Volunteerism puts Ruth Ann Beideman in Advisory Committee’s chair

Q & A sally beaumont ruth beideman

Sally Beaumont, right, and Ruth Ann Beideman address Sussex County Council on the leadership change with the County’s Advisory Committee on Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities.

GEORGETOWN — There has been a changing of the guard in Sussex County’s Advisory Committee on Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities.

Milford resident Ruth Ann Beideman, a longtime volunteer, has taken the chairperson reins from Sally Beaumont, who served as committee chair for four years. Ms. Beaumont, instrumental in the establishment of the annual LIVE Conference, plans to be a “snowbird,” splitting residential time in the U.S. southwest and Sussex County.

Established by Sussex County Council in 1988, the mission of the Advisory Committee is “to promote and advocate for the benefits of older and disabled Americans of Delaware, and Sussex County in particular; increasing the dialogue, giving support, assistance, and advice on significant programs of the aging.”

At 83, Ms. Beideman remains active in semi-retirement at the Milford Senior Center.

Here is Ruth Ann Beideman:

28 Q & A Ruth ann Beideman

Ruth Ann Beideman

So you are a native Sussex Countian?

“I was born in Milford. I live in Milford – on the Sussex County side of the border.

Family?

“I have a brother and two sisters, and several nieces and nephews. I never married.”

Where did you attend high school/college?

“I graduated from Milford High School, and Goldey-Beacom Business College in Wilmington.”

You are semi-retired?

“I retired from Wilmington Trust after 33 years. I was in the banking business. I was retired for a while. I have always done volunteer work helping seniors, especially. Then I start helping out at the Milford Senior Center. I was hired as a part-time outreach worker. I’ve been there for like 12 years.”

You have been on the Advisory Committee for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, and are now its chair; your thoughts on filling those shoes.

“I succeeded Sally. She was chair for four years. I succeeded her in May. It’s a big hat. I am looking to take the baton, to follow on things that Sally has done and see where we need to try to reach out and see what we can accomplish. And especially we want to get information out to the people in Sussex County to find out their needs so that we can share that with the Sussex Council Council.”

Your volunteerism has family ties?

“Actually I started at a young age. My great grandfather was a part of our household; then, my grandmother. I cared for my aunt and had to seek a lot of different services working with her. From there this just led me into a lot of other volunteer work. So actually my family exposed me to it first.”

What is your reward for volunteering?

“My reward is seeing the expression on people’s faces, and even more so when you are able to help them have a better quality of life in some way.”

You were active in other groups and organizations, but now devote your time and energy to the Advisory Committee and your part-time outreach work?

“I am a member of the Calvary United Methodist Church and I do volunteer there. But at the present time I don’t belong to any other civic organizations because I am working with this committee. I try to make that a priority.”

From your standpoint, what is the pulse of Sussex County’s senior/disabled population?

“It has been my experience when you talk to seniors and the disabled people, they mention transportation first. Housing is second, even before health needs or food. It seems to go in that order. And unfortunately people sometimes do have to choose between food or medical.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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