*Ike passed away on Friday, October 19th 2018. The Meals on Wheels staff, our clients, and the many volunteers who knew and loved him thank him for the joy and compassion he brought to so many. He will be missed deeply and remembered fondly. Until we meet again, Ike.
Ike has been a volunteer driver, delivering meals all over Albuquerque for Meals On Wheels, for about ten years now. His broad smile, quick wit and deep laugh belie his fascinating background. You might never guess that Ike is a retired Air Force colonel and test pilot who flew nearly every jet the Air Force had from 1971 until he retired a number of years ago.
In an indirect way, it was the military that led Ike to Meals On Wheels. Ike had been visiting a homebound vet on a regular basis, and after his death in 2009, Ike spoke to our city’s Department of Senior Affairs about other volunteer opportunities, heard about Meals On Wheels, and he’s been with us ever since.
Ike says, “I love it here. I enjoy interacting and joking around with the staff, coordinators and other volunteers. And I’m impressed with how responsive the staff has been to the suggestions we volunteers make. And whenever clients are unhappy about meals, we let the staff know and changes are implemented immediately. I also appreciate the meetings that are held for all the drivers, other volunteers and site coordinators. We can each share what’s going on, coordinate our efforts and better serve our clients.”
Ike added, “I’d encourage everyone to volunteer to help Meals On Wheels fulfill their mission. There’s a satisfaction that comes with helping others that is unlike any other. You’ll meet, laugh with, listen to, and bond with all kinds of people. And if they pass away, you’ll mourn for them, too.”
When he’s not delivering meals or visiting with his adult children, Ike is an avid reader with a broad range of interests and a dedicated collector of jazz recordings. A visit to his beautiful home is likely to be filled with the sounds of Coltrane, Davis, Adderley, Monk, or the Big Bands.