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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Lifelong builder

Retiree brings energy to work for others

At 93, Waldo Johnson probably is one of the oldest people to have ever participated in building a home for Habitat for Humanity. Just this past September, Waldo, a member of First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Portland, Ore., joined others in the congregation as part of a Thrivent Builds Homes collaboration with Habitat.

“Waldo has the energy of someone who is 20 years younger,” said Judy Wick, who worked with him. “Although he doesn’t see well, he got around the work site with no problem at all.”

Waldo Johnson, 93, surveys the construction
Waldo Johnson, 93, surveys the construction site of a Habitat house he helped built with other members of First Immanuel Lutheran Church, Portland, Ore.
Johnson carried lumber, stacked it and held boards while others sawed or hammered. His work group built nine sets of window frames.

“We were taking the long way around to carry the wood,” said Nancy McDonald, another worker on the project. “Then Waldo pulled the construction fence apart a foot or so and made a short cut for us.”


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