Local woman to be honored at COAAA Hall of Fame


COLUMBUS — A Fayette County woman will be one of 14 senior citizens recognized for their accomplishments and volunteerism at the 47th COAAA Hall of Fame Recognition Ceremony, an annual event hosted by Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA).

Joanne Boysel will be honored at the invitation-only event that will be held on Wednesday, May 17 at The Gallery at Champions venue (Champions Golf Course) in Columbus. The Hall of Fame honors central Ohio older adults who share their dedication, talent, and vitality in ways that significantly improve their communities and the lives of others.

COAAA hosts the Hall of Fame in May during Older Americans Month, a month that celebrates the contributions of senior citizens.

Since the founding of the Rose Avenue Community Center (RACC) in Washington Court House, Joanne Boysel has volunteered there since the first day and is instrumental in the success of the center. She oversees the Meals Ministries at RACC, ensuring that people are nourished during trying times. However, food is not the only way Boysel has made a profound impact on the community she serves.

Whether it’s cooking for families mourning the loss of a loved one, kids needing a meal after school, or hungry individuals who have no other place to turn to for food, Boysel can be relied on for emotional strength, often being someone who is looked at for support, encouragement, and advice. Along with feeding after school students, Boysel helps them with arts and crafts, and even serves as a grandmother-figure to the kids, guiding them and being someone to confide in.

Boysel’s dedication to RACC’s Meals Ministries is obvious in her cooking, with each meal being meticulously planned and cooked from scratch, and her cleaning the kitchen, which she does nearly every Friday night. Boysel also serves coffee and Danishes every Sunday for members at Heritage Church and prepares a weekly breakfast for the children of the church.

Simply put, Boysel is dedicated to serving others and doesn’t ask for anything in return. According to Joy Stanforth, executive director of RACC, “Joanne would give the shirt off of her back if needed and always serves others with a smile and sweet spirit.”

Boysel received the SAPH Award in 2017 and 2018 for two fundraisers at KAMP (Kids and Motivated People) Dovetail, a camp that helps children with special needs. She cooked chicken noodle dinners to raise money for the camp. She also received the Christian Education Award from the Churches of Christ in Christian Union for outstanding outreach ministry.

Boysel’s service to others extends to her own family, including her husband, who battled Parkinson’s Disease. She cared for her husband at home for as long as she could until it was time to move him to a care facility. She constantly stayed by his side and even in her own hardships, she took the time to encourage other residents and staff.

Professionally, Boysel started working as a waitress in the Washington Hotel right out of high school. She went on to work for G.C. Murphy Company, a grocery store and dry cleaners. She sold insurance for more than 12 years at American General Insurance and retired following her career at a Walmart Distribution Center.

A plated lunch will be served to guests at 12 p.m. At 1 p.m., Colleen Marshall of NBC4 will take over as host of the induction ceremony.

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