Super Seniors: Richard Cron and Parker Hodgdon

Published: May. 2, 2019 at 1:15 PM EDT
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Two Super Seniors, Richard Cron and Parker Hodgdon, walk the halls of The Manor senior care facility in Morrisville. While neither lives there, it's still home.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Why do you volunteer?

Parker Hodgdon: Because I love these people over here.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You really enjoy people.

Richard Cron: Yes. All kinds of people.

Cron makes house calls. He's someone for the 84 residents like Ruby Beeman to talk with.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you enjoy him coming here?

Ruby Beeman: Oh yeah, yeah. He breaks up my day.

Hodgdon is the card man. But the regular poker crew are missing a player. Resident Mary Morey died just over the weekend. In an instance, Parker's poker face turns to a look of sorrow.

"It affects me for a long time, but it's not shown -- if you know what I mean," Parker said. "So really it's a big loss, we really do miss her.

Morey's foster daughter, Donna Young, had just finished cleaning out her room and heard Hodgdon's kind words."Mary would have liked that," she said.

Downstairs, Cron continues meeting and greeting. Cron and Hodgdon don't volunteer together, they do their own thing, but they have so much in common. Both are Army veterans in their 90s and both have had loved ones living here The Manor. "My wife passed away in 2009 and she was here," Hodgdon said.

Dot and Parker were married close to 60 years. They decided to build a home in Vermont after he retired as an engineer for a power company. The Manor gives him a purpose and companionship. "When I'm home, I'm alone. When you live alone you think it's great. Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not," he said

Cron's partner of over 40 years was Phyllis. "She went -- as a matter of fact -- nine years ago," he said. "The hurt does disappear to a certain extent, but not completely."

Cron worked at the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury for 37 years. It was a face-to-face experience with mentally-ill patients. "I hate to say it, but I felt quite comfortable because I was helping people," Cron said

Of course, the loss of a loved one never goes away, but coming to The Manor gives both men a purpose and even joy.

Two men. Two different stories, but bonded together by the desire to help others.