Learn more about some of the Fellowship's members below. Then, come and join us! Find out about getting involved.
Member Since: 1973
Fellowship Positions Held: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Editor
Birthplace: Ross, California Family: Spouse Shirley, 9 children combined, 20 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren
Other Places Ben Has Lived: Pearl Harbor, HI; Decatur, Georgia; Columbus, GA; Palm Springs, CA; Fort Knox, KY; Carrizo Springs, TX; Kerrville, TX, New York City, San Antonio, TX; Boston MA; Bloomington, IN; Chicago, IL; Greensboro, NC
Hobbies: Various Music, Woodworking Crafts
Favorite Quote 'I feel more like I do now than I did yesterday." Brad Terry
What would we be surprised to learn about you? My father was an Army Lieutenant Colonel so I ended up going to 8 different schools in the first 5 grades
Craig Fischer Member Since: 1998
Fellowship Roles You Have Held: Boone UU President, Board Member, Social Action Committee Member, Program Committee Member
Place of Birth: Buffalo, New York; Other Places Craig Has Lived: Champaign, IL
Current Occupation: App State Professor, Department of English
Family: Kathy Parham (wife), Nate Fischer (son), Mercer Fischer (daughter)
Pastimes: Reading, walking, going to movies, reading, listening to "The Gilbert Gottfried Amazing Colossal Podcast," reading
Words to Live By: "The future is unwritten." Joe Strummer
One thing we would be surprised to learn about you: I shook hands with O.J. Simpson as a child? My favorite music is punk rock? I love Ethiopian food? I contain multitudes.
Portrait by Kane Lynch
Boone UU Member Spotlight: Judy Geary
Judith Geary was Senior Editor for Ingalls Publishing Group for fifteen before it closed after the owner's death in 2015. In her time there, and since, as a freelance “book shepherd,” Judy has participated in the publication of over 100 books, mostly novels and memoirs.
She has worked with nationally known authors such as Sharyn McCrumb, Ann Chamberlin, Albert Bell, and Tom Deitz, and regional authors such as Marian Coe, Steve Brown, and Terry Roberts as well as independent authors just beginning their careers.
She has been a member of High Country Writers since 1996 and currently serves on the program committee as a co-VP and Zoom jockey for virtual meetings. Geary has also taught in the Department of Communication at Appalachian State since 1986.
She has presented at conferences on topics ranging from, “Paths to Publication,” and the novels of her Getorix series, to world-building in speculative fiction. She currently serves as an evaluator in the scenario competition for Future Problem-Solving International.
Member Since: 2022; attending since 2016
Place of Birth: Cynthiana, Kentucky
Other Places Bettie Has Lived: Asheville, NC; Steamboat, CO; Salt Lake City, UT; Breckenridge, CO; Hood River, OR; Vermejo Park Ranch, NM; various mountain ranges across Wyoming (Can you tell I'm a recovering ski bum?)
Occupation: Mental health therapist in private practice
Family: Partner, Andy; 6 year old daughter, Willa; - 3 year old son, Cullie; 4 year old rescue dog Rosie; 2 year old pandemic rescue cat, Peggy-O
Pastimes: Skiing, white-water boating, fly-fishing, camping, birding, summers in the Rocky Mountains and playing on rivers with our family
Favorite Quote: "Be aware of wonder." - Kurt Hahn
One thing that we would be surprised to learn about you: My friend and I have a pipedream of starting a podcast on the comedies of parenting and partnering in the modern age. We often write and rehearse our scripts based on the most recent antics of our households. It's ridiculous :)
Member Profile: Cinda Member Since 2014
Past Fellowship Roles: Board Member (twice), R.E. Committee Member, Technology Committee Chair, Service Presenter (twice), Strategic Planning Event Facilitator
Place of Birth: Hollywood, Florida
Other Places Cinda Has Lived: Munich, Germany, & Las Cruces, New Mexico
Occupation: Property Manager
Pastimes: Volunteering, travel, weaving, barn quilt painting, reading, cooking, pickleball, anything outdoors
Words to Live By: It's our job on this Earth to practice hope and kindness and live in service to others and the planet.
One thing we would be surprised to learn about you: I spent a summer as a tour guide in southern Germany including at Dachau, Berchtesgaden, and Neuschwanstein.
Member Since: 2010
Fellowship Positions Held: President (2021/22 & 2022/23), At-Large Member served on the Board (2020/21)
Birthplace: Seattle Washington Family: Two children and one grandchild
Other Places Stuart Has Lived: New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Korea, Hawaii, Georgia
Hobbies: Meditation, yoga and exploration of consciousness. Researching and writing about 18th century Europe as seen through the eyes of a black servant
Favorite Quote: "I could be wrong” and "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans”"- John Lennon
What would we be surprised to learn about you? I was certified to teach yoga by Swami SatChidAnanda in the house Carole King once lived in and had donated to him. I was a Military Policeman for four years.
Boone UU Member Since 2009
Past Fellowship Roles: Program Committee member and Chair, Board Member
Place of Birth: Corvallis, Oregon
Other Places Linda Has Lived: Grand Forks, ND; Marietta, OH; Ann Arbor, MI; Austin, TX; Ithaca and New York City, NY; Missoula, MT, Indianapolis, IN
Occupation: Retired singer, voice teacher, choir director
Family: Husband Bill Pelto
Pastimes: Hiking, reading, piano duets with Bill, travels
Words to Live By: The climb is the fun part. - James Clear
One thing we would be surprised to learn about you: I grew up in a household in which pickle juice was the primary flavoring agent—that was as spicy as it got.
Wendy (Nicholson) Laumer
Boone UU Member Since 1992
Past Fellowship Roles: Boone UU President; Social Action Committee member
Place of Birth: Tampa, Florida Other Places Wendy Has Lived: Lafayette, Indiana, throughout school - then Tucson, Az., Hawaii, Los Angeles, Ca, Nicaragua, Boone, NC, Mountain City, TN.
Occupation: Retired Teacher and Media Specialist
Family: My husband, Christopher Laumer, is fun and sweet and full of adventure! I have a wonderful son who is married to a fantastic lady. Between us, we have 4 kids and 3 granddaughters. We feel truly blessed!
Pastimes: With 34 acres, I have many activities at home. I garden, cook, enjoy our dogs, raise chickens and ducks. I own my own chainsaw and help get firewood with my hubby. Chris loves nature & has taught me so much about gardening and raising animals. He is a bird man at heart!
I volunteer and teach Silver Sneakers in our community. I enjoy reading and take part in a book club I love where we started watching lecture series instead of reading. I find both endeavors fun and enlightening.
Favorite Quote: "Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be." Grandma Moses
One thing we would be surprised to learn about you: I was a preemie at 2 pounds, 12 ounces. I was left legally blind in one eye. What you have never known, you don't miss! But I have always been a fighter!
Wendy & her mother, who lived to the age of 99 1/2.
Member Since: 1987; left and returned in 2017
Fellowship Positions Held: President, Past President, Program Committee, Adult Education
Birthplace: California Family: Katie has three daughters
Other Places Katie Has Lived: Winchester, VA; Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Indiana
Occupation: Speech Pathologist
Hobbies: Music, dancing, gardening and volunteer work
What is on your bucket list: Seeking new adventures
What would we be surprised to learn about you? I am shy
Member Since: 2009
Fellowship Roles, Present & Past: Chair & Member of Social Action Committee, Member of Building & Grounds Committee, Board President
Place of Birth: Elizabeth City, NC Current Occupation: Retired
Other Places Rebecca Has Lived: Fayetteville, Hillsborough, Laurinburg, Winston-Salem, Rockingham, Durham, and Washington, DC
Pastimes: Reading, gardening, cooking, volunteering with Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, yoga and general puttering around.
Favorite Catchphrase: So many books, so little time!
What is one thing we would be surprised to learn about you?: I have an extensive collection of found object sculpture.
Roland F. Moy
Member since: 1998 Fellowship Roles You Have Held: Board Trustee, Treasurer
Place of Birth: Wisconsin Other Places Roy Has Lived: Iowa, Ohio, Tennessee
Current Occupation: Retired from App State
Family: Spouse Barbara; Children: Rhonda Lynn, Rhonda Jean, Sherry, and Randall
Pastimes: Singing, Organizing singing events, household projects, writing about current issues
Words to Live By: Lift your heart with a song
One thing we would be surprised to learn about Roy: Ten years of open road racing up to180 mph.
Member Since: 2009
Fellowship Positions Held: President, Board Member, Chair, Long Range Planning Committee, Sub Pianist, Treasurer
Birthplace: Seattle Washington Family: Spouse Linda Larson
Occupation: Executive Director of the College Music Society (now retired- congrats, Bill)
Other Places Bill Has Lived: Seattle, Washington (WA); Pullman, WA; Corvallis, Oregon; Juneau, Alaska; New Haven, Connecticut; San Francisco, California, Austin, Texas; Ithaca, New York; Missoula, Montana
Hobbies: Hiking, Skiing, Ukulele, Urban Horticulture, Spanish
Favorite Quote: "Everybody is ignorant, just on different subjects"- Will Rogers
What would we be surprised to learn about you? My grandmother was born to an unwed mother. My great uncle served time in prison for murdering his wife. When my grandparents met, my grandmother had an assumed name.
Member Since: A member or friend since 1985
Fellowship Positions Held: Currently on Building and Grounds as well as President- Elect
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH Family: My daughter Hannah and three grandchildren
Occupation: Hospice Nurse Practitioner
Other Places I Have Lived: Lakewood, OH, Morristown, TN
Hobbies: Officiating weddings, a little bit of handyman work, some babysitting
Favorite Quote: "People don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care.” - Theodore Roosevelt
What would we be surprised to learn about you? I was painfully shy the first 18 years of my life.
Member Profile: Mike Walker
Member Since 2017
Past Fellowship Roles: R.E. teacher, O.W.L. teacher, Board Member At Large
Place of Birth: United States
Other Places Mike Has Lived: Charlotte, NC, and suburbs of Washington DC
Occupation: Software Engineer
Family: Mary, Spouse of 18 years, Kids: Killian (13 years old), Mick (11)
Pastimes: Making things! (i.e. cooking, building tiny homes, sewing, software)
Words to Live By: Be kind. Fight for what is right.
One thing we would be surprised to learn about you: After I dropped out of college (as a computer science major), the same college offered me a full-time job as a software engineer.
"Deb" Casaccia Witherow
Member Since: 2019
Previous Fellowship Role: Treasurer.
Place of Birth: Martinsville VA.
Other Places Deb Has Lived: Savannah, GA; Northern VA (DC suburbs); Garmisch, Germany; East Lansing, MI; Orange Co, CA; Bay Area, CA; Sacramento, CA; Kanab, Utah; Aiken, SC; Asheville, NC; Linville Land Harbor, Avery County, NC.
Current Occupation: Massage therapist; Owner of Zenergy Massage Therapy.
Family: Brian Ludwig, life partner; Tabitha, Dog; Abigail, Kitty.
Pastimes: Walking and Hiking, spending time with family, watching TV, listening to music, using her iPad to connect with friends and organize her home and business.
Words to Live By: "Relax the Body, Calm the Mind," and "Everything happens for a reason."
One thing that we would be surprised to learn about you: I have a 1 year old granddaughter, Montgomery "Monty " Lou.
Address: 381 E. King Street, Boone, NC 28607
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