November’s Senior Spotlight is Renee Faris

Published on November 01, 2018 with 1 Comment

Small Town Girl

Originally from Drake, North Dakota, Renee Faris, 66 is a long way from the small town she grew up in but sees similarities in Milton’s small town life.

“I moved to Milton in 1973. Milton looked remarkably different back then,” she said. “It has grown so much. But I love that it still has a community feel.”

Just like Mayberry

Faris said Drake, North Dakota was a wonderful place to grow up. It was truly a “Mayberry” experience, being the population was just over 500. She said her mother never knew just where she was during the day, but that she was out in the neighborhood. Her parents knew everyone in town. “She knew where and who we would be with. It was never an issue.”

She said her childhood was idyllic. “We rode our bikes and walked everywhere. We ran and played all day. I knew to check in whenever the fire whistle would blow. It would blow 3 times per day: noon, 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., telling she and her siblings, (she is from a big family), when to come home for lunch, dinner and bedtime. “It was a curfew whistle,” she said. “Today, children have no idea what they’re missing.”

Faris said, “Being from a large family and the way I was raised helped me be open to help. As you get older, I’ve learned you need to have things to do and activities to keep you occupied. Physically, I’m pretty active and life is too short to sit around. You need to enjoy the laughter.”

Renee and her husband Gary. Shirley Pierce in the back.

Faris describes herself as always being a jack-of-all-trades. “My father had me working for him as young as 14 or so. He died when I was 16 but I loved working with him.”

She’s worked her whole life and in many places. She finally retired from the Navy Exchange at Naval Air Station Whiting Field. She said she began coming to the community center and tried pickleball. It became her favorite activity at the center.

“You can do a lot with the game. It’s fun and quite a workout.”

Faris began volunteering with Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) two years ago, along with her husband Gary. They both love giving back.

“Meeting people is important. You never know who you’re going to meet.”

Joe Paschal, senior activity coordinator for the City of Milton Parks and Recreation Department said Faris has been a participant at the Guy Thompson Community Center (GTCC) for several years and has also been a very valuable volunteer with both the RSVP and the Senior Citizen Programs.

Left to right: Faye Henry, Renee Faris and Shirley Pierce at the Guy Thompson Community Center.

“Renee is also on the GTCC’s Activity Committee which helps staff with new ideas for the center. They promote activities and events the center offers.  Renee is a wonderful, selfless person and the seniors and I are very appreciative all she does for us,” said Paschal.

Faris said she is grateful for her new friends and for the opportunity to help. “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice,” she said.

She and her husband have one daughter and two grandchildren who live in Tennessee.

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1 Comment

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  1. Renee and Gary both have been a special couple in my heart for a very long time and still continue to be. They are always full of laughs and always willing to help when needed. This honor to Renee is well deserved and I’m so happy that the community sees what I see!!! Congratulations Renee you deserve this and so much more. ♥️

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