Guest Profile

Lisa Tunnell Drottar

My life experience has been about adapting to change. I was born in Wilmington Delaware and when I was 11 years old my family moved to Beaconsfield, England.  I spent my "middle school years" in English schools. When I was 15 my family moved to New Jersey where I entered 10th grade in an American high school. Afterward, I enrolled in a private, liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota: Macalester College. I married a Catholic young man who was the first in his family to attend college. After 4 years of an abusive marriage, I left to return to my parent's home which was in Maryland. I met my second husband at work. Kurt was an aquatic toxicologist, and I was an auditor. We had 2 children together and moved to Michigan to work for Dow where the schools were more challenging for our kids. My second husband was an alcoholic who had suffered from hepatitis C as a teenager. This meant he was drinking heavily with a liver that had already suffered trauma. After repeated stints at a hospital, he lost his job.

Although I had repeatedly suggested detox and rehab, he was never interested. So, I divorced him when he moved to Indiana for a new job. He died in 2013, six months after our divorce was finalized. In 2016, Dow merged with DuPont, and 700 of us in Midland, Michigan were laid off. So, I moved to Reno, Nevada to work for Charles River Laboratories and learned to hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains. When the pandemic hit in 2020, I started working from home. I moved back to the east coast in 2023 because my grown kids were starting to settle down there. My son and his wife are expecting their first child in October and my daughter and her fiancé are getting married in October too.

So change and adapting have been my life: Delaware, England, New Jersey, Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, and back to Delaware. I've learned to listen, be open-minded, and ask questions.