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March 21, 1986 - Image 43

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Former traveling
salesman Meyer
King leads an active
life helping others
close to home.

BY SANDRA MAURER
Special to The Jewish NeWs

"If you could think of a retired
man who wakes up every morning
and says that the day isn't going to be
long enough for him to do all the
things that he wants to do and that
every day is like a great, brand-new
experience, that's Meyer." Fayga
Dombey, coordinator of volunteer
services for the-Jewish Family Serv-
ice smiles as she describes Meyer
King, volunteer extraordinaire. "He
makes life exciting for himself and for
the people he comes in contact with."
King has been a volunteer at the
Jewish Family Service fOr five years.
"I stopped working five years ago and
it gave me an opportunity to do some-
thing for someone else. I decided to
jive by the adage that rRabbi
said 2,000• years ago; If I'm not for
myself, who before me? But if I'm only
for niyself, what good am I? And.if not
now, when?'
"I was a traveling salesman for
30 years. And it wasn't particularly
pleasant being away from home all
those years. Here at home, I'm doing
something I want to do rather than
something I -have to do. As a retiree,
it's substituting one set of activities
for another. One day I was working'
and when I retired; you can't just sit
down and vegetate. So you exchange

,

it for something that you enjoy do-
ing."
Being retired has allowed him to
spend more time with his family.
King. and his wife Clare have been
married for 35 years and have two
children.
He is a steadfast member of Cong.
Beth Shalom in Oak Park. "I do ad-
mire him," says Rabbi David Nelson.
"He is a real modern tzadik -- a truly
righteous person. He lives his faith."
One day a week, without fail,
King goes to the synagogue to make
sure that there is a rninyan. Quite of-
ten, he will be called on to lead the
service. '
The rabbi recalls how' every
Saturday for ten years King would
make sure that one gentleman, now
deceased, was able to attend services.
"The man was an amputee and it re-
quired special care in handling him
Meyer went out of his way, week in
and weekrout, to make sure that Mr.
Tamler got to shul. Other people
would say to fiim,'How can you keep
doing this?' but Meyer didn't think it
was going' out of his way. And we're
talking about, countless hours and
days of his tine."
King is fluent in Spanish, He-
brew and Braille and is often called on

,

as a translator for the Jewish Family
Service. He tutored a neighbor for his .
bar mitzvah at Beth Shalom. "When
you're tutoring somebody, you're con-
veying information to them and that
is very gratifying if someone is learn-
ing something because you've passed
it along. It's a delightful feeling."
He spends two half-days a week
at the Jewish Family Service as a
volunteer. His scheduled day involves
a variety of situations. He may be
called on to drive elderly clients to a
medical appointment or pick up a
child from school and drop hiin off at
the Jewish Family Service for
therapy. He may be called on to de-
liver medical supplies to a shut-in
client, to grocery shop for them or just
to stop in for a friendly visit.
One of his "clients". is a woman in
her 50s who.is stricken with cerebral
palsy and uses a walker to navigate.
She is difficult to understand until
you get to know her well. "Meyer
shows extreme patience with her. He
often picks her up and takes her to a
nearby mall where she meets a
friend," Mrs. Dombey says. "He's
patient, he's calm, he doesn't get ruf-
fled. He takes everything in his
stride. Nothing is too much for him.

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