By Elaine Friesen-Strang, AARP Oregon Executive Council
If you've attended an AARP event, been interviewed to be an appointed volunteer, or stopped by the AARP table at the OHSU Brain Awareness Series, you've probably met Duane Anderson. He's the friendly face that greets you when you arrive and the volunteer who helps newly interested people get involved. For eight years he's been a faithful volunteer for AARP Oregon, all the while working part time, volunteering for other organizations, and raising his granddaughter. This past May he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Western Washington University.
Duane earned his bachelor degree at Western's College of Education, then went on to get his master's degree in audiology and speech-language pathology and a Doctrine of Education in Audiology and Special Education. He worked for the Washington and Oregon Health Departments, going on to form Hearing Conservation Services, Inc where he continues to work part time. He said during the Bush administration years he became concerned about the future of Social Security and attended an AARP event at the Lloyd Center Doubletree, learning about the organization's efforts to strengthen the program and educate the public. Duane began traveling throughout the state giving presentations about Social Security.
He values AARP's campaigns regarding financial security, health care and Livable Communities. Helping out at a recent AARP Age Friendly Volunteer and Member Session, he was struck by audience members sharing their personal challenges with affordable housing. This is not a new concern for Duane; years ago he and his wife, Dana, traveled to Poland to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. Why does he volunteer? He says, "The way I look at it, you get as much out of it as you give." And Duane gives a lot; he has been active at Westminster Presbyterian Church for over 30 years, serving on various committees, as well as being on the Western Alumni Association Board of Directors.
He has two grown sons and five grandchildren. He and Dana have a beautiful home in NE Portland, which is not only accessible, but also solar. He has found the benefits of doing yoga at his local athletic club, but also enjoys golf, downhill skiing and barge biking trips through Europe. Duane's life is an example of one well lived and volunteering plays an important role in it: "I find it very satisfying to participate in causes and to be a volunteer." At a future health fair, Lunch and Learn or member session, be sure to say hello to Duane. He's a great guy!