Keeping technology simple

Local senior teaches peers the ins and outs of computers

Learning new technology can be daunting to anyone, but senior citizens often find themselves having an especially challenging time with it.
Camas resident Dave Hunter, 75, has been helping his peers learn the ins and outs of new technology for the last five years.
He has answered questions ranging from how to turn on a computer to how to navigate social media.
Hunter teaches beginning and intermediate classes at the Firstenburg Community Center, volunteering approximately five to eight hours per week.
“My satisfaction comes from seeing the ‘aha,’ look when a rather complex idea is understood,” he said.
Hunter is a retired police sergeant with a background in computer forensics.
The most common questions he hears in his beginning classes are what to look for when buying a computer, what kind to purchase, and how to send email messages and photos.
Those in the intermediate classes typically want to know how to deal with “phishing,” computer viruses, scams, and bad people in general.
Kelly Lund, 50 and older programs recreation specialist, has known Hunter since 2011.
“My first impressions of him were that he was kind, patient and knowledgable,” she said. “He was also excited about technology for people 50 and older.”
Lund noted that when she receives phone calls from seniors with computer questions, they are often intimidated.
“It is nice for them to be able to sit down with someone from their own era instead of someone so young they feel like they are learning from their grandchildren,” she said. “He has no sense of urgency about him.”
Jerry Lohmeyer of Vancouver has been attending classes for several years.
“A lot of it covers how to do different things on the computer,” he said. “I love that there are always different ways and shortcuts to do different tasks.”
Hunter has helped him with photo editing skills, Lohmeyer added.
“I am convinced that he enjoys this,” he joked. “He keeps coming back every week. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn more about technology.”
Attendees will also sometimes get together for dinners or events outside of class.
“It’s a good opportunity for a retired person to get to know people,” Lohmeyer said.
For more information about computer classes for seniors, visit, or call Kelly Lund at 487-7015.