2006 Senior Hall of Fame


To read detailed biographies of all the 2006 senior hall of fame award winners scroll down the page

Harriet Dorsey

Special Century of Service Award


Mrs. Dorsey displays and shares "qualities of love, acceptance, inclusion, hard work, and persistence."  It is a pleasure to honor her for the gifts she bestows to those in her presence and affected by her touch of love.  Her devotion to serving others has "made her not just the Queen Mother of the African American community, but the spirit and virtue of what volunteers are, givers of themselves to others."  The role modeling, mentoring and light that she has offered unfolds to many.


This year Mrs. Dorsey is 100 years of age and she continues to share an active compassion with her church and community.  Mrs. Dorsey was at Clinton Rose Senior Center the day it opened helping with activities such as the meal program, gospel choir, arts and crafts, and monthly birthday parties.  Since that day she has greeted visitors daily with the warmth of a hug.  They all feel welcomed because she has told them they are loved.  She holds a special seat of honor because of her unwavering service to Clinton Rose Senior Center.


Mrs. Dorsey has been recognized for her commitment to serve her family and extended family as hundreds attend her birthday celebrations.  Her volunteer hours calculate in the hundreds of thousands as she has spent all of her time making others feel special.  What a gift she has brought to the community!  What blessings she continues to share in her 100th year of life in places made better because of Mrs. Dorsey.


 Arnetta Walzck

Arnetta shares light and joy merging artistic talents and leadership skills with heartfelt values of helping others.  She has volunteered in the Arts and Crafts Department of Wilson Park Senior Center since 1983, contributing countless hours of her time.  She is self-motivated and very flexible.  She helps keep all classrooms orderly and clean on a daily basis, helps coordinate a bi-yearly rummage sale, decorates the center during various holidays, keeps daily attendance records and has been active with volunteer recruitment.


In the absence of the instructor and as needed, Arnetta has "stepped in" and provided leadership by coordinating programs and teaching.  Some of the Arts and Crafts programs offered to members are ceramics, tatting, copper enameling, macramé', knitting and crocheting, sewing, Sojourn Bears (handmade teddy bears for adult cancer patients at St. Luke's Hospital), ribbon embroidery, weaving, silversmithing, art club and craft club. 


She helped organize a Quilter's Guild that was recognized through Milwaukee Public Schools as a noteworthy intergenerational project.  As a result, a prize-winning quilt was bought and displayed by a local restaurant.


Arnetta's radiant personality has always been friendly, enthusiastic, helpful and energetic.  Her strong volunteer ethic has graced her since the age of five, as taught by her loving grandmother.  She remains a respected advocate for Center members and humility speaks to her, being an "ideal example of a true volunteer."



Barbara Bechtel

Without drawing undue attention to herself, Barbara Bechtel has made significant contributions to the Milwaukee community through her hard work, careful analysis, and relentless determination.  Barbara is an articulate and effective spokesperson on behalf of issues affecting older adults.  She takes great pains to carefully study the issues and form persuasive arguments in her frequent appearances at public meetings while consistently respecting the views of others.  Barbara actively participates in the Commission on Aging Advocacy Committee and faithfully communicates information back to Brown Deer seniors.


Barbara works tirelessly to make her community a better place, particularly for the senior citizens of Brown Deer.  She consistently volunteers at the Senior Meal Program at the Brown Deer Algonquin School.  She is also a resource person and blood pressure screener for members of the St. Catherine Alexandria Senior Citizens Club.  She is a volunteer at the village pooling sites and meets with the Brown Deer School School District Administrator, acting as a conduit between the senior citizens and the school district.  She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Brown Deer Senior Citizens Club, serving as the club's representative to the Brown Deer Police Department. Barbara is a Board Member of the North Shore Health Department, and also serves as a member of the Horizon Home Care and Hospice Professional Advisory Board.


Clearly, Barbara is a compassionate and caring person who is driven by her genuine concern for her community.


Else Ankel

Else has been called a "gatekeeper of the neighborhood". Her intense vision and energy clearly reflects a strong commitment to serve fellow residents of the east side and UW-M neighborhood. Graced with expertise and a love of nature, she has been able to carry out an unrelenting goal.  As a result, she has been a "proactive and positive force for decades". Evidence of her determination is a calendar full of meetings and activities that include an array of community issues.  


In 2001, Else founded the Cambridge Woods Neighborhood Association.  Subsequently, she has actively served as chair, member of the board, several committees, vice-president, and president.  Her knowledge and resourcefulness has been obvious through the maintenance of member distribution lists and subcommittee recruitment for this Association.  In addition, other community activities have included being a neighborhood representative to the Eastside Transportation Management Association and representative to the University Neighborhood Association.


Else has been instrumental in the establishment of the Urban Ecology Center (formerly Friends of Riverside Park).  This concept that started in 1991 as a portable classroom in Riverside Park had developed into a neighborhood organization focused on providing natural experiences for children and community.  She's built bridges between political, business and academic entities because of her dream.  Else is noted for her pursuit in working to create a safer community and a place for all ages to learn about nature.        



 Rolf Hoffmann


For more than two decades, Rolf has given his voluntary service to educational, community, and humanitarian causes throughout Milwaukee.  Both children and adults have benefited from his valuable contributions in community and cultural education and enjoyment. 


Rolf is a woodcarving artist and an accomplished guitarist, teacher, and singer.  His many skills as a volunteer teacher have been an inspiration to all who view his work or are mentored by him.  As a longtime volunteer docent at the Pabst mansion, he enriches the lives of visitors through his knowledge of Milwaukee's heritage and traditions.  He also spent many years with the Milwaukee Liederkrantz Chorus, the North American Singers Association, and the Wisconsin German Chorus.  As ambassadors for Milwaukee's German heritage, these groups educate and entertain throughout Wisconsin.


Rolf's commitment to the community and cultural education can also be seen in extensive volunteer hours in the planning and execution of German Fest and the Holiday Folk Fair.  Recently, he was appointed to the Milwaukee Museum's Advisory Board for the upcoming Biedermeirer Exhibit.


His leadership and guidance has contributed to the formation of the Wauwatosa Hart Park Senior Center and Nutrition Site through his volunteer activities and membership on the Advisory Board.


Rolf's caring, enthusiasm, artistic creativity, teaching, and leadership skills make him a valuable senior citizen role model.



Ruth Simos


Ruth distinguishes herself in her Bay View community as an eager volunteer, leader, and neighbor.  Her volunteer activities include the Bay View Arts Guild, Bay View Historical Society, Bay View Neighborhood Association and serving as the Captain of the Humboldt Park Watch.  Under her leadership, in 2002 the Humboldt Park Watch was named "Outstanding Block Club of the Year" by the Milwaukee Police Department's 2nd district.  Activities in the Park Watch include an annual egg hunt for children ages two through twelve, park clean up each spring, 4th of July parade float, annual corn roast fundraiser, winter pot luck, winter fun and tree day in October, a program for 1st-3rd grade children in an effort to raise young children's awareness of nature and the importance of trees to the environment.


In her personal life, Ruth is an active mother and grandmother.  A talented artist, she was featured in last summer's Gallery Night at David Pritchard's 180 Fitness.  A multifaceted artist, she displayed a variety of works including watercolors, pastels, and block prints, many of which were inspired by her continuing education at the Milwaukee Area Technical College.  On a lighter note, Ruth could be spotted in many parades and events, including the South Shore Water Frolics, as one of our own Dancing Grannies.  A member for ten years (1985-1995), she performed with the 20-member drill team inspiring all to be happy, healthy and active, even in their golden years.


Ruth is truly one of the most deserving grandmas, mothers, artists and activities.  She wears all of her hats gracefully and is an inspiration to all who know her.




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