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'I’m healthy enough to do almost anything': A 91-year-old Door County man continues volunteer service

Since 1997, Eugene Jacobs of Sturgeon has been volunteering for Meals on Wheels.
Posted at 4:34 PM, Dec 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-07 17:55:39-05
  • Video shows Eugene Jacobs, a 91-year-old Sturgeon Bay man delivering for Meals on Wheels.
  • Jacobs has been delivering for Meals on Wheels since 1997.
  • He says recipients are very appreciative.

According to the U.S. Census, 32% of year-round residents in Door County are 65 or older. I’m your Door County neighborhood reporter Katlyn Holt and getting meals to them year-round is personal to one man.
It's fairly quiet in Door County this time of year.

But no matter the season, Eugene Jacobs is keeping busy.

"I’ve been delivering meals since 1997, when I retired from teaching high school mathematics at Sturgeon Bay High school," said Jacobs.

It was his late wife, Beverly’s, idea for the couple to volunteer delivering Meals on Wheels, and the 91-year-old has continued doing it throughout the years.

"At my age, I enjoy doing it. You see these people are appreciative and I really enjoy doing this," said Jacobs.

Orin Gunnlaugsson, an 86-year-old man from Sturgeon Bay, says having Eugene help to deliver meals is an honor.

"I’ve known him for over 50 years," said Gunnlaugsson.

He says Meals on Wheels is a great help.

"Every day I look forward for my meals," said Gunnlaugsson,"It's really helpful because I’ve got a walker.”

Wendy Schubert, the Meals on Wheels coordinator for the Aging and Disability Resource Center, says they deliver to about 60 people in the Sturgeon Bay area each day.

“We’ve gotten many folks have said I would not have been able to stay in my home if I did not have this meal coming every day. I would definitely be in a nursing home or assisted living or something like that," said Schubert.

Most of the recipients Jacobs delivers to are younger than he is, but this isn't about age.

"I have had a very, very nice retirement. I mean, I can volunteer, I can play golf, I’m healthy enough to do almost anything I ever did," said Jacobs.

He says the process isn't that big of a deal.

"Well, I pick up the meals and I just drive to the houses, meet the people and deliver the meals," said Jacobs.

At 91, Jacobs plans to continue his volunteer work.

Keeping busy in Door County, no matter the time of year.

"I don't give up on things very easily," said Jacobs.

The A.D.R.C. is always looking for volunteers to help keep programs like Meals on Wheels going.