people every day." 

Chaska Resident Spotlight on Josephine Mihelich

Josephine Mihelich with her daughter, Susan Krech

Auburn Manor resident, Josephine Mihelich, wrote a book in 1984 titled, Andrew Peterson and the Scandia Story; Josephine shares why she wrote the book and what has transpired since:

"I wrote a book about Andrew Peterson, a Swedish immigrant, farmer, horticulturist, and Baptist, are surprised. I am not Swedish. I am Slovenian and Croatian and grew up on the Iron Range in northern Minnesota. This story grew out of my life-long interest in history. While a student in grade school, we read about Chaska, the Dakota War and early settlers during Minnesota history classes and I longed to see these fascinating places that were so far away from my home in Chisholm. When my husband, William (“Bill”), a Conservation Officer for all of Carver County, and daughter, Susan, moved to Waconia in 1962, I realized my childhood dreams and saw firsthand these historic areas and 19th century buildings in cities and on farms.

By a twist of fate in the late 1960s, we purchased land in a residential development called Rolling Meadows and built a custom home on a hill within the boundaries of the former settlement known as Scandia—only a short distance from the Andrew Peterson homestead and directly upon an abandoned part of the old “Preachers’ Road.” My husband and I met many descendants of local pioneers and listened to their stories. Bill Peltz (1890-1978), whose grandparents were among the first settlers in this area, told me stories of Andrew Peterson and neighbors who settled in Scandia on the shores of Clearwater Lake, now Lake Waconia. 

When Minnesota began work on the Nation’s Bicentennial in 1974, I was one of the people recruited by the Mayor of Waconia, Leighton Larsson, to be part of Waconia’s Bicentennial Commission. He was also a physician at Ridgeview Hospital where I was working. I took charge of site surveys for historic properties and began to research the history of Coney Island for placement on the National Register of Historic Places. (placed 1976) After the bicentennial, I continued my work with the Carver County Heritage Committee to complete identifying and placing local landmarks on the Register. The Andrew Peterson farm was placed on the National Register in 1978. That fall, at the invitation of the Holaseks, we held a “Harvest Festival” on September 23 on the historic Peterson farm to celebrate our county wide history. Along with local families and visitors, historians from Sweden and descendants living in other states came to the farm that day.

The Heritage Committee published a small program for use during the Harvest Festival.
Then, encouraged by others on the committee to write a book, I began to compile all I had learned about the area and people before their stories were lost forever. Since the publication of the book in 1984, families have shared additional information and solved mysteries through their own genealogy research. I compiled the information and in 2012 when the Carver County Historical Society asked for a simple reprint of the first edition, I knew it would be better for the book to be corrected and revised. The second edition is near completion.

Check out all of the fun activities our residents have to choose from in July ~ there's plenty to do while beating the heat!

Click on the appropriate link below to see the resident's July Activities Calendar:

Auburn Home, Auburn Meadows, 

Auburn Manor,  Auburn Courts

Thank you to our dedicated and hard working staff for their years of service:

James  Shelhamer CORPORATE 1 YR

Debbie  Banda COURTS 6 YRS.

Deka Abdi COURTS 1 YR

Edwin  Nyasani COURTS 1 YR

Mika  Unesser COURTS 1 YR

Natasha Gauerke COURTS 2 YRS

Allysen Becker HOME 13 YRS

Karla Willock HOME 2 YRS

Kim kirscht HOME 13 YRS

Makensie Byers HOME 3 YRS

Savannah Fox HOME 1 YR

Denny Johnson MANOR 9 YRS

Emily  Maxwell MANOR 6 YRS

Erik Rischmiller MANOR 6 YRS

Keayuna Little MANOR 11 YRS

Magdalyn Hall MANOR 1 YR

Marissa Stowell MANOR 1 YR

Megan Senden MANOR 5 YRS

Randy Borka MANOR 14 YRS

Sofia Berggren MANOR 1 YR

Stephen Brown MANOR 21 YRS

Wanishka Duwadi MANOR 1 YR

Parker Hoiosen MEADOWS 4 YRS

Happy Birthday to the following staff members

celebrating a Birthday in July:

Leanne O'Dell CORPORATE 28TH

Michael Senden CORPORATE 26TH

Lindsay Ohnsorg COURTS 13TH

Smantha  Hanson COURTS 28TH

Bailey Blomquist HOME 8TH

Emma Hecksel HOME 29TH

Jessica Fahey HOME 30TH

Kirsten McGowan HOME 28TH

Laura McCray HOME 27 TH

Andy Rojas-Luna HOME 31ST

Claire Helgemo MANOR 28TH

Cynthia Musyoka MANOR 28TH

Dane Lim MANOR 2ND

Donna Howg MANOR 18TH

Kim LeMay MANOR 24TH

Kristine Ohnsorg MANOR 9TH

Sunshine Grow MANOR 26TH

Alexis Hawkinson MANOR 14TH

Brianna Wickenhauser MEADOWS 14TH

Bryce Harper MEADOWS 3RD

Emilia Newlin Bellenger MEADOWS 29TH

Grace Jorgenson MEADOWS 9TH

Jessica Wills MEADOWS 1ST

Julie Hafemann MEADOWS 6TH

Maleah Wischnack MEADOWS 28TH

Miranda Flannery MEADOWS 17TH

Natalie Milazzo MEADOWS 4TH

Onnaka Danielson MEADOWS 26TH

Pastor's Corner with Reverend Cathy Kolwey

Have you ever experienced a LOVE FEAST?

Probably what comes to mind when I ask that question is something from the 1960s that included wild clothes and a break with cultural traditions of all kinds. 

No, that is not the kind of love feast I am talking about!

A LOVE FEAST is a Moravian tradition. It is rooted in the early church, when early followers of Jesus would gather in homes and share a meal together, and remember the words of the last supper. As this tradition spread, it began to be known as an Agape Meal, then as Communion, and the Moravians returned to the simplicity of early Church by creating the Love Feast in the 1700s.

A Love Feast is a simple worship service of hymns, and while you are singing hymns, buns or rolls and coffee are served. The simplicity of the service – with just hymns and rolls – is designed to help us all remember the gracious love of God that we share with each other. It is as much an act of fellowship as it is an act of worship. And at the heart of every one is the essence of our religion – LOVE. It is a sacred moment when we embody the words of Jesus, who said that the greatest commandment was to “love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. That is the purpose and goal of a Moravian Love Feast – to love God, and love neighbor.

Because the very first Moravian Love Feast was on August 13, 1727, many Moravian churches hold an annual love feast during the month of August. And here at Auburn, we will celebrate as well. All of our buildings will hold a Love Feast next month so we can remember our Moravian roots. And one of the most loving parts of the love feast, is that everyone --- everyone – is welcome to participate. The Moravian tradition is to include neighbors of all kinds (faiths, denominations, etc.) in their love feasts so that the intention of fellowship is really truly felt during the service; the intention to love all others.

Look out for more details to come about our August Love Feasts happening in all the buildings. And know that you all are included in the festivities that will be planned. That’s the point, right? To spread the love to as many people as possible.

You can read more about the Moravian Love Feast history here:

May you experience the love of God in new and welcoming ways during these summer months, and may you feel moved to share the love as well.

Blessings and peace,

Rev. Cathy M. Kolwey

The Next Resident Newsletter will be mailed out on August 1, 2023

If you have a loved one with a unique talent,

history or great story that you would like us to share in the Resident Newsletter, let us know!


or call Michelle Yelich at (952)361-5076

Auburn Homes & Services

Mission, Vision and Values