MARION — More than 40 Marion area residents, family and friends met on Sunday at the Middle Branch Township hall to honor a local citizen’s outstanding service to the community.

At a luncheon gathering, the annual Community Service Recognition Award was presented to Marion resident Pat Michell by the Marion Arbor of the Gleaner Life Insurance Society.

Unaware that she was the guest of honor, Michell was surprised to learn the event was held to recognize her lifetime of service.

“I was shocked,” Michell said. “It was a total surprise that they’re thanking me for doing so many things I love to do.”

Master of Ceremonies Donna Geyer, Marion Arbor secretary and treasurer, spoke of Michell’s many contributions to the community and welcomed tributes to the honoree from the guests.

Sandy Merrifield praised Michell’s involvement in a wide range of activities.

“I have known Pat for a long time,” she said. “We go to the same church and I’ve seen how she’s involved in so many different things. She’s been the Middle Branch Township treasurer for more than 30 years, she plays the organ at church, teaches Sunday school, contributes to the food pantry and benefit suppers, is an athletic booster and volunteers in the kindergarten class at school.”

Others also had positive remarks.

“Pat never boasts about anything she does,” said Michell's friend Peggy Hoard. “She just goes about quietly doing a lot for others. She isn’t looking for recognition and I’m so glad that we’re thanking her today for all she does. It’s long overdue.”

Carl Geyer, Arbor president, presented a commemorative clock, a certificate of Gleaner membership and a Gleaner history book to Michell in recognition of her year’s of volunteerism and civic participation.

Michell was born and raised in Marion, graduated from Marion High School and raised her family in Marion. She and her late husband managed a dairy and beef farm. She has five children, 16 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. She is a lifelong member of Community of Christ Church.

“I enjoy all the things I do,” Michell said. “It’s really fun to work with the kindergarten kids. To them, I’m Grandma Pat. Every year the teacher and kids put together a memory book for me with pictures and sayings from the kids. I treasure them.”

Gleaner recognition day is held each year to honor the dedication of those with exemplary community service and to inspire local volunteer commitment. For further information about Gleaner activities, contact Donna Geyer, (231) 743-2854.