Embracing Life: with Twists and Turns
by Richard Stuckey

"Diversity in thought and action is our key to continuous growth and development."

Born in 1944 to a Mennonite farming family, author Stuckey opens his engaging memoir with a salute to an earlier, largely self-sufficient generation of Americans. He recounts that his father was late to his own wedding because he had farm work to complete, and the couple spent their honeymoon at the home of the bride's parents. Stuckey's childhood was peppered with farm chores and home-bound incidents. As he entered school life, his horizons broadened. He recalls corporal punishment for a childish prank. By contrast, he praises teachers whose kindly ways encouraged him to pursue higher education, beginning with enrollment in the FFA (Future Farmers of America) program, in which he excelled, receiving many honors. College was next, leading to meeting his future wife, Judy. The couple took a two-year volunteer post in Laos during the Vietnam war. A Ph.D., a gift for math, and his diligent study of plant pathology provided excellent career opportunities, including work in Washington, DC, and a gradual retirement with continued community and charitable organizations involvement.

Stuckey has organized his life journey in a thoughtful chronology that demonstrates his personal growth. He experienced a widening range of interests and abilities without relinquishing the moral values instilled in his youth. He candidly admits a job loss still rankles as he reveals the perils of working within the political realm, but he did not let the situation hold him back. In later years, he and Judy have been able to travel, have enjoyed numerous cruises, and once purposely introduced their sons to life overseas by taking a sabbatical in the Netherlands. His lively, often amusing autobiography is enhanced by photographs, supporting materials, and episodes stressing the ambiance and salience of his long, varied, and still productive life. Stuckey's recollections can inspire younger readers and fellow seniors seeking further adventures.

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