Two decades of service rewarded

A retired couple is the first dual recipient of a county group’s volunteer award.
Thursday, October 23, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:05 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Norma and Ernie Falloon have only one daughter, but the kindness and generosity they’ve spread all over Boone County makes them seem part of a larger family.

The Falloons have been married 53 years and, since retiring, have become a volunteering team.

Last week, the Falloons were named Volunteers of the Year at the Boone County Council on Aging’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program annual brunch at Fairview Road Church of Christ. This is the first year the award was given to a couple.

The Falloons didn’t know they were nominated until they were told by friends, and winning was “a surprise and a thrill,” Norma Falloon said. “But there are many other people who are most deserving.”

Now, the engraved crystal award they received sits on their living room table. The Falloons have yet to decide where they will put it.

They have volunteered in Boone County for more than 20 years. The Voluntary Action Center got them started at University Hospital and since then, the couple have given their time to many local organizations including the American Red Cross and the Show-Me State Games.

They have also volunteered at Meals on Wheels for more than 14 years. Karen Super, the office manager of Meals on Wheels, has known the couple since she was in grade school.

“They are always just so helpful and they make no fanfare,” she said. “They are the type that if we are in a bind, they will take an extra route. They are so dependable. We never have to worry about them being here.”

The couple makes the 26-mile round trip commute from their Harrisburg home daily.

“We’re just ordinary people,” Norma Falloon said. “Not too highfalutin.”

The couple met while Ernie Falloon was working with his brother on a farm near Woodlandville and Norma Falloon was teaching at a small school across the street. Once married, they owned a 170-acre farm but have since sold 140 acres of it and built a house on the remaining land.

“I think volunteering is good for folks who have retired,” Ernie Falloon said. “It gives you something to get up for in the morning.”

“You feel you are able to help those who are unable to help themselves,” Norma Falloon said.

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