The Schultses also discovered a mutual love for canoeing and camping, particularly at the Priest Lake area of northern Idaho. Another recreation that became virtually an avocation was ballroom dancing, at which Ninon particularly excelled. Moran Prairie itself did not present much of an opportunity to dance, but they made frequent trips to Dixieland festivals that were staged throughout the Northwest. Whatever skills they developed on the dance floor were definitely because of Ninon's ability. Of course, most of their favorite recreational activities had to be abandoned as the years went by and both became crippled. One, however, which required no physical activity, was baseball, particularly amateur and minor league. For Ninon, however, this only really developed after their retirement.
During the first couple of years living at Moran Prairie, the always adaptable Ninon worked at the Spokane Public Library, but soon got a job at EWU's library. This gave the Schultses another opportunity to spend time with each other, with the daily commute involving the same workplace.
In 1989, the Schultses retired from their jobs at EWU and began packing up for many trips to their retirement home. They had been searching for this for about three years, but only in April of 1989 did they find what they were looking for - rural, relatively benign weather, and some of the best college baseball in the nation. In other words, Lewiston. In July they moved into their log home in a thickly forested area where no other house could be seen. It was here that friendly, helpful, and kind neighbors abounded. As far as wildlife was concerned, there weren't many coyotes, but there were enough cougars to keep their cats on their toes.
Now that the daily grind of working was over, Ninon was able to indulge in one other of her enjoyable pastimes, traveling by land and by sea. In the last years of her life, automobile trips made her nervous, even fearful. But this was not so during earlier times, and the Schultses would frequently spend weekends driving to wilderness areas and looking for uncharted forest roads, streams, or waterfalls. In retirement, they took longer trips, of which two in particular stood out. In 1980, they drove across southern Canada, from British Columbia to and through the Maritime provinces. In 1992, they drove across the northern tier of states to Maine. One of the objectives was to see the autumn leaves in New England. From there, they drove south along the Eastern sea coast to the Florida Keys; after that, they made their way across the southern states to California, and finally finished up their six-week odyssey along the Pacific Coast, then to Lewiston.
As pleasant as automobile trips could be, the mode of travel that was Ninon's favorite, without question, was cruising. For many people a cruise consists of a week or so in the Caribbean, making island stops to scuba dive, and above all, to shop. But, beginning with their first cruise, Ninon and Ray took a different approach. From their first cruise, 15 days to Alaska, Ninon was hooked. Altogether the Schultses enjoyed eight cruises, the first seven of which were mostly for a month or more, and each one in a different part of the world. The eighth was an around-the-world cruise that lasted for more than a month. Ninon loved every one, despite the fact that the world cruise took place after her Alzheimer's had begun. She loved every minute of every day as always. Unfortunately, she was destined to forget all of them.
Ninon loved to travel, but there is one type of transportation that is notably absent from her resume - air. From beginning to end she hated flying. But it was part of the itinerary of all of her beloved cruises, as well as many of her trips to specific destinations. For example, she loved England and made many trips there. Some of the Atlantic crossings were by ship, but most by air. So she smiled, whitened her knuckles, and carried on.
Ninon also carried on in her home life. In her final years she developed an extraordinary number of illnesses, not all connected to Ahlzheimer's. She would not complain. If asked if she felt ill, she would usually say no because she thought that admitting she was sick might damage her chances of going back home. Ninon was not only bright and beautiful, she was brave.
In the last week of her life she was suffering from, besides Alzheimer's, four broken foot bones, pneumonia, low oxygen levels in her blood, and heart failure. She didn't spend any of her last days complaining. She spent much of her time thanking people who were helping her. That is why all who really knew her, loved her.
She is survived by her brother, Francis P. King; Bevin and Martine Maxey; Bill and Shannon Maxey; six Maxey grandchildren; four Maxey great-grandchildren; four Maxey great-grandchildren; one stepdaughter, Leslie DeYoung; two stepgrandchildren; and a heartbroken husband. Goodbye Sweetheart.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimer's Foundation.