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Hospice volunteer celebrates milestone birthday



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Clyde Maulding and Jan Jones, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Hospice share a smile during a surprise 100th Birthday Party held at the Hospice offices on Friday, July 18. photo by Courtesy photo.
July 23, 2014
Most people don't pause to think about what their life would be like when they reach that milestone of their 100th birthday and Clyde Maulding is no different. But now that he has actually reached that milestone of 100 and counting, he can honestly say that he leads a pretty quiet life. However, during an interview with the Valley Roadrunner, it quickly became apparent that his life is anything but.

The feisty, retired engineer still does his own cooking, visits with his family, does yard work, attends a weekly Bible study and occasionally plays a round of golf at the course where he lives in Skyline Mobile Home Park. It's not the day to day activities that caught the attention of The Valley Roadrunner though, it's the fact that this centenarian, along with his friend George Hermann, continues to serve every week as a volunteer with Elizabeth Hospice.

"I do get to meet different people there and they all are so grateful that we are there," Maulding said. "The job is just a nothing job. George and I just sit there and yak while we are assembling these pamphlets and the different people in hospice will drop by and they'll talk to us a little bit. It's just a nice thing to do, you know. I walk away thinking, yes, I am happy that I am here."

Maulding may call it a "nothing job," but Elizabeth Hospice Public Relations Specialist Lisa Marcolongo says what he does is so much more than that.

"The pamphlets that Mr. Maulding is referring to are critically important to our patients and their families," she said. "These are the patient care handbooks. These are the guides, the helping hands for when hospice isn't in the home to provide the support and the resources for the families. We are always available by phone 24/7 but if a family member has a question about medication or the care for their loved one, that information is in that handbook and that is what George and Mr. Maulding are putting together."

Maulding, who became involved with hospice after his wife passed away four years ago, remains humble about what he does for the families who use Elizabeth Hospice.

"Well it just is a payback for the wonderful treatment, the way they treated my beloved wife," he said, adding that he feels indebted to the nonprofit organization. "I go with another fellow that lives up here in the park and he lost his wife about the same time and we both feel the same way. What we do is nothing that requires much in the way of intelligence we just assemble little pamphlets but we are both happy to do something for an organization that has done so much for us."

Maulding's doctor recommended hospice about six months before his wife passed away, he said.

"They were really wonderful people," he said. "My wife, Phoebe, she would fall out of bed … and I would bandage her up. I could call Hospice and they would be there the next day. We had a girl come in and bathe her and for her last six months they couldn't have been nicer. I felt that I owed them something so that is why I just volunteered to do whatever they might have to do."

Marcolongo said that volunteers such as Maulding really are the heart of Elizabeth Hospice.

"We couldn't do what we do without our volunteers," she said. "They are absolutely amazing and we are grateful for their assistance. We currently have 300 active volunteers in San Diego and south Riverside counties that are assisting us and they have a multitude of opportunities whether that is patient care or helping in the office like Mr. Maulding and George … the volunteers are there to provide everything else that we need."

Maulding said he finds an independence that he really enjoys by driving where he needs to go, though he does avoid the freeways. Betty Woltjer comes in to his home daily to "watch over" him and take care of much of the day-to-day stuff.

I'll tell you I am in fairly good health," said Maulding who actually turned 100 on Tuesday. "I have problems with hearing and memory I do use a walker to get around because I am kind of shaky but I am very content with everything I do."

Maulding said he is pleased to report his entire family was able to celebrate the milestone birthday with him.

Hisdaughter Carol Gavan who lives "just up the road in Poway" was there and son Tom flew in from Alabama, along with his wife. Other family members, including five grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and his great-great-granddaughter, all came as well, some from as far away as New Jersey.

"I just can't even imagine coming to the 100th anniversary," said Maulding. "I'm really proud as punch really, well I just am quite humbled by the fact that these people would take the time to come and see me. I am very appreciative of that.

When asked what is next in his life, Maulding's answer was a simple one.

"Well, I guess I'll start working on the 200," he said. "I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary. It's in God's hands; whatever He says is ok with me."

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