Leah Justesen Strate has the spirit of a 20-year-old housed in a 96-year-old body. To hear her dramatic readings, you would never guess her age.
Strate was recently honored for her "unique and dedicated" volunteer work at Eastlake Care Center, where she is a resident. Strate delights the residents, staff and visitors at Eastlake with her dramatic readings and her friendly, cheerful nature.Not only does she read her material, she acts out the scenes, complete with accents and special effects - all from her wheelchair.
A widow for the past 35 years, Strate taught drama on a fellowship at Brigham Young University, and was involved as a drama coach with LDS youth organizations for many years.
As a member of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, a United Way agency, Strate serves in the friendly visitor program. She visits the other residents many hours each week, spreading cheer and optimism wherever she goes.
David Gardner, director of the senior program, honored Strate with a plaque of appreciation and thanked her for her service. As a thank-you to those in attendance at the ceremony, Strate performed two of her dramatic readings, "A Hindu Died" and "An Americana Girl."