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2013 Outstanding Seniors recognized for volunteer efforts

Brad Beckman, St. Croix County Aging and Disability Resource Center administrator (left) and Patrick Thompson, St. Croix County administrator award Harriet Meath (right), of Hammond, with a certificate declaring her a 2013 Oustanding Older Adult of St. Croix County. (Photos by Gretta Stark)1 / 2
Harriet Meath and John Terkelson were named 2013 Outstanding Older Adults for St. Croix County in recognition of their respective volunteer efforts in their communities. Meath was nominated by the Hammond Senior Center, Terkelsen was nominated by the Woodville Senior Center. The awards were presented Friday, July 19, at the St. Croix County Fair.2 / 2

Harriet Meath knew she had been nominated for the 2013 Outstanding Older Adult Award, but she had no idea she'd won until the announcement was made Friday, July 19, at the St. Croix County Fair.

"It was a surprise," she said.

Meath was nominated by the Hammond Senior Center Board. According to remarks from the senior center board, read by Brad Beckman, administrator of the St. Croix County Aging and Disability Resource Center, Meath has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 433, has been an active member of St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hammond, has served as an advocate for senior housing with WestCAP (West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency), was the 2002 recipient of the Hammond Heartland Days award and has been a part of the Hammond-Roberts Senior Center Board.

"Harriet was instrumental in starting the Hammond Senior Center," Beckman read, "and served as secretary of the Hammond-Roberts Senior Center Board for nine years."

Meath is still active in St. Mary's parish as a eucharistic minister. She takes communion to American Heritage Care Center residents and has for many years.

"After giving those people communion," Meath said, "...I felt that I got more out of it than they did."

Meath doesn't just distribute communion to the nursing home residents. She stops and talks with them as well.

"I just enjoy going to the nursing home and visiting with... the people that are staying there," Meath said. "I really appreciate that I can do that. I'm 90 years old, so I enjoy it."

Meath, a Hammond resident since 1949, said she loves her hometown, which she described as "a friendly, caring village."

"We care about each other in Hammond," she said.

John Terkelsen

John Turkelsen, of Woodville, was also named 2013 St. Croix County Outstanding Older Adult. He was nominated by the Woodville Senior Center Board.

According to remarks from the senior center board, read by St. Croix County Administrator Patrick Thompson, Terkelsen's passion for music has colored his volunteer work.

"He uses his musical talents to bless others," Thompson read.

Terkelsen plays at The Parkview Nursing Home in Woodville, American Heritage Care Center in Hammond, Glenhaven in Glenwood City and Wellhaven in River Falls for special occasions. He also entertains older adults at area senior centers.

Turkelsen is also an active member of Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville, serving on the resource committee, as a Sunday service leader and a member of The Joseph's Square (a woodworking group that does projects for missions), is a food pantry volunteer, and provides special music for church services.

He is also an active member of American Legion Post 301, serving as post chaplain for Memorial Day services and veterans' funerals.

"Though it is unlikely that John would say that what he does is important...," Thompson read, "those who have benefitted from his service surely recognize that he is a unique individual with an extraordinary gift of service."

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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