December’s newsletter’s spotlight features Pat (left) and Roy (right) Hougen. The Hougens joined LifeChoices® in 2016 and have never looked back. Currently living in Ames, both Roy and Pat are thrilled with the personalized care that they have been receiving. With everything that is available to them as LifeChoices® members, the Hougen’s recognize the value in having “peace of mind knowing that we have plans for whatever happens,” said Roy.
Pat grew up in Colorado, and after graduating from Bethany Lutheran College in Lindsborg, Kansas, she served as a parish worker in Waukegan, Illinois and then taught elementary school in Tacoma, Washington. It was in Washington where she would meet her future husband, Roy. Roy was born in South Dakota, and spent parts of his early years in Minnesota and Iowa. Roy served in the Military and was stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington where he would meet Pat. Six months later the two were married in Pat’s home church in Loveland Colorado. The Hougen’s have two sons, one living in California and the other in Oklahoma, with five grandchildren total.
The Hougen’s are extremely well rounded and have quite the professional and philanthropic background. With a degree in education, Pat taught school, and after moving to Iowa, she started and supervised the Fort Dodge Ethnic Preschool for African American Children, a project of the Fort Dodge Urban Ministry. Then, after moving to Ames, she became the executive director of what is now Heartland Senior Services. One of her favorite accomplishments in that position was starting the adult daycare center. Pat also served on the Board of Bethany Life while Timberland Village was being built.
Roy attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa before transferring to Iowa State University, where he received his bachelors and masters degrees. He spent his career working with the 4-H youth development program, a part of the Cooperative Extension Service for Iowa State University. He also served on a number of community organizations, primarily those dealing with low income people. After both were retired, the Hougen’s took on another challenge, the food pantry at their local church, Bethesda Lutheran Church in Ames, expanding its services to a wider reach of people.
One part of LifeChoices that the Hougen’s take the most comfort in is their advocate, Heather. “I really enjoy visiting with Heather,” explained Pat. “Knowing that she will come if I ask her to. It isn’t so much about what we do, just the fact that she is with me.” Having a trained, outside person go to bat for them in a variety of ways is an act that the Hougen’s do not take for granted.