ELKHART — More than 600 people attended the 18th annual Real Services Inc. Age of Excellence Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 8 at Century Center in South Bend. Dr. Robert M. Abel of Elkhart County received the Hoosier Lifetime Award, which recognizes an outstanding Indiana resident, age 65 or older, who has demonstrated a lifetime of service to his or her community.
Abel, originally from Harrison Township, graduated from Wakarusa High School, Goshen College and then Indiana University School of Medicine in 1950. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II and was appointed by a judge to develop the WaNee School System, serving as a board member for 38 years. He served on the Indiana 4-H Foundation Board for 16 years and was elected to the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
Abel served as medical director for Bashor Home, Holiday Rambler and Millers Merry Manor. He has delivered a grand total of 10,612 babies and still provides patient care five days a week including house calls for his elderly patients.
Other award recipients are:
- Caregiver of the Year for an Older Adult – Josephine “Jo” Fetter of South Bend
- Caregiver of the Year for the Disabled – Amy Adams of LaPorte
- Professional of the Year – Alecia Cox of Rolling Prairie
- Business of the Year – Holy Cross College of Notre Dame
- Volunteer Group of the Year – St. Joseph High School
- Education Award – Deborah Carriveau of LaPorte
- Kimble Volunteer of the Year – James Rahilly of South Bend
- Volunteer of the Year – Becky McClure of South Bend
The event recognizes people who care for and serve older adults and the disabled, as well as older adults who have served the community. The title sponsor and co-host of the Age of Excellence Awards was Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center.