LINDEN– Doris J. Henel, a lifetime Linden resident, has been chosen as the city’s 35th Annual Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year. This award is bestowed by the Linden Department of Public Property and Community Services upon the senior citizen who displayed the most exceptional service to the community and his or her fellow seniors during the year.
Doris Mellor Henel was born on Oct. 28, 1924 in the City of Linden. She is a proud graduate of School #8, Linden Junior High and Linden High School, Class of 1942. She was an active participant in various clubs and organizations throughout her high school years.
After graduation, Doris attended classes on the Newark campus of Rutgers University, and found employment as an office worker with Lawrence Engineering off of Stiles Street in the Sunnyside Section of Linden.
At the completion of World War II, Doris met Albert Henel, a casual acquaintance in high school and a fellow life long resident of Linden, who was returning home from the war. He was a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force. They soon fell in love and were married on May 8, 1948. Doris and Al became the proud parents of Thomas, John, Bill and Jeanne and grandparents of Matthew, Tessa, Zachary, Andrew and twins: Celina and Alexander. Sadly, Albert passed away in 1999.
After marriage, Doris transformed from a stay-home mom to an accomplished volunteer and hasn’t stopped since. She worked with the various PTAs in the schools that her children attended. Doris spent 40 plus years of volunteering with Girl Scouts in Linden and was the president of the Washington Rock Girl Scout Council for three years. She received the Emerald Award, the highest honor given by the Council for Volunteer Community Service.
Doris was the Worthy Matron of Emmaus Chapter #183, Order of the Eastern Star and is a 63-year member of the United Methodist Church of Linden where she has chaired various committees and groups from the Board of Trustees, the Finance Committee, the United Methodist Women. Doris was also the chairwoman in charge of the Linden Kiwanis Club Luncheons for the 35 years the organization held its meetings at the church. She has been the church secretary for the past 43 years, and was awarded Layperson of the Year by the United Methodist Northern New Jersey Conference in 1996.
Additionally, Doris has been an active community volunteer serving as president of the Linden Committee of Concerns in the 1960s which promoted race relations to ease conflicts between the races. She was the first president of the 9th Ward Citizen’s Club, a founding member of the Linden Coalition for Political Action Committee and chairwoman of various food basket and Christmas toy drives for needy Linden families. Doris was a member of her high school reunion committee since graduation, and has held various positions with the Linden Library Board including a three-year stint as president. She has recently been re-appointed to the board and is currently the first vice president. She is an active member of the Linden Citizen’s Association.
All Linden residents are invited to attend the celebration honoring Doris J. Henel as Linden’s Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year. The event will take place Friday, May 20, at the John T. Gregorio Recreation Center at 1 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
For further information, call the Linden Department of Public Property and Community Services at 1-908-474-8600.
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