Carol Wagner, Leader Correspondent
Lloyd Koeller has driven many miles as a volunteer driver for the Office on Aging for Shawano County.
In 2014, he drove 8,953 miles in 360 hours. Last year, he drove 8,206 miles in 285 hours. Totals for 2016 weren’t finalized, but his totals heading into late December were 10,107 miles in 331 hours.
A Shawano native, Koeller graduated from Shawano High School in 1950. He was drafted into the Army and served from 1952 to 1954. When he returned to Shawano he had various jobs, and then drove truck for Beltz Propane for 27 years. During this same time he was a part-time deputy for the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department for 17 years. Koeller then worked for 10 years driving truck for Lakeland Industries.
Now retired, he has been a volunteer driver for Shawano County Office on Aging going on 18 years.
Koeller and his wife, Rosemary, have been married 63 years and live in the town of Washington. They have six children, 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Q What do you do for the Office on Aging?
A “I’m starting my 18th years as a volunteer driver. I drive my own vehicles. I use the Dodge van if they have a wheelchair. I’ve been all over the state. I get paid 54 cents per mile. Sometimes I go every day of the week. It all depends on who needs a ride.”
Q Who do you take?
A “I transport anyone from babies to adults. I take people for eye problems and drug abuse counseling. I take veterans to Milwaukee, Madison, Iron Mountain, Michigan, Green Bay and Appleton. I’ve been to Minnesota. I’ve had very few problems with the people I transport.”
Q Where else do you volunteer?
A “I am a past commander for Shawano American Legion Post 117. This year they put me in the Legion Baseball Hall of Fame for always helping at the tournaments. I have helped with Candy for Kids and at the Legion bowling tournament wherever they need help. I pick up flags from Green Bay from Reid Ribble’s office and bring them to the Legion to be sold to anyone who wants one. I sell tickets for the Legion fishing derby and help at the Bamboo Bar. I’ve been on the firing squad for funerals for 35 years.”
Q Why do you volunteer?
A “It gives me something to do where I can help other people. I meet so many wonderful people. I just enjoy driving.”
To be a volunteer driver or for more information, call 715-526-4700.