NORTH LEWISBURG – “I believe in the Golden Rule. I hope someday if I need it that someone will do the same for me,” said Pat Wagner, this year’s Senior of the Year.

Wagner, 79, is the 2016 Champaign County Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year. She was nominated by LifeCare Alliance, which provides Meals on Wheels to Champaign and Logan counties.

A North Lewisburg resident, she was born in Milford Center. She’s been married for 57 years to her husband, Fred. They have four living children – Henry, Cindy, Sam and Becky – eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Wagner enjoys sewing, crocheting and helping people, according to information she provided to Champaign County Senior Center Executive Director Stacy Barnhart. She uses those hobbies to help others.

Wagner spends her time volunteering for others, with little thought to the cost to herself, according to her nominator.

“For over 15 years, she worked as a caregiver for various home health and hospice organizations in Union and Champaign counties,” the nomination form states. “Pat Wagner was one of LifeCare Alliance’s first volunteers in Champaign County when the agency began providing Meals On Wheels in July 2014 after the previous provider could no longer continue service. Since then, she has gone above and beyond expectations for a volunteer.”

Wagner volunteers in her community by getting groceries for mobility-challenged neighbors, makes cookies weekly for a free supper at a local church, runs the Senior Dining Center in North Lewisburg and helps supply food for that meal. She’s also crocheted hats for cancer patients who couldn’t afford them, makes lap blankets with Velcro pouches that hold items for seniors with walkers and sews homemade dresses for school-age girls in Haiti. This year she sent over 100 dresses, the nominator said.

“Pat has dedicated her life to helping people in any way she can, and she is always looking for new and innovative ways to bring a smile to someone’s face,” the nominator said. “Her unwavering commitment to our most vulnerable community members is truly commendable. Her tireless efforts to assist neighbors locally and internationally illustrate one of the many reasons she deserves to be recognized for her service with the 2016 Outstanding Senior Citizen Award.”

Wagner will be celebrated at the annual Senior Day 2016 at the CHampaign County Fairgrounds on May 10. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. and tickets are $5 at the senior center before the day of the event. The event will feature entertainment by the Champaign County Dulcimers, the Dancing Dolls and the Guys and Dolls.

For more information about Senior Day, call the senior center at 937-653-6088 or visit the center at 701 S. Walnut St. in Urbana.

Wagner Submitted photo

By Casey S. Elliott

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.