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KHQA Hometown Hero recipient dedicates decades to innovating care for Tri-State seniors

One might know her as the mastermind behind Quincy's Meals on Wheels. But her impact on senior living in the Tri-States goes well beyond that accomplishment.

There is no senior in Quincy over the last 40 years that has not benefited from the work of Lynn Niewohner.

One might know her as the mastermind behind Quincy's Meals on Wheels. But her impact on senior living in the Tri-States goes well beyond that accomplishment.

"I kind of married my job. I'm single. This is my whole life. I come in at 7. Go home at 7. This is what I do and I love every minute of it. I've never worked a day of my life really," Niewohner said.

If it's not work, Lynn started having fun in the 1970's, finding ways to place the variety of senior services in Quincy under one roof.

Endless nights of grant writing and fundraising led to The Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center doors opening on July 1st 1974.

"She's been innovative,creative to make things happen to improve the lives of seniors," friend and co-worker Bill Stehl said.

The center that Lynn helped build, built in 2002, is the first agency for the elderly designated by the state of Illinois. Lynn's "state-recognized operation" oversees all senior activities in six counties in Illinois.

"I tell people this is not the Taj Mahal, but it's functional and people love it here," Lynn shared. "They eat, have dances, play games. They love it here and that's all I could ask for."
"To be able to celebrate someone's life and their accomplishments, especially while they are alive is truly a great thing," Stehl said.
"It's hard for me," colleague Laura Morse explained. "Because I've gotten to know her for the whole time I've worked here. We know each other very well. I'm going to miss her very much because I admire her for everything she has done."
"In 1974 I was 22 years old, and I knew if I lived long enough I would be an old person. So now I'm here an 'old person' so I wanted to get it right," Lynn said emotionally.

After 44 years, it's Lynn's turn to retire, but the plan isn't to slow down.

"I hope to turnaround and give back," Lynn explained. "I want to volunteer with meals on wheels, return to see people, get on some boards of directors, and be as active as possible."

KHQA would like to thank our sponsors Hilbing Autobody and Peters Heating and Air Conditioning for helping make this series possible.

If you know someone who should be recognized as a KHQA Hometown Heroes Recipient, or email David at DPAmelotti@KHQA.com.

You can also nominate them right now by clicking here.


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