GREENVILLE – As a volunteer, Lucy Wolfe went above and beyond what was expected of her.
She lived her life to serve and give. She wanted to help in any way she could. Up until her death, Wolfe continued this mission to provide service for others.
Lynne Gump, executive director of the American Red Cross, said she never heard Wolfe say anything negative about anyone or complain about anything. She said this was the type of woman Wolfe was.
“Lucy was just special as a human being,” Gump said.
Wolfe devoted her life to service duties. Even as she raised her children, she found ways to serve. Her daughter, Becky Faircloth, said her mother served because it was the right thing to do and thought everyone should be doing it. She said it was “her way of contributing to make things better.”
“Whatever we were in, she would be a part of,” Faircloth said.
Wolfe had been volunteering with the Red Cross for 78 years. She started as a nursing assistant with the Dayton Chapter. Wolfe wanted to help those in need after Hurricane Katrina hit. At the time, she was 90 years old.
According to her daughter, Becky Faircloth, the Red Cross thought because of her age, she was too old to make the trip.
“They didn’t think she would physically be able to do it with the Red Cross,” Faircloth said.
Wolfe went to her physician to prove otherwise, and he gave her a passing bill of health, saying she was as fit as anyone to make the trip. Faircloth said her determination to serve and help is what drove her to get the letter from the doctor.
Wolfe was trained for paperwork duties. The Red Cross thought this would be easier for her to manage. However, when she arrived in the Key West, she offered to do anything they needed. Ultimately, Gump said she ended up setting up shelters.
“She had a profound effect on me on how I view volunteers,” Gump said.
She said Wolfe taught her to let volunteers do what their heart desires. Wolfe didn’t care if the job was going to be easy or hard. She was willing to do anything just to help.
The Red Cross wanted to honor Wolfe with a 70-year pin one year, but it wasn’t easy. Wolfe never wanted recognition for her service. So, they had to trick her to give her the honor, making her think she was introducing a band, in order to get her up on stage.
Once she got off stage, Gump said she turned to her and said it wasn’t about her. That was not why she did what she did.
“She just wanted to get the job done. She just wanted to help,” Gump said.
Faircloth said her mother has had a lasting effect on her family. She said all of the women in their family have become activists in some way, shape or form. Faircloth was a director of social service agency in Cincinnati where she helped with housing problems. She said in her job, she fought for people who did not have the things they needed.
“She was the example of making the world a better place. She was the activist,” Faircloth said.
Faircloth’s daughters have become activists for animal rights and environmental issues and her granddaughter is studying women’s studies and sociology.
Gump said one word to describe Wolfe would be grace. She was passionate about duty and taking care of people, especially her family and community members.
“I am so thankful I got to know her,” Gump said.
She said she hoped when she passed away someone would be thankful to have know her like she did Wolfe. Wolfe was still volunteering up until the last four months of her life. She volunteered for several organizations including Hospice, her church, Wayne Hospital and the Darke County Fair, among others.
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