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A Lehigh legend: Nothing’s going to stop Emy Lou from volunteering

April 11, 2013
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

She's 81 years old and is on oxygen constantly. But yet she has time to volunteer in the kitchen of a local church preparing meals for the hungry and she serves the table, pulling a light-weight oxygen tank behind her.

She is Emma McComb, but everyone who knows her calls her Emy Lou, including her husband, Kay, who also volunteers at the church helping to hand out free food.

Both give their time to the First Congregational Church on Leeland Heights Boulevard. Trying to get Emy Lou to sit down for an interview isn't the easiest thing one can do. If she sees something that needs doing, she'll get up and tend to it. Pinning this busy lady down is not easy.

Article Photos

Emma McComb

She and her husband came to Lehigh Acres from Key Largo where they helped to deliver food to the needy in Homestead, Ala. Kay is also the same age as his wife, only separated by a few months.

They came to Lehigh where their daughter lives only a little bit less than a mile from their home on Ocean Park Street.

Originally from Iowa, they spend six months in Lehigh and six months in Iowa. They plan to leave next month and no doubt will be looking for any volunteer work they can find if it help those in need.

The pair has so many descendants, it is almost impossible to count, but Emy Lou can rattle off the names of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and yes, her great great grandchildren.

Most of the family is in Iowa except for her daughter in Lehigh and a son who lives in Miami.

"I have three living children; we lost one. And I have 14 grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren with another coming in July in Iowa. I'll be there for the birth," she said.

Both are active members of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church,.

"I've been a Lutheran all my life. I did at attend services on Palm Sunday at First Congregational Church where we volunteer and it was a very good sermon by Pastor Deb Frysinger," she said.

"I thank God that I am alive and can do what I can for others," she said. "I was stricken on Dec, 31 of last year and was hospitalized with a heart attack for 14 days. They told me that they didn't expect me to live. I was short of breath at home and I told my husband that I had to get to the hospital," she said.

"This is one remarkable woman," said Pastor Deb Frysinger. "We all love her here and she is a very busy person, while she pulls her oxygen tank around behind her.

The church has four Helping Hands Ministries. They include:

A bread pantry every Saturday at 8 a.m.

Soup Kitchen with sandwich, two days a week, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Produce Pantry on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m.

A Food Pantry open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 to noon.

"In March we broke our record with the number of people we have served. And of this done with around 45 volunteers," Frysinger said.



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