DARKE COUNTY - C. Lowell Williams lives in the rural Union City, Ind. area, but he drives across the stateline to Darke County quite often for his work with the Darke County chapter of the American Red Cross.
In 2002, Williams started teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes and, before that, helped on some major disasters, including Hurricane Katrina.
“I was in Baton Rouge for 86 days,” he said. “I found the people that I worked with to be real nice. I first worked with 60-some people and then it got down to 14 or 15, so it was time to go home. I wasn’t called to 9-11, but I was called for Katrina. Since then, I’ve done flooding, other Hurricanes, and an Atlantic Nor’easter with the Red Cross.”
Williams also worked with the Red Cross with the Brethren Church in church camps in the summertime. He has been on such trips as one in Charleston, S.C., a year before Katrina. His Red Cross work has taken him to such places as Pensacola, Fla., Homestead, Fla., Kansas City, Fargo, N.D., and Minot, N.D.
“The Red Cross uses my abilities to help,” he said, “and I’m still learning, taking training classes, looking for the next opportunity to reach out a helping hand.”
Besides doing large-scale disasters Williams is active with the Red Cross, teaching life-saving PHSS classes, visiting veterans in assisted living facilities, community events like the Preparedness Walk and responding as a DAT (disaster action team) member to family fires and local emergencies. He also volunteers in Dayton once a week, transporting veterans to their appointments, at the Dayton VA center.
“He dons a simple, reflective vest, humbly bearing the emblem of the American Red Cross, and sets off across the country ready to help out in whatever task is assigned him,” said Lynne Gump, executive director of the Darke County Red Cross. “On other days, he wears a plain, white polo with a Red Cross name badge and knowledge he is eager to share with others on how to save a life. By no means last, is the patriotic blue vest, that he slips on with pride, as he begins visiting with our Darke County veterans, the men and women who served in our military that our now in our assisted living homes or at the Dayton VA.”
Williams is also involved in Boy Scouts.
“I have been involved in Boy Scouts of America in Indiana and Ohio ever since my 48-year-old son was a boy, teaching at summer camps, assisting with outings and even sharing both passions, by teaching Boy Scouts first-aid and CPR,” he said.
Williams had worked for General Motors for 19.6 years in Muncie and Anderson, Ind., he said. He came to Union City, Ind., 20 years ago last fall.
He married a local woman, Mary (Rickert) Boise, on June 5, 1993, and, together, they have five children and a few grandchildren. She is retired from Triangle Pacific. Lowell, has even charmed Mary into joining him with volunteering at the Darke County Red Cross, visiting veterans.
The couple met at Monroe Central Elementary School, where he went to take square dance lessons.
Williams is a member of the NRA and attends the Southern Baptist Church’s Comes As You Are Fellowship. There, at the church, he is certified to officiate for weddings and funerals and does some counseling. Prior to that, he was a member of the Wesley Methodist Church before moving to this area. This active 71-year also was a part of a reserve sheriff’s department.
Gump concluded, “Lowell is a dedicated, on-the-ground volunteer, no job, too small or too large. We can ask anything of him, he will rise to the occasion. All of our volunteers are the unsung heroes. Without whom, we simply could not deliver the services, the programs, the life-saving aid that is our mission.”