Ottawa County Senior Resources recently inducted six new Senior Hall of Fame members at its 2019 “Slumber Party” Senior Day at Camp Perry Clubhouse. Each recipient received a plaque commemorating their service to the seniors and citizens of Ottawa County.
The recipients for this year’s awards include: Marty Stys, nominated by the Danbury Senior Center; Vera Mae Hille, nominated by the Elmore Golden Oldies Senior Center; John Diebert, nominated by the Genoa Senior Center; Arlene and Milton Wilburn, nominated by the Harbor Lights Senior Center of Oak Harbor; B. Joan Wolf, nominated by the Port Clinton Senior Center; and Sara Toole, nominated by the Put-in-Bay Senior Center.
Marty Stys, from the Danbury Senior Center, has been described as generous, giving and helpful. There is nothing he wouldn’t do to help someone from the center, or even outside the center, said nominees, and he does not stop until he has finished the task.
When Paula, the site manager, needs something done, he is always there for her. He helps his wife put up and take down all the holiday decorations. He will give anyone a ride to the center to play cards, or even to eat. His biggest asset is his big heart. Helping people is something he has always done. He has been married for the 43 years and he and his wife have five children, 11 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Vera Mae Hille, the local cheerleader for the Elmore Golden Oldies Senior Center, is always encouraging others to tell stories and learn from the guest speakers. She was always the prayer leader. Vera has been a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church in Elmore.
She and her late husband spearheaded the move from the small church on Maple Street to its current, spacious, handicapped accessible location on Witty Road. She was active with her husband in operating a strawberry farm, employing many high school students.
She encouraged local residents to attend church, visit the library, and support area business. She even wrote a book to answer all the important questions about herself. She now has care at home and uses a walker on a regular basis, but that does not stop her from being active.
She has led a full and active life, raising three sons, Paul, David and Gordon. At 94, she played an active role in both her family and community. One of her fondest memories was her father hitching up a horse to the buggy for an afternoon ride.
John Diebert is always willing to help motivate and encourage others to join in and have fun at the Genoa Senior Center. Acting as treasurer and vice president, he is dedicated to the needs of the older generation. A 40-year military veteran and retired Army Chief Warrant Officer, he is a 60-year resident of Genoa and noted for his pie baking, gift giving and his assistance at the Genoa Care Center and with the Genoa Christian Church.
He has strong leadership skills and shows compassion and caring, and noted for a wise cracking sense of humor. He is always willing to lend a helping hand, despite medical events that changed his life fairly drastically. But his persistence and determination has helped him to return to many of the activities he enjoys doing. He is a father of four, grandfather of nine and great-grandfather of seven.
Beverly Joan Wolfe, the Hall of Fame award recipient from Port Clinton, is the number one greeter at the Port Clinton Senior Center. She is always willing to help and makes those new to the center feel welcomed. She has been actively involved with the senior center for the last 15 years.
Beverly is actively involved in her church and is a regular attendee at her building meetings. She is compassionate and caring and a fun person. She has endured several health issues and a great deal of pain, but continues to promote the Port Clinton Senior Center and Senior Resources.
This year’s “Harbor Lights” recipients in Oak Harbor, Arlene and Milton Wilburn have recently joined the Harbor Lights family. They help other members of the group and always help clearing tables. Milton is especially willing to help and is the perfect gentleman, always putting the women first, while Arlene is sure to visit her church family and friends faithfully every week at the nursing homes.
Aside from the Senior Center, they are both active at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Oak Harbor. They are also involved in the Eagles and Lions Clubs. They really enjoy their time at the senior center and despite being somewhat new to the group, have become very involved, helping with special events and enjoy their time together with their friends at “Harbor Lights.”
Sara Toole offers her professional and dedicated expertise for the betterment of the Senior Center. This includes organizing and assisting with a variety of senior events and activities. She consistently and faithfully volunteers for most of the Senior Center activities, cares about the direction of the Senior Center and the concerns of our participants, and is involved with Euchre, heading up Mahjong, Trivia and Cribbage.
Her warm personality and easy laughter make everyone, especially new participants, feel welcome at the PIB Senior Center. She is an active member of a woman’s book club (OWLS) of Put-in-Bay, has been a long-time member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and was an essential leading member of the 5-year capital campaign. She helps with the church bulletin and making of the bread for communion. Sara is active with the Lake Erie Island Nature Camp and Lake Erie Island Historical Society, willing to help anyone watch their house while they’re away. She has an abundance of positive characteristics, including energetic, fun, always smiling with an infectious laugh.
She’s helpful, outgoing and a consistently positive participant at the Senior Center. Her challenges include juggling her time between helping out at the Senior Center and visiting her children, grandchildren and friends, most of whohours away in the Chicago area. She has quietly dealt with several recent health issues all the while keeping a positive outlook on life and living it to the fullest.