By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
Arnold resident Linda Miner wasn't surprised when she heard that her mother, Edna Duffield, was going to be named Ebbetts Pass AARP volunteer of the year.
"She's always been involved with helping others," Miner said. "In Concord when I was a kid, she was involved in the community. When she moved up here, she's always been involved in AARP and helping the neighbors. I think it's wonderful that she's being acknowledged."
Duffield moved to Arnold fulltime in 1980, after retiring as a bakery clerk at Albertsons. One of the first things she did after unpacking was join the American Association of Retired People.
"That was the start of my being active," she said.
Active is the operative word for Duffield.
At 78, she has held every Ebbetts Pass AARP office at least once, has served on the board of directors and organized fund raisers. She's been a docent for Big Trees State Park, a fire prevention volunteer for the California Department of Forestry, a classroom volunteer at Hazel Fischer Elementary School and part of the Sheriff's Neighborhood Watch program, helping coordinate Neighborhood Night Out. And the list goes on.
"I had worked hard in the Bay Area for many years raising my family," Duffield said. "When I retired and came up here, I had time to do things I never could do before. Volunteering was an opportunity and I've enjoyed it."
Duffield and her husband, Bill, lived and worked and raised their three children in Concord.
"We'd camped at Lake Berryessa for years. My husband taught lots of kids to water ski there. We never had any money, but we certainly enjoyed life," she said, smiling at the memory.
In 1958, they and some friends bought lots in the Arnold subdivision called Lilac Park. They dreamed of building a cabin and spending weekends and vacations there.
"We put up a one-room cabin, with a little outhouse down the path," she said. But before the cabin could be finished, Bill died of cancer at age 47, leaving Edna with three teenagers to raise.