To read detailed biographies of all the 2004 senior hall of fame award winners scroll down the page
Bob really knows how to keep fit and enjoys helping other seniors to do the same. Because Bob cares about everyone's health, he has been an avid spokesperson for the Fitness Center at Washington Park Senior Center, and he volunteered to start his own class called "Dumbbells at Work" three days a week to teach other seniors that there can be a fun side to working out. The class started out small, but now has thirty members. You might say that Bob got his motivation and exercise calling in his younger days when he was an instructor in the Navy during WWII showing others the benefits of exercise with hand weights.
Bob has been a member and volunteer at the senior center for over 18 years, where he also enjoys woodworking and is a regular in the wood shop. He has crafted many projects including beautiful signs for the senior center. Another hobby that Bob enjoys is golf, which also keeps him in good shape.
Bob likes to stay politically active and has been involved in the Washington Park Senior Center Advisory Council for many years. He brings forth many good and positive ideas. Whenever anyone needs assistance he is there. Bob is really appreciated by those in his exercise class and those that have been fortunate just to know him.
George has truly been a lifelong, passionate advocate for those less fortunate in society.
The son of a sharecropper, George experienced the stings of injustice at an early age, becoming committed to the power of personal advocacy and self-improvement.
George moved to Milwaukee in 1950, working in forge shops and construction. He worked for Unit Drop Forge from 1965 until 1993. Racial prejudice motivated George to become both a unionist and a civil rights activist. George has held several union leadership positions and has been a leader in the Democratic Party.
George has visited the homes of needy fellow union members, as he has visited the White House. In recent years, George has been a leading advocate for older adults, making affordable prescription drugs his personal campaign. With the support of his wife, Virginia, and his family, George will continue his advocacy efforts in the future.
Some of George's heroes include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Walter Reuther, and Hubert Humphrey. George points to Hubert Humphrey as a very decent politician, interested in true racial justice and economic reform. In that tradition, George McKinney, too, is a very decent man and most worthy of induction into the Senior Citizen Hall of Fame.
Grace genuinely cares about people. Giving of herself comes directly from her heart. She is described as a team player, the one to go the extra mile to get the job done, and she will not be the one to complain.
Grace has been an exceptional volunteer in the community and her activities span over twenty-five years of service. They range from cooking and serving meals at St. Ben's to wielding a hammer or paintbrush at Habitat for Humanity, an organization very close to her heart. She is equally comfortable facilitating groups for the Community Conferencing Program (a group setting for the crime victim, offender and others to discuss the offense and the impact of a particular crime). Grace has a "fine tuned" sense of empathy, compassion, respect, and determination that make her an asset.
Grace currently serves on the Board of Directors for Project Focal Point, Milwaukee Christian Center, and the Housing Ministry of Wisconsin. She is also very active with her church, Underwood Memorial Baptist Church, and has the honor of longest standing membership at the church.
Grace reassures her community, through her life, that aging does not mean immobility, inactivity, or limits. Between her many volunteer activities, she is an avid outdoorswoman: she enjoys her annual white water rafting trip!
Grace shows the community that life is not over once you retire; her many contributions are evidence that she lives this belief. Meeting and knowing Grace presents positive change
George is a "sterling" expression of volunteerism and is described as "hard- working, a trailblazer, committed, a devoted family man, persistent and beloved." Last year at his surprise 90th birthday party, more than 100 guests from around the country shared in the celebration of this person that has given so much to others.
In 1975, George was a co-founder of La Guadalupana Senior Center that later merged with the United Community Center. This was the beginning of bringing vital programs for Hispanic older adults into the community.
George volunteers approximately 900 hours per year providing services such as translation for patients and loved ones at St. Luke's Hospital who speak only Spanish, on-call volunteering for Mexican Fiesta, and seeking donations for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce silent auction. In addition, he has served on the Milwaukee County Commission on Aging's Advisory Council.
George says, "I feel happy that I can help people. I know that I am doing something good for them when I volunteer, and I feel I have accomplished something." He serves as a shining example for other seniors to live life to the fullest.
Marion is described as an extremely capable, competent, compassionate woman, with an incredible amount of energy. She is a role model to all, a greathearted person, and a grand woman who makes life and its activities fun.
Her professional calling was as administrator to the city's first residential treatment center for alcoholism, Ivanhoe Treatment Center. She had owned or operated the treatment center for 50 years, pitching in wherever help was needed, sometimes cooking, cleaning, or performing administrative duties. Her heartfelt commitment to others helped change lives for the better.
She still uses her incredible energy to help others, sometimes in organized volunteer projects and sometimes just helping out others who need a hand. She gives her time and talent to the Ladies of UNICO, the International Institute, Italian Community Center, St. Monica's Parish, Dominican High School, St. Ben's Dinner program, UWM Library, and numerous friends. "Her exceptional volunteerism would be in her indomitable spirit of willingness to pitch in and do whatever needs to be done."
"Marion is a wonderful example of what a ?senior can continue to contribute to life around her?she has a unique sense of humor?she is a model because she just doesn't stop." She has made the difference in so many lives.