Clovis resident Stan Oken has accomplished quite a bit in his 85 years of life.
A nine-year Fresno County supervisor. Co-founder of Domus Mitis, a foundation set up to assist in the care of abused and dependent women and children. Longtime chair of the Oken family-owned Wonder Valley Ranch Resort and Conference Center. Past chair of the Fresno Convention and Visitors Bureau. Teacher. Coach.
Now, add author to that sterling résumé.
Oken has penned a book titled “Raising the Whole Child: Gardens of Destiny,” which talks about raising children and urges adults — be their children natural or adopted, or if they are foster parents — to step up and start parenting.
Using gardening as a metaphor, Oken writes that good gardeners raise whole children, while the seeds of the bad gardeners never bloom.
He even offers up a checklist that any couple should meeting before deciding to have a baby: be at least 21 years old, married, have at least a high school diploma, be free of drugs and alcohol, be prepared both socially and financially, have positive self-esteem, be educated about pre-natal care for the mother and health care for the child, and have both mother and father take parenting classes.
For anyone who knows Oken, the book may be a surprise, but certainly not the subject matter.
During his time as a county supervisor, children’s and juvenile justice issues were top priorities. And Oken has been a foster parent himself and founded the River Way Ranch Camp, a summer camp for youth.