Gene Verdu, 75, has retired as coordinator for the St. Clair County Office on Aging. A retirement party was held Tuesday for Verdu at PSOP in Belleville.
Verdu was the first executive director of PSOP when it was formed in 1973 and left 11 years ago to be the coordinator for the St. Clair County Office on Aging. Cheryl Brunsmann is the executive director of PSOP.
“My dream was to have a facility (PSOP) where seniors could get the services they need (at one location) instead of trekking all over the county,” said Verdu.
PSOP is part of Southwestern Illinois College and is a focal point for seniors to visit, have lunch, find programs like yoga and dancing to stay active, get help with their taxes and many other things.
The St. Clair Office on Aging works closely with PSOP to maximize support while not overlapping and resulting in redundancies.
“We do a lot of co-programming. The Office on Aging leads a lot on the health-related activities,” said Brunsmann, who had worked at PSOP in the ’90s and was hired as executive director last year, but said she has always kept in touch with Verdu.
When she was hired she said: “It was easy to just pick up and know I had a mentor in place.”
Verdu said he will no longer collect a salary for his work, but he is going to continue as a volunteer. “I will never stop working for old people,” he said.
Steve Nagy: 618-239-2470