Aging is more than just retirement, forms, doctor's appointments and health insurance. For many people, life begins at 65! It definitely doesn't end with retirement, and plenty of people (for one reason or another) never retire.
We want to make the story of Tennessee's seniors more personal by putting a spotlight on some of those we've met. Check back from time to time for new faces!
At 73, Knoxville’s Glenn “Lefty” Miller sets a standard for compassion and kindness. He has been delivering routes for Mobile Meals for more than eight years, and is currently on the schedule four days per week and “on call” if needed for the fifth day. Lefty’s face lights up at the mention of his Mobile Meals clients; his passion to serve is undeniable. When a longtime recipient of meals was grieving over the loss of her canine companion, Lefty got her a puppy. He visits “his folks” in the hospital or rehab, and he attends their funeral services. He always goes above and beyond with selfless acts of compassion.
In August, Lefty won top place in a nationwide video contest, and became the winner of the 2014 American Volunteer Award from Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA).
His win is Knoxville’s win and the Mobile Meals program’s win, too. It gives Knoxville the “Top Volunteer” bragging rights that are well deserved because of the thousands of volunteers who put in million-plus hours of service throughout our community every year. Mobile Meals received $1,000 and a fully-produced video to promote the great work it’s doing in the community. The entire monetary award will go directly toward feeding 300 local hungry seniors.
Lefty wants to remind everyone that Mobile Meals always needs more volunteers. You don’t have to deliver meals four or five days a week, as Lefty does. “Just one day every month, or whatever you can do,” Lefty said.
He also encourages everyone to support Mobile Meals financially. “Every day, I see the folks getting these meals. They are truly in need, and so thankful for Mobile Meals. The program staff tells me that there are still plenty of other folks who need to get the meals, but they don’t have the money to feed them.”
The Silver Threads Quilt Guild was formed when a handful of ladies wanted to get together and learn all they could about quilting from each other. That was over 10 years ago! The little group has grown to over 30 members, including 4 gentlemen. This group donates to nursing homes, the Tennessee Veterans Home, Habitat for Humanity, and the Carl Perkins Center for Child Abuse, as well as other non-profit groups.
Guild President is Jean Winniger, and Vice President is Tammy Host.
At ninety years of age, Jane Woods has been teaching a knitting class off and on since 1988. Through the years, the knitting class has donated to various organizations in Carroll County. The class is open to all who enjoy knitting and fellowship.
Mrs. Woods says that knitting helps keep the mind active and the fingers busy.
Mr. Rodney Chandler, born November 12, 1915, has been playing the organ at the Carroll County Fair since 1963. He operated the Chandler Music Company for many years after opening in 1963.
At the age of 97 (almost 98), he was presented the award for being the oldest man at Senior Day at the Fair. That was in August 2013.
Selma Vonnoh of Chattanooga is 104 as of Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Read more about her online from Chattanooga WRCB Channel 3, including what she believes has led to a long, happy life.
Last updated 09/03/14.