Compiled by Nicole Davis
Dr. Richard “Dick” Huber was recently selected by AARP, a nonprofit organization for people ages 50 and older, to receive the 2021 AARP Indiana Andrus Award for Community Service. This is the association’s most prestigious state volunteer award for community service.
Huber, who resides in Center Grove, has taught 199 driving classes for AARP in the 18 years he has served as an AARP Driver Safety instructor. While he said he strives to reach that 200 mark, in-person classes are currently at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AARP is not the only way Huber donates his time.
Huber retired from family medicine approximately 25 years ago, with the last 10 years of his career having worked in the emergency room. Afterwards, he searched for things to not only occupy his time but be meaningful to those within his community as well.
“Different phases, situations and circumstances in life often require adjustments,” Huber said. “Retirement for me meant a somewhat loss of identity; not being noted for my occupation. (I also learned to adjust) my purpose in life so as to love, assist and help others rather than doing things just for my personal satisfaction and enjoyment.”
Through the years, Huber has worked with Meals on Wheels, Second Helpings in Indianapolis, Volunteer Advocates for Seniors and Incapacitated Adults, acted as a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)/Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for neglected and abused children, taught lawn care classes throughout the community and given drug presentations in the schools. Aside from this volunteer service, he serves on the White River Township Board, drives a tractor shuttle at the state fairgrounds during the state fair, and this past fall spent a couple of months helping his nephew harvest soybeans and corn.
Huber was a teacher prior to entering medicine, so he finds himself eager to share about topics in which he’s passionate, such as driving safely. While many of his activities are currently on hold due to the pandemic, his lawn care classes will resume shortly. He will teach a class for Master Gardeners in February. In April, he will host a lawn care class open to the public at the Greenwood Public Library. Other classes in the community are being discussed.
What do you consider your greatest virtue? Being a person known for loving God, being honest, reliable, responsible and simple.
What do you most deplore in others? Deplore is rather strong. We each have different talents, skills and personalities. I’m somewhat turned off by those who are full of lots of words but show little or no action.
What do you like most about living in Center Grove? People – people whom are great neighbors, teachers, leaders, volunteers, friends. I’m not really into things and buildings; most neighborhoods have those. It is the kind of people that really make a great community.
If you had to live elsewhere than in Johnson County, where would it be? Probably just about anywhere. Hopefully I could adapt to just about any place; “grow where you’re planted.” There would be challenges and opportunities to work with others just about anywhere.
If you could begin life over, what would you change? I’m not much of a “what if” person. I have not lived a perfect life but have had lots of friendships, ups and downs and given lots of opportunities.
If money were no issue, how would you spend it? Find worthy charitable organizations that would be able to benefit more people
What makes you happiest? Delivering newborns, observing little children, worshiping our Lord and leading community classes
What is your favorite vacation spot? I have no favorite spot. Some of the most memorable places where there was the opportunity to spend time with the local people. I enjoyed traveling, especially seeing some of the wonderful things God has created.
What do you do with idle time? I enjoy teaching community and school classes, yard work and watching some Big 10 basketball games.
What is it that makes you angry? If I’ve ever been angry, my memory has blotted that out. I’m disturbed with unsafe, aggressive drivers, who seem to be growing in number.
What do you do to escape from reality? I don’t recall ever wanting to escape from reality. Sometimes when the situations are not great, I try to think what I might do to change or improve circumstances; but not run away.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? God, family and friends
Which living person in Johnson County do you most admire? I admire all the volunteers and daily workers whom seldom are recognized for their abilities and accomplishments.
What is your greatest extravagance? I’m rather simple so can’t think of much extravagance in my life. Others could probably note some.
What are your fears, phobias? I would like to be able to take care of myself at the age of 100. Probably the greatest fear now is anticipating seeing some of my responses to these questions in print.
What has been the happiest time of your life? Watching little children; feeding and observing birds; and seeing the expressions on faces of people as they learn something in a class which I lead.
Which talent would you most like to possess? I’m attempting to further a talent in helping and assisting others. The talent of ‘loving my neighbor as myself’ sure needs a lot more effort on my part.
What do you most value in your friends? Their non-judgmental acceptance and willingness to share their values and ideas.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Good ole honest Abe.
What is your greatest regret? Not taking more advantage of the opportunities that were made available.
What tenet do you live by? Love God, follow His directions, serve others and love them more.
What hardships have you dealt with? My son died several years ago from an unintentional drug overdose. Parents losing a child is very, very difficult. My wife died a couple years ago from metastatic melanoma. Death of family members leave a great void. But life goes on, God is still in control, we make changes and form a new, somewhat normal life. But I still do not enjoy housework, laundry and grocery shopping.
What do you attribute to your living long and healthy? Attending worship services; devotional time; avoiding alcohol, tobacco and caffeine; going to bed and getting up about the same time; eating raisins with breakfast cereal; turning down the thermostat while sleeping during winter; taking good care of teeth and gums (gateway to germs into the blood stream); and laughing at myself.