Christine Leonhardt Stewart

Christine and Lee with their children from Seattle, Portland and Boise. Their son-in-law, who is the one on the right with the shaved head, usually has a normal head of hair. The wife of one of his fellow Boise policemen was diagnosed with cancer and had enough chemotherapy to cause her hair to fall out. Many of the police people shaved their heads in support of her.

After graduation I stayed in Claremont to go to Claremont Graduate School and teach elementary school. It was fun to be part of the community as a "grown up", not just a student. In 1963 I married my best friend, Lee Stewart (We had met when we were 9 and 11). We moved to Atascadero while he went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and I continued to teach. As Lee followed his career in public relations, I stopped teaching and concentrated on home, children and supporting his work. Anne (Pomona '88) was born in 1996, Jennifer in 1998, and Robert in 1971. Lee's work as Director of Public Relations at Hollywood Park often included me. Somehow the situation of changing diapers in the morning and then having lunch with Ray Bolger, Greer Garson, etc., was a bit surreal but I was too young to be overwhelmed by it.

The next period of our lives took us to Dillon, Colorado, where we lived at the foot of Keystone Ski area. We had a wonderful challenge living at 9,400 ft surrounded by national forest, no television (hardly any radio). I enjoyed working on the County Library Board. It was one of our happiest times.

We moved to Irvine, California, in 1974 and added daughter Elizabeth in 1976. I kept volunteering in the community and church and of course helping at the schools. We had 14 straight years at the high school and 16 years of children in college & graduate school! It has been a busy time. Lee continued in public relations in the housing industry and then changed to working with computers first with Coldwell Banker and then for the last 10 years with his own consulting business. I have been a bookkeeper for a manufacturer's rep the last eight years. I have enjoyed the challenge of doing something quite different but am still a teacher at heart. Lee and I have not retired yet but are doing more and more traveling, especially since all our children live in the Northwest and we now have three grandchildren. My extra time is consumed by the garden and all sorts of handwork.

I have had honors from the various organizations I worked with over the years but of course the proudest moments have been the births, graduations and marriages of our children. I am so proud of the people they have turned out to be. A very special moment of pride was given to me by our Pomona Class of '62. I was asked to represent the last graduating class at the Fall 1962 Opening Convocation. The feeling of standing on the stage at Big Bridges, holding a candle in the darkened auditorium while "Ne Terra Toma" was being sung is an experience I'll never forget. Thank you for making it possible.

I learned a lot from my classes at Pomona and have the happiest memories of concerts, art shows, etc., but the biggest influence on my life was the interaction with fellow students. Those late night talks sitting in dorm halls with people who were passionate about things I knew nothing about taught me so much.

I had an experience a few years ago which made me stop and realize how very full my life has been. My heart started to beat out of control while I was driving in a fairly isolated area. As I started to pass out I saw a policeman at the side of the road. He called the paramedics who got me to the hospital in time and I am happily still here. It turned out that I had Graves Disease which is a hyperthyroid condition putting all my systems on overdrive ( a very technical explanation). The point is that I have been given some extra years. I am so grateful for that and am still reflecting on how they will be spent.