FISH volunteer celebrates 90th birthday
With 16 friends singing happy birthday and the flame of a single candle dancing atop layered lemon cake in front of her, emotion overwhelmed Carson City’s Ann Lischko.
The 89-year-old fluttered her hand over her heart, looked at the folks smiling around her, then put a finger behind her glasses and wiped away a tear. Lischko, who’ll turn 90 on Monday, celebrated with a lunch party at the Carson Nugget Buffet on Thursday.
“I don’t feel 90 – I don’t know how a person’s supposed to feel,” said the dining room volunteer for Friends in Service Helping. Other volunteers organized the lunch in her honor. She arrived with a purple balloon floating over her shoulder.
“Hi, everybody,” she said, looking down the table with a wave.
“Hi, sweetheart,” answered Phyllis Dugan, who volunteers at the dining room on Mondays with her husband, Bob.
“Ann’s a feisty lady, a real sweetie,” Dugan said.
Bruce Henderson, who volunteers twice a week and is the minister at the Church of Christ on Airport Road, said a prayer before everyone hit the buffet.
“Thank you, Lord, for this chance to come together and celebrate life. We’re so thankful for Annie,” he said as the group held hands around the table.
Lischko has volunteered for 12 years in the kitchen at the charity dining room, which serves 80 to 100 people every night.
“She’s very faithful – she comes every week,” said FISH director Monte Fast.
“And she’s an excellent cook,” said dining room manager Daisy Moreira.
Lischko was born April 5, 1914, outside St. Louis. Her mother died in the 1918 flu epidemic leaving her father to raise eight kids.
“He used to say if we don’t behave ourselves he’s gonna get us a stepmother – but he never did,” she remembered.
She worked for 35 years as a seamstress in St. Louis, coming to Carson City in 1954.
“There were only 3,500 people here then, you know,” she said.
Her daughter, Joyce Meyer, and her husband, Russ, live outside Sacramento. Lischko has two grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Other than working at the charity dining room, her favorite activity is bowling. She bowls in the women’s league with her team, “Sunday Trio.”
The other two members are Venus Marriage – with whom Lischko has bowled for 44 years – and Dolly Lopiccolo.
What’s her average score?
“Oh, God – don’t put that in there,” she said. “It’s about 110 – not too bad for my age, I guess. I actually bowled 600 in a three-game series one time.”
She looks forward to her time at the charity dining room.
“I’ve met so many wonderful friends there,” she said. “Look at them all.” She motioned around the table.
“Are you happy, baby?” asked Moreira with a big smile.
“Oh, yes, very happy.”
Contact Karl Horeis at email@example.com or 881-1219.