Susan Knickerbocker

HOMETOWN HERO | Don Dils turns his focus outward with everyday kindness

“I can still see him sitting on our couch even though it was over 30 years ago,” says Don Dils, this month’s Hometown Hero.

Fritz Hull: Changing Whidbey with hope, creative action | HOMETOWN HERO

What visions and dreams do you see for the future? Fritz Hull says, “Humans have the remarkable ability to see something that does not exist, as if it already does, and then to act to bring it into form. Anyone can be a visionary — as long as they hold hope and belief.”

Barb Strom appreciates all of life, and her neighbors appreciate her | HOMETOWN HERO

Barb Strom has an appreciation for all of life, humans, animals and nature, and is a champion good neighbor to all. So much so that Harry Jestor, one of Strom’s neighbors, says, “In the tough real estate market today, if I were considering selling my home, I might want to include the statement: ‘You would live just down the street from Barb Strom.’”

Ammon Christensen: Youth masks his maturity | HOMETOWN HERO

Editor’s note: Each May, Hometown Heroes features a South Whidbey High School senior chosen by the schools. This year the honor goes to Ammon Christensen because of his volunteerism, mentoring and being a positive role model for peers and adults alike.

HOMETOWN HERO: She uses honey, not vinegar

Hometown Hero Laura Price volunteers in this community, not only lending her expertise, but making a lasting effect on others by treating everyone with honey instead of vinegar.

Phil Ayers believes all deserve a sense of belonging | HOMETOWN HERO

He walked the streets of Seattle day after day after day looking for a job, any job. “I’ll never forget that feeling of not belonging,” says Phil Ayers.

Hometown Hero Susan Jones: A life led by inspiration

When Susan Jones was 8 years old she read Elisabeth Elliot’s book, “Through Gates of Splendor” about five young missionaries who went to South America in 1956 to spread God’s love to a violent remote tribe. The five men were killed.

What others say about Erik Jokinen | HOMETOWN HERO

“Erik has been instrumental in developing one of the most effective physical education programs in our state here on South Whidbey.

Paula Pugh lives with an open heart | HOMETOWN HERO

Paula Pugh has a way of bringing meaning and joy into people’s lives, be it through music, entertaining, equestrianship or teaching others how to be a friend.

Lewis: Coupon master passes on saving skills | HOMETOWN HERO

Ula Lewis volunteers more than 60 hours per week to teach families and single people — young and senior — to save about 75 percent on their food and toiletries, says Andréa Wright, a Clinton mom of two young children.

What others say about Clyde Monma | HOMETOWN HERO

People around South Whidbey have a lot to say about Hometown Hero Clyde Monma.

Mary Fisher: Bloom where you are planted | HOMETOWN HERO

Mary Fisher says she’s learned to bloom wherever she is in life. When Fisher’s kids left home, she felt emptiness, and wanted to fill that hole. She looked close to home, and became aware of kids in need of nutritious food right here on South Whidbey.

What others say about Cynthia Jaffe | HOMETOWN HERO

A sampling of what some of Hometown Hero Cynthia Jaffe's friends and family think of her.

What others say about Lennox Bishop | HOMETOWN HERO

People have lots of praise for the South Whidbey Record's Hometown Hero, Lennox Bishop.

Dorothy ‘Dotty’ McDonald: Worry is a waste of her time

Dorothy “Dotty” McDonald, this month’s Hometown Hero, is a hard-working volunteer who doesn’t believe in worrying about anything.

South Whidbey student puts her heart into action

The suffering in this world can make a heart heavy. Zora Lungren feels deeply about all the sorrow in the world, but she found the best way to deal with her feelings is to turn them into service — she has a “heart of action.”

JEAN MATHENY: Helping others to feel at ease | HOMETOWN HERO

Ever feel like you’re fumbling for what to say when someone has had a loss, or feel so uncomfortable you avoid the person altogether? Jean Matheny went through this with others after losing her husband suddenly. But, she found a way to put people at ease. “After my husband passed away, I noticed people were treating me differently or avoiding me all together,” she said. “I knew they weren’t trying to shun me or anything, they just didn’t know what to say.” So she went to the places she was involved with, such as the teachers’ lounge, to try and put them at ease.

Hometown Hero is motivated by her curiosity of the world

What if people were more curious? Would it open our minds more, to be less judgmental, less fearful and less disappointed perhaps?Victoria Santos says she’s… Continue reading

Mo and Jo: Genuine MoJo straight from the heart | HOMETOWN HEROES

This is a story of two best friends, affectionately known as ‘Mo and Jo.’ They volunteer everywhere, Good Cheer, Calvary Church, Senior Center, Brookhaven, Community Thrift and for numerous South Whidbey neighbors.

HOMETOWN HERO | James Itaya: Answering the call to action

Actions, not mere words, are what defines the reputation and character of a person, according to James Itaya, a South Whidbey High School senior.