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Jill Aikman Berney Class of 1975
September 22, 2008
I wouldn't even know how to begin to catch up after all of the years between the goodbyes after 7th grade and now hello at age 50. I've been watching this website for about six months now — thought I would dive in. So, this might be the pinhead of all summaries of my life.
After leaving Delhi, we lived for a brief time in Arkansas while my father had a tour in Vietnam. Following that, and until his retirement from the Army, we lived in Burke, Virginia. In Virginia, I ran into and kept in touch with Jane Baird, Ann Crowley, Carolyn Van Shaik, and Karen Johnson. Also, ran into Rob Creedon, Jeff Miller, and Lee Sharp in school. Unfortunately, I no longer am in contact with any of these friends although I did keep in touch with Ann Crowley until just the past few years that I have been in Texas.
Following my dad's retirement to Arkansas, I attended Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas, where I graduated from high school in 1975 and also college in 1979 with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. I worked in Little Rock until 1983 when we moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. I married Ron Bayless; and we lived in Lafayette for many years, with a one-year tour in Jakarta, Indonesia, mid stream (he worked in the oil field). We had two children together. Rebecca, 24, a third year law student at LSU law, and Forrest, 21, a student at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, New York. I worked part time and finished my Master's degree during that time there.
Following a divorce in 2000, my children and I moved to Longview, Texas, where I became the Chief Nursing Officer of Longview Regional Medical Center and I re-grouped. Eventually, I became the Chief Operating Officer at the same facility; and I am still working there now. I remarried in June, 2007 to Bobby Berney of Shreveport, Louisiana; and we now live in the outskirts of Longview — in Hallsville, TX. Bob commutes to Shreveport daily — about 45 miles and I head the other way into Longview.
My sister, Jane Aikman Tipton, (Class of l972)just returned from living eight years in Nairobi, Kenya. She is now living in Barnesville, Ohio. Her daughter, Susan is at school in Wooster, Ohio. She also has two sons living at home. Bryan is in a Quaker School in Barnesvillle, and Nelson is at home. Her husband is a retired music professor. Jane has her Masters Social Work and worked for many years for the CDC in Kenya with HIV-related projects. Jane keeps in touch with Alfie Campbell, well known to many of you. Alfie has become a good friend to Jane's daughter, Susan.
My twin younger brothers, who were just small and about to begin kindergarten when we left India, are both still in Russellville, Arkansas. Bill is married to Audrey, and they have two young children — Natalie age 7 and David, age 4. Bill is a pilot, and Audrey is a high school teacher. Crutch, my other brother, took over my father's business of real estate and insurance. He is married to Amy, a CPA. They are the proud parents of two golden retrievers.
My father, Jim B. Aikman, still lives in Russellville; and unfortunately lives alone because my mother, Jean, died in August, 2006 after a long battle with emphysema. Following military retirement, my father began selling real estate and insurance. He just retired again in July — at age 79.
Jill Quotes (stolen of course) Do Good and Be Good. If it isn't fun, it isn't done.
I'd love to catch up with my classmates!
Namaste — Jill
(and maybe this was bigger than a pinhead — a match-tip, perhaps?)