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Sid Lipton honored for Meals on Wheels work

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Sid Lipton was presented with the 2015 Petaluma Community Awards of Excellence Service to Seniors honor last week, for his 15-plus years of volunteer work toward Petaluma’s elderly community.

Lipton, 89, is active with Petaluma People Services Center’s Meals on Wheels program, Rebuilding Together Petaluma and Petaluma Ecumenical Properties, or PEP housing, as a member of the development committee and board of directors. Despite his age, Lipton continues to volunteer to services he said are valuable and necessary.

“People ask me, ‘Are you still doing Meals on Wheels and how long are you going to do it?’” Lipton said. “I answer, until I need it myself or until they take away my driver’s license. As long as I have a driver’s license, can get insurance and am able to do it, I will do it.”

Lipton brings a certain acumen to PEP housing and Rebuilding Together Petaluma, having served 10 years as president for Wright Contracting Incorporated, which constructed various institutional landmarks throughout Sonoma County in the past 60 years.

In the weeks ahead, Lipton will join a group of volunteers to reconstruct the fence and patio of a disabled Petaluma senior. Six days later, Lipton will accompany a multitude of volunteers for Rebuilding Together Petaluma’s spring 2015 volunteer day, a home fix-up project for low-income individuals and organizations.

Not only will he continue his weekly service for Meals on Wheels, but he will need to keep up on his homework. Lipton is an active student of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a service provided at Sonoma State University and throughout the country for those 50 years or older.

But this is nothing new as Lipton has always continued to stay busy and productive.

At the age of 16, Lipton went to work at the Mare Island Naval Ship Yard, which eventually led to his 22 months of service in the Navy.

While stationed at Guam, Lipton’s parents bought a chicken ranch in Petaluma. Upon his return to his return, Lipton intended to stay in Petaluma a little while. Sixty-nine years later, he’s still here.

In 1955, after a stint as owner of a chicken ranch on Roblar Road, Lipton began as a carpenter’s apprentice after a foreman saw potential in him. He eventually caught on with Paul Wright and Ben Oretsky, founders of what is currently Wright Contracting Incorporated.

In 1997, after various positions within the company, Lipton decided to retire, though he has continued to remain active in the community.

“It’s humbling,” Lipton said of his award. “I’m just glad to be able to do it still.”

(Contact Joshua Gutierrez at argus@arguscourier.com.)

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