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Board of Directors

Gary Markegard, President

Christ Lutheran, Fortuna

Gary retired from the University of California Cooperative Extension in 2006. He worked as a livestock and natural resource advisor for 30 years in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Since then he has served as a volunteer on the board of directors of the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District, Fortuna Senior Resource Center, Humboldt County Wool Growers Association, and the Senior Softball League. He is the current president of Christ Lutheran Church and has served on the Church Council for many years. He has two children and resides in Fortuna.

Ray Wilcox, Vice President

Grace Lutheran, Redway

Ray Wilcox has been on the Board of Directors for LHA off and on for about 15 years. Ray owns Wilcox Enterprises, which is a general engineering and construction company. He has been a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Redway for 54 years. He has two daughters, Carolyn and Kathy, and three grandchildren. He is completely dedicated to the needs of the elderly

Paul Demant, Secretary

Our Saviors, Ferndale

& Christ Lutheran, Fortuna

Pastor Demant has a heart for caring for the elderly of our community that comes naturally. His father, Pastor George Demant was the builder and executive director of LHAHC for its first 25 years. Pastor Paul and Linda moved back to Humboldt County in 2011 and he has been on the board ever since holding the offices of chair and secretary.

Larry O. Doss, Treasurer

Immanuel, Eureka

Larry Doss is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eureka. Larry is a dad to Three Fantastic Kids & married to Cass. Larry is the owner and manager of Ming Tree Realtors in Eureka, Fortuna and McKinleyville. The family also runs a natural beef ranch. The whole family is involved in the community; that is a way of life for the Doss Family. Home is important to Larry and it seemed a natural fit to help as a board member for LHA when called upon.

Jonathan Claasen, Director

Lutheran Church, Arcata

Jonathan Claasen is a lifelong member of The Lutheran Church of Arcata, where he serves on the church council and as the congregation’s financial secretary. He is co-founder, CFO, and Creative Director of The Jonsteen Company, Inc., a tree company based in Dow’s Prairie, which sells its trees and grow kits worldwide. He is a writer by training, a graphic designer and businessperson by practice, and a professional drummer. Jonathan is honored to be involved with Lutheran Home for the Aging as it continues to provide critical services to financially vulnerable elders in our community and continues also its brilliant witness to the love of Christ. Jonathan’s father, the late Rev. Donald Claasen, was a church planting pastor who brought Arcata its first LC-MS Lutheran Church in 1953. Jonathan lives in his hometown, Arcata, with his wife, Heidi.

Pamela Goodwin, Director

Our Savior's, Ferndale

Pamela Goodwin has returned to the Board of Directors after a year’s absence. She is a member of Our Savior’s Church in Ferndale and is secretary to Our Savior’s and Christ Lutheran churches. Pamela serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Redwood Community Action Agency, a non-profit agency serving the needs of Humboldt County residents. She has worked in the public and private employment sector for over 40 years. She and her husband Michael reside in Loleta. Her interest in the needs of the senior population, being a senior herself, leads her to volunteering her time and talents to agencies that put senior needs as a priority.

Dena Lawrence, Director

First Presbyterian, Eureka

Dena Lawrence is an at-large member of the board who is an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Eureka. She grew up going to Trinity Lutheran Church in Eureka, which was one of the original supporting churches of Lutheran Home for the Aging. Dena recently completed her B.A. in Sociology at Humboldt State University, She is currently working as an elementary school teacher's aide. She formerly worked at an assisted living center in Texas and cared for her father for the three years prior to his passing and is very interested in elder care issues.

Sharon Tubb, Director

Our Savior's, Ferndale

Sharon Tubb is a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Ferndale where she has been active in the leadership and in the church sponsored Clothes Closet. She is the administrator of the Ferndale Community Chest, which focuses on the emergency needs of Ferndale residents. This work has helped her understand the ongoing need for senior services.

Sharon is a retired English teacher. She enjoys reading and gardening, with the help of husband, Dennis Katri!

Verne Skjonsby, Director

Calvary, Eureka

Verne Skjonsby has been on the board of Lutheran Home for the Aging for about ten years. He resides in Eureka with his wife Dorothy and has three children and four grandchildren. Verne retired from a career in teaching and in corporate training. His hobbies include traveling and reading. Verne hopes to expand the vision of Lutheran Homes for the Aging.

George Demant, Director Emeritus

Pastor George Demant was the builder and executive director of LHAHC for its first 25 years. He is responsible for building St. Luke's Conversant Hospital, Lutheran Manor, Newberg Retirement Center, and Mountain View Village. He is currently a board member emeritus.

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