Honoring volunteers and welcoming new members




By Janet Miller

Spring Valley Senior Center welcomes several new members this year.

The center welcomes a few Monday and Friday quilters, a couple of new line-dancers and crafters willing to try new projects from adult coloring, greeting card cut-outs, Tunisian crochet, and clay garden decor to wire trees, besides a couple of new card-players trying Canasta as well as Euchre.

We also welcome Joy Burns on staff, working in the kitchen. She has jumped right in and helps fix some of the extras we’ve been missing. She’s very organized and has a fun and witty personality. Come join us.

The center will hold its annual meeting and volunteer appreciation reception 1 p.m. Thursday, May 12. Before the meeting, come for a lunch of pulled pork and green beans. Please call in your reservations to 937-862-4475.

Jeanie Hughes will play the organ during the meal. We will have a brief meeting to re-appoint and elect our board members. There are two openings and Judy York and Hilde Stepler have agreed to run, besides possible nominations from the floor. Then we’ll jump right in to our program, “All About Hats and Purses.”

Spring Valley’s Diana Myers will have her collection of hats to tell you about and Ruth Whitney will be showing off her purse collection. We can have a purse exchange — if you bring a used (but still good condition) purse, you can trade it with someone else. If you bring a hat – decorate one, we’ll have a hat parade. Then we will honor our volunteers, who do so much at our center. Several are listed and all are important but we have chosen two to receive special awards this year — Jeanie Hughes and Louise Stocker.

Jeanie Hughes plays organ or piano at lunch generally the second and fourth Thursday of the month. Jeanie was born and raised in Spring Valley, the daughter of Allen and Ruth Ala Wheeler.

Many area boys got their first haircut from her dad. She had four brothers, Wayne, Joe, David, and Warren. She met Russell Hughes in grade school at Spring Valley and they began dating from about seventh grade. They married when she was 17 and she left school, but finished after raising her children.

She graduated from Xenia High School in 1979. Russell went to barber school and went to work in Yellow Springs, where he had his own shop for some time. When his father, Floyd Hughes, decided to retire from Moorman Feeds, Russell left barbering and took over his father’s job. He did well in the feed supply business and made a lot of connections in the farm community, getting into selling some real estate.

When Moorman Feeds moved to Illinois, they bought a food concession trailer, which they operated for 13 years. Jeanie and Russell lived in Xenia while he barbered and then moved to Krepps Road. They were married 58 years and had two boys and a girl: Eric, Dino, and Marta. Russell died in April 2011 and she has moved to Legacy.

Jeanie has always had a love of music and has played for her church for 57 years, first at Ferry Church of Christ, and then at Bellbrook Church of Christ. Her music business keeps her going. She has been enjoying playing Euchre and took up quilting in 1997. She hand-pieced and hand-quilted 97 quilts. She also played piano for Christian camp meetings at Hillsboro for 46 years, and she and her husband worked at the YMCA for a while. A couple of years ago Jeanie had a stroke and we were all afraid she wouldn’t be able to make the beautiful music that she always had, but playing was actually good therapy and she has been back full force. She celebrated her 80th birthday April 30. She plays a lot of old hymns and tunes of the season and always seems to love what she’s doing! She has been a member and played at our senior center since 2004, but as a volunteer for at least five. We are happy to honor her as one of our Volunteers of the Year.

This year we also honor Louise Stocker for the effort she made to get us line-dancing and teaching the class for the last six years. Even when she is out ill or when her husband wasn’t well, we kept dancing and she continued to encourage us, as well as knitting hundreds of hats to give away and teaching card-making crafts. Louise was born in Belmont (south Dayton) and moved to Harveysburg at age 2. She went to all 12 grades in one school and graduated from Harveysburg High School, then to Ohio State University in 1955. She met Ken there and they were married the next year. He serviced and sold fire extinguishers and she drove a school bus for 23 years, besides raising a son and daughter.

They retired in 1993 and traveled for the next 10 years. She began her love of line-dancing in Alabama in 1993 and when she came to our center, she offered to teach it. She saw a group using the Nifty Knitters and began making hats. She has donated 250 hats a year since 2005. We have missed Ken since he passed a couple of years ago, as he played the music for line-dancing -and they were a sight to see waltzing together.

Another interest shared by many at our center is reading and we have a shelf of books that anyone can borrow. This month a collection box was added by Project Read, a program to encourage reading by giving books and tutoring all ages. If you have gently used books that you would like to pass on, bring them here.

We also still collect aluminum cans for recycling, pill bottles for Eastern Star to be reused oversees or by veterinarians, and the Lions Club has an eyeglass collection box here as well.

We have three computers in our community room that are available for public use, as well as Cameron on staff to help you learn to use them or to navigate your cell phones! Our center has also been used for several evening and weekend rentals — call us for more information. For a schedule of our events or menus, see our website www.springvalleyseniorcenter.com.




Janet Miller is the director of the Spring Valley Senior Center and guest columnist.

Janet Miller is the director of the Spring Valley Senior Center and guest columnist.