In Loving Memory
In 1985, Carlene, along with her husband, Jack, purchased a 10-acre property in Cornville, Arizona. This was the beginning of Rusty’s Morningstar Ranch, named for their son, Rusty. They had long realized that Rusty and other adults with autism, would need a safe, secure and loving environment in a rural setting once they were too old to be a part of the traditional educational system. Carlene threw herself into the difficult and arduous task of finding a place, making it suitable, and wading through the endless quagmire of red tape associated with becoming licensed.
As Founder, Executive Director and President of the Board, she became an activist and an advocate for the adult autistic population in Arizona and around the country, and worked tirelessly on their behalf. In spite of the many personal hardships, setbacks, financial and other sacrifices, her dreams became reality. Today Rusty’s Morningstar Ranch is a nurturing home for adults who suffer from this disorder, and her unique philosophy and approach has been recognized as a model for other residential programs for autistic adults.
Her deep faith in the Lord and her love for the Ranch and the Ranchers provided the boundless energy and tenacious devotion with which she pursued an incredibly full life, almost entirely for the benefit of others. Because of her vision, hard work and commitment, the Ranchers have a permanent, loving place in which to learn, grow and remain protected according to each of their special needs. And, like Carlene, the parents of the Ranchers of today and tomorrow can rest in knowing that when their time on earth has passed, their children will be safe. Her legacy and the Ranch will endure.