Jim Hummer was born in Crawford, NE in 1926. He moved to Missoula with his siblings in 1947 to live with an aunt and uncle after his parents’ death. Jim married in 1954 and had four daughters. Jim worked at Anaconda Lumber as a Stationery Engineer maintaining and repairing all of the steam equipment at the mill. Jim retired in 1989. After his wife’s death, Jim helped care for her aunt and uncle and would take them to the Senior Center for potluck dinners and pancake suppers. At the Center, he reconnected with Kathy Taylor, a former co-worker. Kathy was the Senior Center’s board President at the time and a member of the Wednesday Kitchen Crew.
Jim joined the Missoula Senior Center on October 12, 1996. Kathy knew he would be a great volunteer and soon convinced him to serve. He agreed to volunteer at the Thrift shop two days a week and in the kitchen on Wednesdays. He has faithfully maintained that schedule for the past 10 years. From October 2005 to September 2006, Jim served 672 hours with an average of 56 hours a month. Jim does not log in the times he helps clean up after potluck dinner, pancake suppers or Friday night pinochle. It also does not include the hours he serves at the Homecoming Stew Dinner, where the Center fed more than 200 people and Jim washed every dish.
Jim is a volunteer who does what he says he will do. He always shows up on time for every shift, whether it is for the Thrift Shop or in the kitchen. In addition, he works until the job is done—even if that means he will be late for something else. Jim is a valued member of each of the Thrift Shop cashier crew, the Wednesday Kitchen Crew and the Thursday Kitchen Crew. If he is not able to make an event, he is always missed. Jim’s honesty, willingness to lend a hand and his shy, self-deprecating manner make him a trusted and valued volunteer.
Jim comes is dedicated to the events at the Senior Center and is around even when he is not working. He plays pinochle on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, dominoes on Monday and cribbage on Friday. He often brings one of his brothers to pancake suppers and potluck dinners. While he is attending a social event, Jim is always the first to offer a helping hand. He routinely offers rides home to those who can no longer driver, washes the dishes, puts away the games and takes care of the tables and chairs.
James Hummer is an integral part of the Missoula Senior Center. He is a wonderful example of a member and a volunteer. All who come to the center enjoy his company and his quiet helpfulness. The Center functions all the more better because of volunteers like Jim.