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The Best Adventure Yet

October 22, 2015

Tom S

Tom Stoebe grew up on an orange grove in Southern California, considers one of his greatest passions being on the water, and has looked for adventure as far back as he can remember.

His impressive professional track record began when Tom took on a tremendous task of earning a bachelor, masters, and doctoral degree in engineering from Stanford University. His degrees and his passion for math and science earned him a professorship in engineering at the University of Washington.

Tom spent a remarkable 40 years at the University of Washington. During his time there, he not only taught and developed research in sensors and electronic devices, but also established MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) in the state of Washington. Tom first became involved in the MESA program’s city of origin, Berkley, Calif., and was fueled to establish Washington’s first program where he served as the executive director for 12 years. An impressive 90% High School graduation rate for student participants has been realized since the inception of the program.

Retirement was a relative term to Tom and wife Jan, and after making the decision to retire they embraced their love of the water and moved to their boat for three years, traveling British Columbia’s inside passage and mooring in Anacortes, about 90 miles north of Redmond, Wash. Tom and Jan have traveled widely, including finding themselves in the thick of Tiananmen Square protestors in Beijing in 1989, flying out of China just in time to avoid the massacre that occurred soon after. A highlight was in 2002 when they journeyed to Antarctica, befriending the penguins and enjoying the landscape of what is arguably one of the most difficult places to travel in the entire world.

The couple has had no shortage of adventure in their lives, so, six years ago, when Tom and Jan decided to make their next move, they determined that it had to be the best adventure yet. On one of their many yearly trips to Hawaii, a fellow congregate of their church on the Big Island shed light on the benefits that he experienced while living at Emerald Heights, and the two decided that the Redmond, Wash. community would soon be their home.

After moving into Emerald Heights, Tom served on the Buildings and Grounds Committee, held the position of President of the Resident Council for two years, and since January of 2015, has served the residents as a Member of the Eastside Retirement Association Board of Directors. The tight-knit community has offered involvement and activities that Tom and Jan enjoy together, including working on the Emerald Heights Garden Railway, walks on the community trails, working in the  Country Store, as well as working out in the state-of-the art fitness center.

Perhaps most important is the fact that the two are able to continue traveling to their favorite spot in Kona, Hawaii, where they have been singing in the Mokuaikaua church choir for more than 10 years. Tom and Jan know that while they relax in the Aloha state every year, their Emerald Heights home will be safe waiting for them when they return.