George Susbauer is the ultimate volunteer.
People, animals, community organizations – all have benefitted from Sublimity’s First Citizen’s giving nature, according to those who know and love him.
“George helps numerous people, no matter what age or their needs,” said Sandra Nelson, one of Susbauer’s nominators for the Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious award. “He spends time with them, brings gifts, moves furniture, or provides needed items. And let’s not forget animals. He is so kind to them, exercises them, and gives them lots of love.”
Dick Jungwirth also nominated Susbauer, stating, “He has his folks’ house in Sublimity and grows a huge garden with vegetables and berries. It’s really just him, so he gives everything away to whomever wants it – churches, retirement homes, people.”
Susbauer’s last lot, onions gleaned from a local farm, went from field to pickup to friend, friend and friend, Jungwirth said.
“He got boxes from the local grocery stores, boxed them up, and gave them to anyone who wanted them,” he said.
Monday, April 2, 11:30 a.m.
Tickets: $11.50, available at
Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce
175 High St., Stayton
“In the summer time, when my dad was still alive, George would bring him fresh vegetables from the farm,” Nelson said. “My dad’s been gone now for over 15 years.”
When not carting vegetables and berries around town, Susbauer gives rides to those who need one, both Jungwirth and Nelson said.
“He goes every morning to Lakeside and gives seniors rides,” Jungwirth said. “If they need to go somewhere, he takes them. He takes Joe Spenner to ball games. He’s not particularly interested in the games, but Joe is.”
Susbauer also took Jungwirth’s aunt for ride in her wheelchair to feed the ducks at the pond in Marian Estates.
“She lives there,” Jungwirth said. “My aunt had had a stroke. I didn’t even know he was doing it until she told me.”
Nelson added, “Anyone who needs anything at all, he’ll help them. He’s just real generous with his time, doing lots of kind things for people.
Susbauer, a man who respects nature, also spends time cleaning up whatever and wherever needs cleaning.
“He has gone down to Wilderness Park and cleaned the trails, taking his weed eater and sickle, so that people can enjoy the river and park,” Jungwirth said. “For the last couple of days, he has been picking up papers and cleaning up the Park ’n’ Ride park.”
Picking up litter and pruning back bushes is all part of his days “work,” Susbauer said modestly.
“It’s a nice little spot,” he said of the Park ’n’ Ride lot by the north Stayton exit of Highway 22. “I try to make it a little better so people can see the lake, the birds, the sun glinting off a ripple of water.”
Being honored for what he feels is just his routine leaves Susbauer feeling “pretty anemic and weak, a small grain of sand that got smaller. I don’t want to be on a pedestal. It’s all about doing the right stuff!”
Susbauer said he loves to ride his bike or “walk the path and see the trees, the people, the beauty of our community.”
“I want to be a part of that,” he said. “You have to give to receive. It’s just a thing of life.”
Susbauer encourages folks to dump chasing after “stuff” in favor of “getting out there and talking to neighbors.”
“It’s really the little things that make us happy – that sparkle in someone’s eye,” he said. “I like making a smile on someone’s face. It gives me joy, too!”
The NORPAC retiree sums up life in one simple sentence: “Less is more.”
“Give up ‘stuff’ and present yourself to your community,” he said. “When you gather with folks, you go away with their stories and friendship in your heart. Life is about sharing.”
Susbauer encourage others to take a walk, chat to a neighbor, explore their surroundings.
“Stop and smell the roses!” he said enthusiastically.