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Volunteer's Service Spans 15,000 Hours, 3 Decades

April 24, 1998|HOPE HAMASHIGE

It may be trite, but 95-year-old Marjorie Deneke says it's also true: The secret to a long and healthy life is staying active.

Deneke was honored this week for working 15,000 hours in the last three decades as a volunteer at Western Medical Center-Santa Ana.

Deneke joined the staff of volunteers in 1969 to make friends in her hometown after she retired as an executive secretary at an oil company in Los Angeles.

Signing on at the hospital, she said, "was the best thing that ever happened to me. I worked and commuted from Santa Ana to Los Angeles for 20 years and didn't know anyone in town."

She used her secretarial skills as an executive assistant to the hospital board and as the editor of the hospital's bimonthly newsletter. She put her charm to work as the hostess of maternity teas for expectant mothers and as an advisor to junior volunteers.

She also has inspired dozens of people to become hospital volunteers over the years, volunteer director Minta Jack said.

Since she broke her hip in November, Deneke has limited her volunteer work to editing the newsletter. But she said she will be back soonsoon.

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