Here is the fantastic Woodville Senior Center staff. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
Here is the fantastic Woodville Senior Center staff. Photo by Paul J. Seeling

By Paul J. Seeling, Gateway News, with Jill Huftel, Woodville Senior Center

WOODVILLE, WI – The Woodville Senior Center had a lot to celebrate recently.  They have been operating for 40 years, serving meals in-house, to home bounds, and to 3 other senior center sites.  They host activities such as bingo and dominoes, live entertainment, field trips, and educational presentations. 

It’s a place to drop in for a cup of coffee and chat with one of the locals.  Memories are shared and new ones made, friendships are formed, losses grieved together, and good news celebrated with one another.  With all that, comes a sense of belonging to a part of the community and each one is an important member of the “group.” 

The Senior Center celebrated its 40th Anniversary with an open house in the morning with cake and coffee offered and games of cards and dominoes played.  A delicious meal of ham, cheesy hash brown potatoes, corn, dinner roll and anniversary cake and beverage was served at noon with live music by John Terkelsen.

Following lunch, a presentation was given honoring two staff members: Sharon Fregine and Dena Hudson, for 25 years of service at the Woodville Senior Center.  Sharon Fregine is their head cook and serves her diners home-cooked meals that are delicious and seasoned with lots of love.  Dena Hudson is one of the center’s drivers who delivers meals to the other sites and to local home bounds.  They both are amazing and appreciated greatly.

The Woodville Senior Center is grateful for the many people who joined in celebrating with us, including Brad Dixon and Tracy Davis from the St. Croix County ADRC who helped serve the meal.

Here are some of the fun facts from the “Celebrating 40 Years at The Woodville Senior Center -Recap” that was put together for the occasion as a handout to the 35 attending guests.

On November 28, 1977, the doors opened to the Woodville Nutrition Site for the very first time. It was located in the Woodville Post 301 American Legion building.   More than 60 people gathered for that first meal.  Woodville was the second site to open in St. Croix County. 

At the Village Board meeting on June 26, 1979, a motion was approved to dedicate the basement of the Pioneer Building to the Senior Citizens and that it is to be named the Woodville Senior Citizens’ Center.  Thus, the Nutrition Site moved into our current site and shortly thereafter, a Senior Center board was formed. 

Mabel Johnson was the first Woodville Nutrition Program Manager, hired by the Department on Aging. She held this position for nine years and ten months. The food was prepared at Viking Middle School and brought down to the site. This arrangement lasted throughout the school year.  Then on-site preparation began.  The site started with 45-50 meals each day with approximately 15 of them delivered to homebound people each day. 

Nutrition Program Managers through the years:  1977-1986 Mabel Johnson, 1986-1995 Helen Hagen, 1995-1996 Jean Burke, 1996-1997 Virginia Peterson, 1997-2005 Gladys Ellefson, 2005-2007 Julie Hillstead, 2007-2008 Trisha Stork, 2008-2016 Lyn Larson, 2016-present Jill Huftel.

There have been several Nutrition Program Cooks throughout the years.  The first Nutrition Program Cooks were Florence Campbell, Florence Shefland and Bernice Colburn. Helen Hagen started as a cook and then switched to Nutrition Program Manager when Mabel retired.  Richard Swenson replaced Helen in the kitchen and stayed there, except for Army Reserve duties, until 1992.  Sharon Fregine, our present Nutrition Program Cook, began her duties on August 3, 1992 and has done a remarkable job ever since.  Ellie Weber and Cindy Kuhr are the present Nutrition Program Cook Aides.

Drivers during the past forty years include Diane Kinney, Fred Van Someren, Mary Honkola, Carol Swenson, Allen McClelland, Rich Young, Jerry Maes, Marvin Ramsden and Oscar Johannsen.  Present drivers are Dena Hudson and Bob Nelson.  They each drive two days a week, delivering meals for the Home-Delivered Meals Program.  They also are available to provide transportation to and from the Senior Center.  Of course, they perform a lot of other duties, helping out as needed.

The mission of the Woodville Senior Center is to offer and to fund programs and services which promote the physical, emotional, social and economic well-being of older adults and to encourage their participation in all aspects of community life.

Today’s board members are: President - Vi Roquette, Vice President – Jim Wickboldt, Secretary - Carol Peterson, Treasurer - Barb Brunkhorst, Board Members: Marie Terkelsen, Darlene Peterson, Gloria Bunnell and Sue De Jong.

If you are 60+ and haven’t visited the Center, please stop by.  Dinner is served at noon for a suggested donation of just $4.00.  Call 24 hours ahead to reserve your meal at 715-698-2152, or come in for a cup of coffee to learn more about the happenings at the Senior Center.  We are open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.

A wonderful time was had by all at the 40th Anniversary Celebration. Congratulations to all who help make the Woodville Senior Center the wonderful addition to the community that it has been for 40 years and will continue to be!