As MEOC’s kitchen services manager, the late Ron Maddox helped serve hundreds of thousands of meals to the elderly in need in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Maddox was kind and generous. He was also funny, quick witted and had a smile for everyone he encountered.
“If you knew Ron, he made you laugh. He was a friend to all,” said MEOC Executive Director Michael Wampler, who knew Maddox since Ron began working at MEOC in 2009 as a transit driver.
Maddox passed away on July 26 after battling cancer. When it came time to select the 2023 Mae French Outstanding Older Award, it seemed fitting that Ron should receive it.
MEOC annually presents the award to an MEOC older worker in recognition of their exemplary service, loyalty, commitment and kindness in the workplace and the community. Mae French volunteered at the Norton Nutrition site from 1974-1975. She became employed at the agency in 1976, at age 81, through the Green Thumb Program. She worked until 1993 when she retired at 98 for health reasons. The annual award named in her honor recognizes an older MEOC employee at least age 55 who demonstrates the same qualities of service, loyalty, commitment and kindness in the workplace and community she exemplified.
Maddox exhibited all those qualities. He was honored posthumously with the award at the MEOC Older Worker Luncheon on Sept. 1. Accepting it were several of Maddox’s family members, including his son and one of his daughters, Jaylen Maddox and Denise Franklin, and his brother and sister-in-law, Charles Steven “Stork” and Jackie Maddox.
Nutrition Services Director Kristen Rutherford presented the honor. “Ron helped serve hundreds of thousands of meals to the elderly in need in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. His impact is still far-reaching, and his legacy leaves a wide footprint,” she said.
“He was always having fun, bragging about the Minnesota Vikings and singing along with the radio. His witty banter was the center of inside jokes at MEOC. Behind his gregarious personality, he had a quiet kindness and a gentle side that never boasted or needed recognition,” she continued.
“Ron’s years of dedication, commitment, loyalty and sarcasm greatly impacted MEOC and the community. He is loved and deeply missed,” said Rutherford.
The MEOC family will forever miss Ron, his easygoing demeanor, quick wit and friendship to all.
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