80 Over Eighty Honoree – Jan Yenawine
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Volente, Texas– located on the northern shore of Lake Travis– you may have marveled at the impressive canyon lands and picturesque lakeside views. But there is one jewel of Volente that you may have missed. His name is Jan Yenawine. And he’s 83 years young.
Jan is known as “the rock” of his community. If you need something done in Volente, Jan’s your man. He has been mayor (twice), a city council member, a board president of the volunteer fire department, collected fans for the Summer Fan Drive, served as commissioner for Volente’s emergency service district, and is also known to take in dogs who need a home.
Most notably, Jan has served in the Volente Volunteer Fire Department for more than 50 years. Jan beams proudly when he talks about his guys at the fire department.
“When you work with volunteers, you get the privilege of dealing with people at their absolute best,” he says.
For all that he does in service of others, he’d much rather sing someone else’s praises than talk about himself. Be warned that Jan is the kind of humble that turns beet red and looks down with an “aw shucks” grin should you try to give him a compliment. He’s an eternal optimist, saying:
“I wake up and the only thing I have to decide is if I should be happy or joyful.”
In fact, Jan’s only got one chip on his shoulder.
“My only problem,” he says, “is people thinking that I’m old. I’m not old. My age is old, but I’m not!”
Jan was nominated by his friend, Allison Thrash, for his devoted care of his mother until her death at age 100, for his patient and loving daily care of his special-needs son in their home, and for a life lived in humble service to others.
For his humility, optimism, and community involvement, Family Eldercare honors Jan Yenawine.
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