Senior Lifestyles

Full circle: Spotlight shines on Villa Siena resident


Left Photo courtesy of Carol Oldenburg; right Photo by Mary Larsen/Town Crier
Villa Siena resident Elmere Oldenburg, at left during her school days at the Ursuline Academy in New Orleans, reflects on life during an April visit to the senior residence, right.

Longtime Mountain View resident Elmere Oldenburg now makes her home at Villa Siena Senior Living Community, sponsored by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

Born Elmere Ehrett in New Orleans in 1923, she grew up amid the festive atmosphere of Mardi Gras and carnival balls. Finishing high school at 15, she continued her studies at the Ursuline Academy, where she graduated from college.

Her husband, Carl, was also born and raised in New Orleans. They had three children: Mary Ruth, Carol and Richard. They moved to Mountain View in the mid-1960s after Carl got a job at Standard Oil of California, which became Chevron. He was a chemist and later a sales manager and vice president of sales. They also lived in London twice, moving back to California for good in the 1980s.

Oldenburg moved into Villa Siena after Carl died in 2010. She was already familiar with the senior community, having lived just around the corner on Gest Drive and serving as a volunteer since it opened in 1965.

Daughter Carol, now living in Rochester, N.Y., spent her sophomore and junior years of high school at Holy Cross, the girls’ Catholic high school that later merged with St. Francis. Son Richard, now a resident of Goodyear, Ariz., attended St. Francis all four years.

Oldenburg has five grandchildren, two from Carol and three from Richard, and was able to attend her youngest granddaughter’s wedding in Petaluma in 2016. Oldenburg also has three great-grandchildren, from Richard’s oldest daughter.

Carol said her mother was an avid bridge player for many years and connected with bridge groups wherever they went, noting that it “was her entrée into the community.”

Oldenburg has always knitted, and is in the knitting group at Villa Siena.

Perhaps her greatest interest, though, is reading.

“She loves to research things,” Carol said of her mother. “If life had been different, she would have been a doctor. … She’s very up on a lot of medical things.”

She’s also quite philosophical. Carol shared something her mother has said: “She was brought into the world by the Daughters of Charity (hospital in New Orleans), and at the end of life, they’re taking her out, so she’s come full circle.”

Villa Siena’s skilled nursing facility was recently inspected by the Department of Health & Human Services and received a “no deficiencies were identified” rating. According to Executive Director Corine Bernard, fewer than 1 percent of such communities in California receive the rating.

Villa Siena Senior Living Community is located at 1855 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View. For more information, call 961-6484 or visit villa-siena.org.

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