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ID: Ilsa D. Myers

  • Ilsa Myers<br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS
  • <br/>Ilsa Myers<br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS

Ilsa Myers, 61, a hospice and elder care professional, says she is fascinated by the way we age. She has attended seminars in thanatology, the study of death, dying, grief and loss. She also enjoys the local arts and music scene, creating with fabric, and sharing her home with family and friends. And then, there are those chickens!

Full name: Ilsa Dubinsky Myers

People know you as: Ils

Date and place of birth: Nov. 4, 1951; Hazleton, Pa.

Address: South Amherst

Job: Volunteer coordinator at Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst; volunteer coordinator at Spectrum Hospice in Longmeadow

Who lives under the same roof as you? Fred, my husband; seven laying hens and three roosters reside in the barn and patrol the perimeter. We are mourning the loss of a great cat, Barn Cat, and a puppy, Lou, this past year

Children: Ben and Liz, and their 20-month-old daughter, Maeve; Sarah and Teddy; and Hannah and Xia

Education: Bachelor’s degree in art and psychology from the University of North Carolina-Asheville; master’s degree in recreation and leisure services from Springfield College

Hobbies: Sewing improvisational quilts, baking, homemaking, reading, thrift shopping

Book you’d recommend to a friend: Anything written by Rachel Naomi Remen

Favorite movie/TV show/singer: Movie — “Moonstruck” is our favorite family movie; TV — “Downton Abbey” (can’t wait until it starts again on PBS); singers — Greg Brown and Chris Smither

Five items you can’t live without: Family and friends, a kitchen, a car, NPR on the radio and my new iPhone

Last things you purchased just for fun: A cup of iced coffee at Esselon in Hadley; a flat of okra for my husband to plant; wedge shoes at TJMaxx (I shop just for fun often)

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Traveling in the United States

Life-changing experience: Graduate school in the e_SSRq70s; having children in the e_SSRq80s; attending hospice volunteer training in 2005

Strangest job you ever held: I worked as an apple–grader and sorter for Atkins Farms in Amherst before graduate school

Dumbest thing you ever did: I ran out of gas on the Coolidge Bridge, with six children under the age of 10 in my van. We were rescued by a tree service company, and all seven of us got to ride in the back of the chipper truck on our way to get fuel

One trend you’d like to see return: Neighborhoods where folks know and enjoy each other

What really sets you off? The inequality and inefficiency of our health care system

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? Gilda Radner; she was smart and charming and I would host a party in order to share her

Worst advice you ever got: I was 20 years old. My cousin, who was 12 years older, wrote me a letter strongly advising me not to marry my husband due to our different religious backgrounds. We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in May

Favorite place to get a bite: Judie’s in Amherst: great atmosphere, food and friendly staff

What does your ideal weekend look like? A stop at the Amherst dump Saturday morning to recycle and check out the Take-It-Or-Leave-It, followed by meeting a friend for breakfast, spending the afternoon volunteering at the Fisher Home Thrift Shop, entertaining dinner guests, with my husband cooking most of the meal that evening, and spending Sunday sewing, reading on the porch and talking on the phone

What gives you the creeps? Little food ants showing up unexpectedly

People who knew you in high school thought you were: I called my high school friend Jen, who reports that I had the best giggle

Whom do you most admire? No. 1, hospice volunteers — they give without expectation. No 2, women and men in their 70s and 80s who have experienced the loss of their life partner and other significant losses, yet find the resilience to reconstruct their lives, thrive and live joyfully

Parting shot: You have this moment to live in. Don’t miss it regretting the past or waiting for something better. Be happy now

To suggest someone for ID, send an email to bnelson@gazettenet.com.

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