Upstate volunteer with nearly 22,000 service hours celebrates 95th birthday
Every year, Upstate Medical University relies on hundreds of volunteers for help at the downtown campus, Community Hospital, research labs and outpatient sites. Volunteers are critical to Upstate’s operations and assist in nearly 100 different roles ranging from guiding visitors and patients to helping in the Cancer Center.
One of those critical volunteers is Bob Easton, of Camillus, who recently celebrated a historic birthday, turning 95 on May 20. Easton has logged nearly 22,000 hours at Upstate, making him one of the longest-running volunteers on campus. (22,000 hours equals 550 40-hour work weeks, or more than 10 straight years of volunteer work for Upstate.)
Easton originally volunteered at Community General Hospital and continued working on that campus after it became Upstate in 2011. He ran the gift shop there for many years. Easton has not been volunteering during the pandemic and says he misses it.
He and his wife, Grace, have both received the COVID-19 vaccine and Easton proudly said he had no side effects. He’s done a lot of jigsaw puzzles in the last year and celebrated his recent birthday with a prime rib dinner at Tony’s Restaurant.
He and Grace – who was also a regular volunteer at Upstate for many years – were married in 1947 and will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary next year. The couple had six children. Easton said one of the reasons he liked volunteering at the hospital so much was because it was very different from his occupation as a supervisor for Western Electric. He retired in the early 1980s after 38 years there.
Easton credits a few simple habits to his longevity: “I go to bed early. I get up early. I do my devotions every day. Go to church every Sunday. And just trust in the lord to keep me going day by day.”
Caption: Bob Easton at his home in Camillus.