“I’ve had such a good life,” says Ruth Wenk of Lakewood.

“I’ve had such a good life,” says Ruth Wenk of Lakewood.
You know that saying, “time flies when you’re having fun?” Ruth says that about sums it up for her. She enjoys volunteering her time at the Northern Wayne Community Library, where she’s Vice President of the Board and past treasurer.
 She’s proud of the fact that the library’s, “graduated from one room to four rooms” since it started out 12  or 13 years ago. “That’s how many books we have,” she says with a smile. They were able to open their doors all those years back because people generously donated books, she said. She credits Ruth Frederick with getting things started.
Nowadays, the library boasts six adult computers, two children’s computers, many books to sign out as well as those for sale. The library also offers a lot of programs, including a sewing club that meets every other Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. where you can learn to sew, crochet, knit, do counted cross stitch and more. Ruth, who’s won blue ribbons at the Wayne County Fair for her counted cross-stitch pictures of the United States, says her mom, the late Jane Mildred Allison taught her everything she knows. The sewing club costs just a $1 per meeting, money they donate to buy school clothes for kids in need. 
Ruth is also very active with the Lakewood Food Pantry, through the Wayne County Area Agency on Aging. She started volunteering with the program 10 years back, assisting the late Bud Frederick. On the third Thursday of every month, Ruth and friends make up and hand out food bags at the Lake Como Community Hall from 1 to 3 p.m. . “I have six or eight people that volunteer and help me out. Without them I’d be lost,” she says. 
Ruth is quick to give her phone number, in case there’s an emergency food need. Ruth can be reached at 798-2859. The Lakewood Food Pantry helps out between 45 and 50 families a month, including special baskets at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
“You feel good that you can help people out. There’s such a need for it — especially up north. There’s such an older population up north,” Ruth said. She said people are very proud and hard working and it’s hard for people who were always self sufficient to ask for help. “They shouldn’t feel that way,” she says. Ruth is also a Board Member with the Area Agency on Aging where she serves as Vice President.
In past, Ruth enjoyed running as a first aider (now known as first responder) with the ambulance for 10 years, and being a prior, long-standing member of the Northern Wayne Fire Company. She was a member there for 30 years, serving as President of the Auxiliary for a decade or more.
She was also a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts, both here in Wayne County and when they lived in California. Ruth says she’s seen much of the world, thanks to her late husband, Martin Wenk, Jr., a Master Sergeant in the Army. She’s lived in Germany, Japan, Texas and California. The Wenks have five children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 
The Wayne Independent plans to highlight a different volunteer from our area each Thursday. If you have a suggestion of who we may interview, call Tammy Compton at (570)253-3055 or e-mail tcompton@wayneindependent.com.