Washington has been blessed with a number of ordinary citizens who have done extraordinary things for our community through volunteer service. They have selflessly devoted their time and talent to help others.
In doing so, they have left their mark on our community. Clare Huber is one of those people. She died April 13 at age 90.
Clare Huber epitomized the volunteer who went above and beyond. She served on the boards of the Washington Library, Salvation Army, Loving Hearts Outreach and United Way.
She also was a member of the health and wellness committee at St. Francis Borgia Parish. Clare teamed up with her husband, Dr. William “Bill” Huber, to help with the Mercy hospice program.
Her caring spirit and leadership skills stand out in her many volunteer pursuits, but probably none shine as bright as her work with the Washington Meals on Wheels program, which she helped establish in 1972. She was one of 12 concerned citizens and religious leaders who recognized a need for providing meals to those who were housebound. The group delivered its first meals in September of that year.
Now in its 49th year, it’s estimated that Meals on Wheels has delivered well over 500,000 meals since its inception. Just as remarkable, the organization has only missed a few delivery days due to bad weather. Clare was a vital part of the intrepid team, comprised entirely of volunteers, that made that run happen. She even enlisted family members to make sure the meals were delivered.
For decades, Clare was the heart and soul of the Meals on Wheels program, which has been a powerful force of dignity and independence for its clients.
In 2015, Clare accepted the Washingtonian Award on behalf of the organization and, in typical fashion, deflected attention from herself to other members of the organization who she said deserved all the credit. She paid tribute in her remarks to the dietary staff at Mercy Hospital for preparing the meals and the Franklin County Area United Way for funding the program.
“We are a city of volunteers, aren’t we?” she told the crowd.
Indeed, we are. And Clare Huber stands out as one of the special ones who lived her life in service of others.