Born: Rising Sun
Occupation: Retired public school secretary (works part time at Paragon Promotions). In those days you could live nicely on one income, so I stayed home when my daughters were young. I went to work in 1986 at Jefferson Elementary, and then they closed it. I then worked part time at three buildings, Taylorsville, Parkside and Clifty Creek. The secretary at Schmitt retired, so I went there and retired from there.
Family: Widowed (James “Jim” Carr); two daughters, Janell Foley (Bryant) and Amy Bailey (Scott); and three grandchildren, Gabe Foley, 13, Gavin Foley, 8, and Addison Bailey, 5.
Community involvement: I’m involved in the caring ministries, and I teach a Sunday school class at First Christian Church. A lot of my involvement is through First Christian. I am in the casserole ministry, where we try to keep dishes in the freezer, so that if the staff is doing home visits, they can take food to people who need it. I’m involved in the bereavement ministry, which is like a funeral dinner. I assist with the Helping Hands meals, and I’m in the involvement team, which tries to get new members into the church. I work with the Early Childhood Development group. I provide secretarial assistance there about once a month. I am also the president of the Indiana Extension Homemakers, and we are called the Merrimakers.
Hobbies: I quilt once a week on Mondays with a group of four down at the church, and I am in a book club at church and another book club. I am in two bridge groups. I also like to travel. I am a charter member of the Columbus Corvette Club and the Indiana chapter of the National Corvette Restorers Society. We had an original 1960 Corvette that we bought in 1968. Jim came home and said I have to have it, so we bought it. It was nice, all original, fuel injection, convertible with both tops.
Why and when did you move to Columbus?
We came here in 1966. I was engaged, and my husband was a draftsman at Cummins, so I moved here to start my life with him.
How did you develop your leadership capabilities?
First of all, I am an Indian, I am not a chief. I think growing up in a small town where everybody knows everybody, you are in tune with the community and I have a social purpose. I think people are put here on the Earth to do for others and not just for ourselves. I think of Columbus as being still kind of a small town. The things the city offers with the parks and recreation system, the Ethnic Expo, and everything that happens in this community, you want to be a part of it.
What are some of the lessons you have learned or examples that demonstrate the level of community involvement in Columbus?
I think the casserole thing is something you don’t see everywhere. Sometimes it’s just people in the church who are going through a bad time and they need a little something to make it through. I think the sense of community is handed down from generation to generation. My girls are involved because I do it, and I did it because my mom did it. It seems that some communities have lost that a little bit, but it hasn’t happened here. We went through a time when there was that “all about me” attitude, and there are a lot of people in some places that still live under that.
What advice do you have for people who want to become more involved in the community?
I always point to the church because I think that is a great place to get involved. Schools are a great resource as well. Churches know the community organizations that are looking for volunteers and work with a lot of them. We have a great Chamber of Commerce here.
You mentioned that you like to travel, what are some of your favorite places to visit?
I don’t really have a favorite place, I just like to go. Last year I went to San Antonio and Niagara Falls, and I went to Germany. I just enjoy going places; and if somebody says they want to go someplace for a couple of days, I’ll usually go along.
Compiled by Mark Hansel firstname.lastname@example.org