By CATHERINE TSAI

The Associated Press

DENVER —

Walter Ordelheide and Henry Smith grew up a few blocks from each other in Denver but traveled the world after graduating from South High School in 1943.

Ordelheide served in the Navy medical corps during World War II, in California and Panama. He later practiced in mission hospitals in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam before teaching family medicine in California. Smith joined the Navy and was stationed with Patrol Bombing Squadron 147 in Curacao during the war.

Pearl Harbor was bombed while both were in high school. “Right away, things started changing,” said Smith, who signed up for war training before graduating high school. “We lost touch after that. The next thing you know, you’re in the service.”

Nearly 70 years later, Ordelheide and Smith, both 86, learned they will be neighbors again.

They learned last year at a lunch organized by the Clermont Park retirement community in Denver that they both have signed up to live in new apartments under construction at Clermont Park, not far from their high school.

They learned through mutual connections that classmate Elaine Zook Westblade, 86, also had reserved an apartment at Clermont Park.

Smith said he remembered seeing Ordelheide’s uncommon name on the list of lunch attendees last year and recognized him right away. Ordelheide said Smith hadn’t changed much either.

“Henry looked the same. He had a big smile on his face,” Ordelheide said. “Even as a kid. In fact more so.”

Westblade was in the high school pep club and choir and was part of the yearbook staff. The 1943 yearbook was half the size of the one the year before because of a paper shortage during the war, she said.

“It was a hard year because so many of the fellas went into the service,” Westblade said. “Some of them didn’t come back.”

Since 1943, some Denver dairies have disappeared. The Porter Adventist Hospital cow herd that Ordelheide once shooed away from cornfields for 4 cents an hour is no longer there. Westblade is a grandmother of six, and Smith and Ordelheide are both great-grandfathers.

All are happy to be back in Denver.

“This is always home,” Ordelheide said.

The Denver Post
9News (Video and Story)
WPXI (Pittsburgh, PA)
The Republic (Columbus, IN)
WFTV (Orlando, FL)
Times Union (Albany, NY)

by Geralyn Magan Christian Living Communities (CLC) got a lot of help from its friends when it decided to expand residential capacity at its Clermont Park retirement community in Denver. CLC’s constituents—including individuals whose parents live at Clermont Park—stepped forward. Read More…

Author: Olivia Mayer After three days of intense inspection, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Health Facilities Division has given The Suites at Holly Creek Retirement Community a PERFECT state survey. The health department annually inspects skilled nursing. Read More…

Arnold “Pete” Peterson Celebrates 100th Birthday Centennial – Arnold “Pete” Peterson’s eyes twinkled as he lovingly clutched the tiny fingers of his great-grand babies, among the four generations of family members gathered Saturday to celebrate his 100 th birthday. The. Read More…

Story By Chuck Montera As Denver-area home prices increase and the number of days homes sit on the market decrease, the real estate turnaround is benefitting a particular demographic: senior citizens. Another benefactor is retirement living communities, whose prospective residents. Read More…

Written by Chris Vanderveen, 9News CENTENNIAL – If idle hands are indeed the devil’s tools, then consider the work of their hands practically worthy of sainthood. “We do this every Wednesday at 10,” a smiling Daphne Lovelace said. “We’re cutting. Read More…

Evelyn Lefferding shops at a new convenience store inside Clermont Park in University Hills. One factor that sets the retirement community’s expansion financing apart is the large number of individuals who bought bonds in the offering. (AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver. Read More…

For many, the holidays are about traditions. This year, The Village in Centennial may have landed on a new custom by paying homage to an old one. It began on Dec. 15 when The Village residents were invited to go. Read More…

Its no secret anxiety levels of many people increase around the holidays. In a recent online poll conducted on stress, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that nearly three-quarters of Americans say they experience stress at levels that exceed what. Read More…

Registered nurse Barbara Oatley of The Johnson Center heads up the Bonfils Blood Center drives held for the past 11 years at the senior community in Centennial. For 11 years, friends and employees of Christian Living Communities have been rolling. Read More…