Help Active Generations to meet the needs of the Sioux Empire's growing age population.

Learn More
Center for Active Generations West
2300 W. 46th St. Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Center for Active Generations East
5500 E. Active Generations Place Sioux Falls, SD 57110

Help Active Generations to meet the needs of the Sioux Empire's growing aging population.

Learn More

Member Spotlight – Sharon Van Wyhe

Born in Akron, Iowa, Sharon Van Wyhe lived in South Dakota on a farm near Alcester. “I attended a country school by Spink, South Dakota. The grade school was called Pleasant Hill Country School. I walked one and one half mile every day. No matter what kind of weather we were having, we kids walked in the rain, the snow or the sunshine,” Sharon said. “I enjoyed the country school. We had fifteen kids in eight grades and learned to help each other. I helped a younger child learn to spell. He could not spell cat, but finally caught on how to spell it and many other words.” Years later Sharon saw this boy and he remembered how she had helped teach him to spell. Sharon graduated from Alcester High School in 1960. “This year, we held our 60th reunion. We had 32 graduates from our high school class. Eleven of them are gone and 21 are left,” Sharon said. “Sixteen of us were able to attend the reunion. I was the only one who needed to use a cane. We had a great time.” After graduating, Sharon married and had three boys. She ended up raising the three boys by herself. “When I was a single mom, things were not always easy. I had to do everything,” Sharon said. “I was very busy running my household, being a mom and earning a living for the four of us. I worked at Otis Radio making cords in Canton. After they closed, I attended South East Tech and earned an LPN nursing degree. Those were the days. Trying to study and take care of three little boys was not easy, but I did it. I ended up working at Sanford for thirty-six years.” Sharon met John Paulsen after the kids were grown. Life was much easier and much better. “Meeting John was a real blessing to me,” Sharon said. “John was a truck driver and I worked nights so it was not easy to find time together. After three weeks, we finally figured it out. It made life much more enjoyable. John was very easy to get along with and was easygoing.” Sharon and John were married in 1991 and moved to Sioux Falls. They “Are you retired? Remember, You’ve got time! I’ve got time! What’s the rush?” Sharon said. “Enjoy yourself and get out and have fun!” Safety Supervision & Transportation Ambulation, Dressing & Bathing Assistance Daily Health Reminders, Meal Prep & House Chores Alzheimer’s, Stroke Recovery & Hospice Support The Right Care, Right at Home 1400 W. Russell Street Sioux Falls, SD 57104 605.275.0070 | built a house in Crooks, South Dakota and lived there until John passed away five years ago. They were together for twentyfive years. “While we were married, we did not travel a lot. John had driven truck all over the United States and had no desire to go on the road any longer,” Sharon said. “I would, however, enjoy taking an Amtrak train sometime.” Sharon has attended church over the years. She enjoyed getting dressed up to go for worship. Covid has changed her desire to actually go to the church. Now, she likes a cup of coffee while watching Our Savior’s Lutheran Church on television. “Today, it is harder for me to get around so staying home is easier for me,” Sharon said. Sharon has many good friends and likes spending time with them. They are important to her. She has been coming to Active Generations for about ten years and enjoys the socialization. “I like coming to Active Generations. I attend the Tuesday night dances and love it,” Sharon said. “I volunteer at the front desk. I need to sit as I don’t walk as well as I used to.” There are many great programs at Active Generations. There is something for everyone. You can play pool, cards, bingo and other games. “I love playing bingo. I enjoy the people. I like going to the coffee shop. The goodies are excellent,” Sharon said. “It is a great place to meet friends and enjoy a cup of coffee.” “If you are sitting in a chair looking at four walls being bored and depressed, come join us for the fun and friendships,” Sharon said. “I like to get out when I can.”