Ellen, 86, Meets her Idol, Willie Nelson

Ellen, 86, is a remarkable woman with a lifelong commitment to helping others. She was an advocate for desegregation of schools in Montgomery in the 1960’s, eventually being appointed by a judge to serve on a biracial committee that monitored schools for integration. She also was actively involved with her local United Way chapter, Meals on Wheels and other homeless organizations. “Service and volunteering fills my life,” Ellen says, “That is what I am here for. My mother taught me to give back.”

Ellen continued with public service into her later years. She became the president of the board for the Sunshine Center, a domestic abuse center, where she volunteered for 20 years total. Ellen and her husband were also both named “Seniors of Achievement” by Alabama’s Montgomery Area Council on Aging. Ellen says Willie Nelson has motivated her to be all she can be and live life to the fullest.

“Willie Nelson himself is a huge inspiration to me,” Ellen says, “He is free and independent and I like that about him. He’s in his 80’s and still going strong!”

Ellen is a woman who tirelessly contributed her time and talents to make a difference in our world. Even amidst continued health deterioration, she still selflessly volunteers and inspires others around her. “I want others to see that just because we older adults may be getting up in age, we still have a lot to share with the world,” Ellen says.

Ellen has enjoyed Willie Nelson’s music for many years. She had always wanted to see her favorite musician in concert but never had the opportunity. Wish of a Lifetime, in partnership with Brookdale, was honored to celebrate such an inspirational woman. On April 16th, Ellen attended Willie Nelson’s last concert of the year in Texas, met Willie personally, had him sign a bandana and stayed for the entire late night concert. After her memorable night, she was beaming, exclaiming, “That was the most fun that I have had in 20 years!”

Photos thanks to Robert Hein

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May 31, 2016