Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Press reports
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Outstanding Senior Citizens recognized at fair


Lois E. Johnson

Jerry Haller and Linda Langness, both of Barnum, were named the 2016 Outstanding Senior Citizens for Carlton County on Friday, Aug. 19, at the Carlton County Fair.

Press reports

Linda Langness and Jerry Haller were named as Carlton County's Outstanding Senior Citizens at the Carlton County Fair on Friday, August 19. The honor was based on their outstanding commitment to community service since they reached the age of 65.

The award, a joint effort of the Minnesota State Fair, the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, and the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs, also recognizes winners at the state level. Langness and Haller are entered into the State Fair's Outstanding Senior Citizens Award competition. Winners at the State Fair will be announced at the ceremony September 1.

Linda Langness

Langness, of Barnum, has been volunteering throughout her adult life and is one who knows the meaning of selfless giving. She does volunteer work every day in a variety of areas, and she thrives on it.

Langness is tender hearted and genuinely cares for others. Through the years she has gradually transitioned from serving with youth activities to also serving senior citizens. She has always served the community as a whole and continues to do so.

One of Langness' favorite activities is landscaping. She can often be found trimming brush and trees, pulling weeds, trimming along sidewalks, raking, planting flowers and shrubs, and sweeping sidewalks.

She keeps the senior center, the city park and community church grounds looking nice. And she doesn't hesitate to stop and pull a weed on her walks.

Langness has been the Barnum Community Club secretary for 26 years, keeping that organization on course. She helps on several Spring Fever Days committees and, in addition, sells the Spring Fever raffle tickets that others have turned in unsold. In November, she helps decorate the city park for the tree lighting and helps serve the refreshments that evening.

After the holidays, she takes down the decorations and lights and puts them in storage.

Langness spends many hours volunteering at the local schools. She shelves books in the library, serves on the Community Ed board and still has a route selling and delivering community calendars as a fundraiser for the school.

Langness is the vice president at the senior center and spends many hours cleaning, bringing treats for cribbage players every week, opening and closing the center for rentals, embroidering dish towels for sale and helping with bingo.

As autumn rolls around, Langness harvests out of her garden and donates produce to the Moose Mart (Moose Lake Area Food Shelf) and willingly shares with other seniors who can no longer grow a garden.

In addition, Langness often provides rides for those who need to get to a doctor appointment, physical therapy or for whatever is needed.

All in all, Langness is a volunteer who cares deeply for others in the community. She is a team player, a leader, an encourager and a wonderful example to all.

Jerry Haller

Haller, of Barnum, has been volunteering all of his adult life and has continued to serve others through his golden years. He is one who is in tune with those around him and, as he can, seeks to meet the everyday needs of those individuals.

Haller spent most of his adult life as a carpenter and an entertainer. It's these skills that he graciously uses to help others, to encourage them and support them. He brings light into their lives.

Haller has spent countless hours doing home improvement projects for others. He has painted, repaired and remodeled, often providing all of the material and labor himself. He has strived to make residences safer and accessible for residents. Often, Haller has served without being sought out but simply looked for ways to make life better for others.

Haller has provided rides for others as needed. He has taken many people to doctor appointments, therapy or to run errands. While many trips have been short or have taken only a few hours, Haller has also been known to make overnight trips to the Twin Cities, regardless of season, and at his own expense.

In addition, Haller has helped families with daily living needs, such as cutting and delivering firewood and supplying blankets and food. He has willingly stepped right in as a Good Samaritan.

Another of Haller's favorite volunteering activities is brightening the days of others with music. Haller continues to play and sing at all of the area assisted living residences and nursing homes many hours a month. He doesn't consider himself successful unless he sees the folks having fun. He loves to see the smiles as they join in and reminisce.

Haller has been, and is, one to hear with his heart. He has always believed in serving the individuals in the community, meeting core needs.


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