Proudly Serving “The Greatest Generation”

Joe is a celebrated World War II hero and an exceptionally inspiring example of healthy aging. Now 100 years old, the centenarian enjoys a balanced diet delivered by Meals on Wheels and stays physically fit walking his dog, lifting light weights, and chipping golf balls in his backyard. Crosswords, word searches, and daily Bible readings help keep his memory sharp and his spirit nourished. Meals on Wheels Orange County is greatly honored to provide the balanced nutrition vital to Joe’s thriving lifestyle and delighted to share his story.

Joe is a native of Orange County, CA.  He loves sports, especially baseball, and golf. Joe was a proud team member of his high school’s 1942 championship-bound baseball team, but unfortunately, his time on the playing field was cut short.

Joe and many of his teammates were drafted to serve in World War II just out of high school. The 18-year-old began training in Monterey at Camp Roberts in preparation for service in New Guinea and the Philippian Islands. While serving, Joe sustained serious injuries on the battlefield that required hospitalization. After he was discharged from the hospital, Joe returned home where he continued his road to recovery.  It was a challenging time. “That was not a good time for me. I was afraid to go out in public, so I just stayed home,” he said. Although Joe’s wartime experiences filled him with debilitating anxiety that kept him homebound for a full year, his fortitude and faith helped him emerge stronger than ever. “Nothing is impossible if you have faith,” said Joe. The World War II hero received a Purple Heart and was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal and the World War II Victory medal.

A few years later, Joe graduated from college and launched his 27-year career as a surveyor. During this time, he met and married Novel, his wife of 68 years, and together, they had three children.

After some time, Novel’s health declined and eventually she was no longer able to shop or prepare meals. With her passing Joe needed support, so when Meals on Wheels Orange County offered to provide him with nutritious meals, he gratefully accepted the offer and has benefited ever since. Joe said, “Meals on Wheels has helped me a lot. I don’t have to cook and my digestive system is much better.” Joe added, “The volunteers are so great. They are really wonderful people. They check in and make sure I’m OK.”  Joe’s daughter Terri has peace of mind knowing her Dad is receiving the nutrition he needs. “The meals are a lifesaver,” she said.

Joe is a true American Hero who continues to thrive and inspire others. We’re proud to serve Joe and happy to be part of his story, and others, who have so bravely served our country.