June 6, 2009 Fifty Over 50: Local people older than age 50 recognized STAR PRESS STAFF REPORT Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology at Ball State University recently conducted its fourth annual Fifty Over 50 Recognition. The event recognizes individuals ages 50 and older who have contributed to their local communities and have touched people's lives. With some of their accomplishments noted, the recipients are: Claude Adams, nominated by his daughter, Gay Barrett. He is business agent for Teamsters Local 135. Charles Austin, nominated by Westminster Village. He is a retired university professor and administrator. Helen Bartlett, nominated by Jackie Stuffel. She has been pillar of her church, Gethsemane United Methodist, and has started a Book Club Luncheon. Alice Bennett, nominated by Judi Egbert. Her name is synonymous with Planned Parenthood, where for many years she was an educator to young women. Dick Benson, nominated by Westminster Village. He served Ontario Corp. for many years and supports the family business, Benson's Motorcycles. Lois Bond, nominated by daughter, Cheryl Minor. She is considered to be the "greatest" by her family and by those she serves in the community. Darl Bookout, nominated by Phyllis Battice. His devotion to his church is evident in his weekly meal preparations for the 55 and Alive group. Tom Buczek (Bukezeck), nominated by Gay Barrett. He has been a dedicated employee at First Merchants Bank and is dedicated to the Muncie community at large. Susie Cooper, nominated by husband, Scott Cooper. She spent 18 months caring for her terminally ill mother at home and has been by her husband's side through 20-plus surgeries. Pat Davis, nominated by Chad Douglass and Carla Gick. She began her employment at Elm Ridge in 1965 and has worn many hats, from secretary to general manager. Mike Dobbs, nominated by Westminster Village. He is the physical plant director of Westminster Village. Jack Donati, nominated by Sandra Hoover. He is a loyal volunteer at Ball Memorial Hospital and can be found every Friday morning at the triage guest relations desk in the emergency room. Judy Donati, nominated by Sandra Hoover. A licensed practical nurse at the hospital for 20 years and a licensed respiratory therapist, she later returned to the hospital as a volunteer. Joyce Marie Foster, nominated by Brenda Rathel. She never fails to care daily for older adults living in her neighborhood, visiting them in the hospital, caring for their homes and pets, mowing yards or running errands. Carol Gardiner, nominated by Stephanie Dilk. She is an exceptional volunteer for the Visitor Experience Department at Minnetrista. Wanda Greer, nominated by Westminster Village. She is a volunteer at Westminster who enjoys playing the piano and leading singing with the residents in the Health Center. Shailla Gupta, nominated by Annurita Sarin and Ajanta Goswami. She has opened her home and her heart to make other immigrants adjust to their new home with little effort. Eva Hall, nominated by Marvilla Noles. She has been described as a dedicated, dependable, personable volunteer for the Red Cross. Judi Harris, nominated by Westminster Village. She is the marketing director for Westminster, but she got her on-the-job training selling advertising to clients. She is an advocate for her clients here in Muncie and Delaware County. Doyle Hauessler (House-ler), nominated by Bethany Schultz. She obtained a master's degree in her '50s despite all of her physical limitations. Charlie Hetrick, nominated by Westminster Village. The former president and CEO of Maxon Corp., he gently guides those around him by the example he sets. Vondus House, nominated by Neal Miller. He has been described by his young nominator as a great citizen, family member, friend and World War II veteran. Sarah Humphrey, nominated by Velma Coleman. She has always had a passion for helping those in need. Cheryl Imes, nominated by Westminster Village. She has been with Westminster for more than 20 years and has held a number of positions, including her current position as director of nursing. Charline James, nominated by daughter, Phyllis Battice. At age 91, she is still the main cook for the 55 Alive program at Gethsemane United Methodist Church. Joe and Rachel Johnson, nominated by their niece, Mary Hamilton. Since the death of Mary's mother, Joe and Rachel have stepped in to assist Mary as well as her father and sister. Mary Fran Johnson, nominated by Judi Egbert. She may be short in stature, but gigantic in heart and intellect. As an elementary school teacher, she had the opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of children. Margaret Jones, nominated by Kyle Cline. She has often been described as a bright light or a beacon in the Gillespie Towers Apartments, where she resides. Becky Karcher, nominated by Sandra Hardcastle. She has been called the consummate volunteer by her peers at High Street Methodist Church. Jack Klingensmith, nominated by Rev. Ray Raines. He joined the Muncie Mission board of directors in 1961 and continues to serve faithfully. Judy Lane, nominated by Michael Hicks. She has immersed herself in the Muncie and Ball State communities since arriving 30 years ago. Mary Levi, nominated by her daughter, Judi Ritter. She was the kind of mother who let her children fly on their own while being the wind beneath their wings. Margaret Montano, nominated by Sandra Hoover. She has been a volunteer with the hospital for more than 43 years and has accumulated 9,400 hours of service. Charlotte Overmyer, nominated by Betty Freeman. She presides each Thursday over High Street Methodist Church's Senior Luncheon and Learn, as well as the wonderful classes in the Update Learning Series. Jean Patton, nominated by Pat Hinshaw and Marilyn Davis. She is happiest when she is helping others. Karuna Perera, nominated by her husband, Nihal Perera, and Nilanka Inas. She has many passions - - her husband and three children, her family back in Sri Lanka, and her commitment to older adults, particularly those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Margaret Phillips, nominated by her daughter, Ann Bivens. At age 85, she was not content to sit at home. She returned to Ball State, not as an employee, but as a student. In December, she will graduate with an associate degree. Hazel Poole, nominated by Scott Cooper, Delaware County TRIAD. Hazel is on the mature side of 80 with the energy of a teenager. Carrie Pritchard, nominated by Neal Miller. She lives in Wilson School Apartments and has reached out not only to fellow residents, but to all of the students from the Community Center for Vital Aging. Mary Razor, nominated by her brother, John Rust. She is representative of all the daughters throughout the ages who have been caregivers for their mothers. Linda Reynolds, nominated by her husband, Bruce Reynolds. She works at Northview Elementary as the school librarian aide and is director of Kids Hope USA. She also has a passion for seniors and has helped the Forest Park Senior Center in many ways. Zadie Robbins, nominated by Bethany Schulz. She is a resident of Gillespie Towers who reaches out daily to her neighbors. Phyllis Sharp, nominated by Linda Snell. A retired nurse, she is one of the most positive people you could ever hope to meet. Don Van Meter, nominated by Judi Egbert. Creator of the Ball State Natural Resources and Environmental Management Department, he led the department by teaching 23 different courses and leading rugged field outings around the United States. Marilouise Walker, nominated by her daughter, Benita Smith. She is eternally young -- 89 years young at heart. Despite a challenging childhood, she emerged with a strong work ethic and determination to succeed. Betty Wasson, nominated by Bob and Ellie Holt. She has been a member of St. Paul's Methodist Church since its inception in 1953 and she has been the church secretary for 48 years. She often wears the different hats of general manager, scheduler, counselor, historian and problem solver. Kate Wean, nominated by Phyllis Battice. At age 80-plus, she seems to have boundless energy, especially when it comes to reaching out to others. Beverly Wilson, nominated by Westminster Village. She has been with Westminster for 10 years and is the assistant director of Nursing and Residential Services. She nurtures her residents and staff. Elaine Witbeck, nominated by her husband, Greg Witbeck. She was nominated by her husband of 43 years because she exemplifies outstanding service to her community. Jean Wright, nominated by Judi Egbert. She is a quiet, unassuming person who stands tall in the Muncie Community Schools system. She has spent decades as a social worker, touching the lives of countless children of all ages. Marjorie Zeigler, nominated by Westminster Village. She has shared her gifts, her talents, her energies and is truly committed to making Muncie a better place.
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