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Loretta Siers--
Her Someday Is Today
by Maricia Mlynek
     

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As a little girl, Loretta Siers (Loretta Rowsey at the time) remembers visiting her uncle and watching the planes flying overhead.

“I always told him, someday I will get on one of those planes and fly far away,” said Siers. “I knew from the time I was very small that traveling would be something I would do someday. We had a neighbor lady that would show slides of her homeland of Switzerland, and I would tell her, too, that someday I would visit the places in those slides.”

As time went by, growing up in Kanawha Falls (Fayette County), she never forgot her dreams of traveling.

As a teenager, she met Kenneth Siers, who was home on leave from the Army. They courted long distance for a couple of years before marrying on Feb. 27, 1960.

The newlyweds were stationed in Fort Eustis, Va., for the first year of their marriage. The next transfer would send them to Ottawa, Ill.

Siers’ traveling had only just begun.

Kenneth was discharged from the Army, and he and Loretta began a number of moves over several years. The Siers family grew, with Robert born in 1964 and Beverly in 1965.

They would live in Cleveland, Grantsville and Parkersburg before Kenneth enlisted in the Navy. The family had moved quite a bit before, but the real moving was now underway.

“Kenneth retired after 24 years in the Navy as a Master Chief in 1988. We moved about every four years during those years of enlistment,” said Siers.

The family lived in North Carolina, Virginia, Cuba, and Naples, Italy. That same little girl from West Virginia did more than travel to far away places, she lived in them.

“I loved Cuba the best. It was such a slow pace. We lived right on the coast, and it was wonderful,” said Siers.

She did much traveling while overseas and even found her way to the same village of her old Swiss neighbor.

“I sent her postcards and called to tell her I had made it, just like I said that I would. She laughed and said, ‘Loretta, your someday is today!’ ” said Siers.

When all the transfers and new bases and new posts ended, the family had to decide where to settle. The choice was simple.

“West Virginia is my home. It didn’t matter where we were or what country we were in. I always knew that I would return here to West Virginia,” said Siers.

She laughed when she said her mother had teased her and said she would not last in West Virginia after all the traveling she had done: “Mom said that in four years I would get an itching to move on, but I knew that I was home here, and the itching never came. We have lived in our home here on Russett Road for 20 years, and I am happy.”

Now, don’t think that this avid traveler doesn’t still get on a plane and do some touring. She still loves to go on trips and spends several weeks in Utah each year visiting her family that includes two grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren.

Just this summer, she traveled with her granddaughter, Brittany, to an American Idol audition in Salt Lake City, Utah. While there, she became an avid fan of the Raptors, a minor league baseball team. “I still love to travel,” said Siers.

While not traveling, she is busy here in Calhoun as an active volunteer at Aging With Grace and MHHS long term care.

Loretta and Madeline Moore volunteer at Aging With Grace.

She also participates in Red Hats, Enon choir and CCCOA walking team. She teaches Sunday School and is a volunteer driver for people that need a ride to a doctor’s appointment.

She is an avid reader and enjoys writing a correspondent’s column for the Chronicle.

Siers served 14 years as an exchange student representative, placing exchange students for American Scandinavian Student Exchange. She placed 84 students, averaging six a year. She still keeps in touch with several of those students, and said they all loved West Virginia.

Siers said, “At the time, we were living in Virginia and very close to the ocean. Whenever I would take one of the students back to West Virginia to visit my mother, they would want to stay. Over and over again, they would ask, ‘When are we going back to see Granny? When can we return to West Virginia?’ ”

Loretta, like those exchange students, loves West Virginia. After years of being away, she has settled in and found some comfort in the hills of our state and peace beside the Little Kanawha River.

Her Swedish neighbor said it best: her someday is today. She still takes the plane rides and sees the sights, but in the end, she always returns home to West Virginia.

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