by Allison Rossi Utter, Volunteer & Community Outreach Manager
Harry Peless has been chosen as June Volunteer of the Month for his over 1,188 hours as a driver for the Transportation Department since 2009! When Harry retired after 30 years as a Letter Carrier, he knew he needed to find something else to keep him busy. He says, “I had a friend that was driving and he liked it so I thought I would give it a try.” Harry was very modest when he was told he had been nominated. “Everyone deserves to be recognized, especially the staff here. They do an outstanding job. It can be stressful at times but I like to make people laugh.” Kathy Burlingame, Transportation Scheduler recalls once when Harry finished driving he came back into the office and yelled, “Honey, I’m home!” The whole transportation department enjoys Harry’s humor, upbeat personality and caring attitude. Darla Gairns, Transportation Scheduler says, “Harry is always smiling.” Trish Brown, Transportation Manager, proclaims, “Harry is always happy and welcoming to everyone. He is kind and humble! He has really stepped up to the wheel for us and taken on a full-day driving role on Fridays.”
Harry was born in Fremont, Michigan but moved to Ohio as an infant. He lived in Ohio for 35 years. He moved to Midland in 1986. He has been married for 51 years to wife, Roberta. They have 4 children and 17 grandchildren. Harry likes to help people, especially with special projects such as building ramps, decks and roofing. When he isn’t helping others, Harry enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, traveling, fishing, gardening and yardwork.
Transportation drivers provide rides, in Senior Services vehicles, to older adults who have limited options for transportation. Our trained volunteer drivers provide friendly “arm to lean on” service throughout Midland County. Whether it’s a doctor’s office or a ride to the grocery store, we’ll get you to those places and more. Advance reservations are required and medical appointments receive top priority.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, call Allison at (989) 633-3741. For services or other information, call Senior Services at (989) 633-3700.
Trish shares, one day Harry left me a sticky note saying “Thanks for all you and Kathy do.” I keep that in my drawer as a reminder of how important our jobs are. Now it is my turn to say it back for all to hear, “Thanks for all you do for our older adults Harry!”