Richard Ling enjoys being part of the community. To show his love for the Lodi area, he decided to get involved in community service. For more than 20 years, he has served in various capacities helping out in the community.
For his contributions to community service, Ling was inducted into the Lodi Community Hall of Fame.
Karl Welsbacher, a friend and deacon at St. Anne’s Catholic Church who nominated Ling, describes him as hard-working and diligent.
“He’ll do anything that needs to be done to help anybody. All you have to do is ask and he’ll consider it done,” he said.
Ling was employed by San Joaquin County Public Works for 31 years, until a back injury forced him to retire. He then began helping out at St. Joachim’s Catholic Cemetery, where he also serves on the board.
Through the years, Ling has worked helping to clean up the cemetery by removing weeds and leaves and picking up flowers after funerals. After a group of volunteers stopped helping, Ling continued on his own, Welsbacher said. Ling always wanted to make the cemetery a nice place where people can visit, Welsbacher added.
Because his parents are buried there, as well as many he has known over the years, Ling says he finds fulfillment by continuing to keep the place tidy.
“I think it’s nice to keep it looking nice. It’s mainly to take care of people after they are gone,” he said.
His work at the cemetery has also included building a pro-life area as well as helping at the Memorial Day service each year.
A member of St. Anne’s for 70 years, Ling also works at the church, helping with improvement projects such as fixing broken pews, painting and welding. He also helps coordinate food for receptions after funerals, as well as helping to serve it.
Over the years, Ling has built several dozen birdhouses that he has donated to both the Knights of Columbus and the Daughters of Isabella to be used as raffle prizes.
Many years ago, Ling also used to cook for the Salvation Army and donated 10 gallons of milk every first Wednesday of the month. Although he has since stopped, people who were children back then still come up to him and say hi.
“It’s nice to see them remember,” he said.
Ling has lived in Lodi most of his life and graduated from Lodi High School in 1957. He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1961. He has been married to his wife Laurie for 32 years, and they have eight children, 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Welsbacher says Ling sets a good example for others in the community.
“His hard worth ethic and the fact that he does so many things is an example and inspires others,” he said.
Other inductees this year include Jeanie Biskup for her contributions to government; Don Womble for his contributions to education; Linda Hammons for her contributions to community service; and Thom Sanchez for his contributions to business.
The Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Lodi Boys and Girls Club. Inductees will be honored at a dinner and program scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Boys and Girls Club headquarters, 275 Poplar St. near the corner of Stockton Street. Tickets are $50 each. For more information or to make a reservation, call Eddie Cotton at 209-334-2697.
Contact Panorama Editor Pam Bauserman at email@example.com.