The Three Rivers Lions Club has selected Jo Moyer of Three Rivers as its latest “Citizen of the Year.”
Since 1965, the Lions Club has recognized persons who, through a commitment to service, have given unselfishly of themselves for the betterment of the community. In keeping with this tradition, Moyer will receive her honor during a public banquet on Tuesday, April 27th.
Born in Three Rivers, Moyer and her family resided here until she was in second grade. At that time, the family moved to a farm between Mottville and White Pigeon. Her father worked at the former Eddy Paper Mill, now International Paper. Her one sibling, a sister, currently resides in Iowa.
Moyer attended Cook School, near Mottville, and then Constantine schools, where she met her husband, known to most people as “Skeet”. They began dating during their senior year at Constantine High School and married following their graduation, 56 years ago. While in high school, Moyer worked at Constantine’s Lake’s Drug Store; once she was married, she became a full-time homemaker and has never worked outside the home. Skeet is retired from GTE. Their son resides in Grand Rapids.
Moyer has had an extended career in volunteering, primarily at Three Rivers Health, where she began her service in 1972. For over 37 years and over 6,000 hours, Jo has operated the “library cart”, providing books and magazines, as well as selling candy. Having served at both the former Three Rivers Hospital and the current facility, Moyer states that she has “seen a lot of changes.” At the former hospital, she had to move the library cart over three floors, using the elevator to move from floor to floor. The cart she currently uses is, in fact, the original one. Another change she noted is that “health care has improved a lot.”
She operates the library cart on Tuesdays and Thursdays, although she declares, “I’m usually there” other days, as well. Although she has worked at the hospital snack bar with her husband, “Skeet,” she prefers the movement the library cart provides. Stating, “I like to be on the go,” Jo declares that she would not want to be confined to a desk. She likes “the people” most about volunteering. She proclaims that the patients are “very important” and that helping them and cheering them up have given her the greatest satisfaction. Many patients refer to her as “the button lady”, referring to her smock covered with over one-hundred buttons, many in tribute to her length of service.
Outside her busy schedule, Moyer also finds time for other pursuits. “I love flowers,” she states, and she admits, “I love the lawnmower!” However, her great love is oil painting, which consumes much of her time when she isn’t at the hospital. An accomplished artist, Jo has displayed her work at various galleries, including the local Carnegie Center for the Arts. In fact, she has served on the Carnegie’s Board of the Directors, and she and Skeet are currently members of the Carnegie. She joined the local Art League in 1967, noting, “It was called ‘The Arts Club’ at that time.”
Moyer envisions herself continuing with her volunteer work “as long as I can. I love it, to tell you the truth, I love it.” Her great satisfaction is making people smile. “And they do,” she says. “That’s what it’s all about.”
The April 27th banquet honoring Jo Moyer will take place at A Place in Time, 54 Railroad Drive, Three Rivers. The evening will begin with a “social time” at 6, followed by dinner at 6:30 and a program featuring presentations by several speakers.
Tickets for the banquet, priced at $20 per person, will be on sale at the office of Lion Sally Cotton at Southern Michigan Bank & Trust in downtown Three Rivers, through Tuesday, April 20th. Tickets will not be available at the door.
Source: News release from Three Rivers Lions Club, written by Lion Barb Stutesman