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Teaching across generations

Molly Shore

Betsy Lueke likes to stay in great physical shape, and at 83, she

doesn’t intend to stop working out.

When she’s not walking her dog or going to the gym three times a

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week, Lueke teaches yoga strength training Tuesday and Thursday

mornings at the Joslyn Adult Center.

“I don’t even know I’m a senior,” Lueke said recently. “But most

of my yoga students are.”

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The only time Lueke slows down is when she indulges in two of her

favorite pastimes: going to the movies or attending plays at the

Pasadena Playhouse, where she and her daughter have season tickets.

Physical activity has always been a part of Lueke’s family life.

Her father was a football coach at Hollywood High School in the 1920s

and ‘30s, and her brother was a UCLA golf coach and sports

information director.

One of her students, 57-year-old Joan Feller, took arts-and-crafts

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classes from Lueke at Verdugo Park in the 1950s.

“She taught me mosaics when I was 11 years old, and she’s still

teaching me,” Feller said.

Feller and childhood friend Donna (Rondinella) Lowande spent

summers at the park, where Lueke worked as a recreation leader.

When Lowande learned that her friend was taking a yoga class from

Lueke, she found the black-and-white mosaic dog she made years ago in

Lueke’s class and asked Feller to take it to class to show her.

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“As soon as Joan told me she was doing the class, I told her that

[Lueke] knew the entire Rondinella family,” Lowande said. “We were

five kids, and we all grew up at Verdugo Park. Everyone knew Mrs.

Lueke, and she was always so nice.”

Lueke, who always took extra time to help the children with their

projects, still goes that extra mile.

“It took me a year and a half to do this one [yoga position], and

Betsy kept saying, ‘Just keep trying.’ It’s just from her saying,

‘Just keep trying,’ and all of a sudden I’m doing it now,” Feller

said.


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