Finding harmony though the decades


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Marvin Bertelson, second from right, rehearses last week with his barbershop quartet, the Four Gents in Accord.

Mountain View High School choral students have been learning to chop a chord from a veteran barbershop performer whose music has long outlasted his formal career. Marvin Bertelson spent a first lifetime teaching music to elementary school students before he retired in 1990. But the dedicated barbershopper, born in 1925, is now singing – and teaching – into his 90s.

When Bertelson moved to the Bay Area in 1958, “every corner had an apricot orchard on it – you got lost,” as he described it. He worked as an educator throughout his career after leaving the military, teaching music in what was then the Mountain View School District. After retiring, he continued leading a church choir and performing barbershop, and began coaching Mountain View High School students in the barbershop tradition.

More than a gesture: Celebrating the Giving Season

Nearly every able-bodied senior is a volunteer. So it is that many seniors – during the Giving Season just passed – have found themselves encouraging friends, neighbors, classmates, parishioners and just about anyone with a lapel to grab to provide financial support for their favorite charity. It is when such appeals are successful that the fun begins.

How much will your Medicare cost in 2017?

Not long ago, I had dinner with a group of friends from college. One of the big topics of conversation was Medicare, for which we’ll all be eligible in the next several years. (Farewell, callow youth!) And one of the biggest questions about Medicare was “How much is it going to cost me?”

Leave the legacy you want with end-of-life checklist

A lifetime of hard work may have rewarded you with a nice home and hefty bank accounts, but it may be time to consider what happens to all those assets once you’re gone.

Maybe you want everything to go to the kids. Perhaps a charity or a cause you champion should get a portion. And what happens if, before you die, your mental capacity diminishes and you can no longer make decisions for yourself?

How to prepare for a smooth post-hospital recovery at home

Whether a hospital stay comes as a surprise or is planned well in advance, it’s important to prepare.

LACF highlights volunteer opportunities for seniors

Los Altos Community Foundation officials issued a challenge to local seniors: Make it your New Year’s resolution to volunteer in 2017.

The foundation, whose mission is to strengthen the community by stimulating local philanthropy and civic engagement, offers a number of volunteer opportunities suited for older adults with time on their hands and expertise to spare – and share.


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You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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