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Las Cruces’ Frances Shutt Named AARP New Mexico’s Volunteer of the Year

AARP New Mexico is proud to announce that the 2011 State Andrus Award for Community Service has been awarded to Frances Shutt of Las Cruces. The award is named for AARP’s founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus and is given to a volunteer who most exemplifies her example and motto of “to serve, not to be served.”

At 98, Shutt, last year alone volunteered 1300 hours through a variety of ways. She took her love of teaching and turned it into a life-long endeavor. Not only teaching in the traditional classroom, she has volunteered for 37 years as the Director of the International Department as the First Baptist Church of Las Cruces teaching English as a Second Language to NMSU students and their spouses from foreign countries.

In addition, she has assisted the Las Cruces Association of Educational Retirees for the last 37 years, serving in various positions over the years including president, and still helps maintain the group’s calling committee.

“Frances exemplifies what AARP means in its mission of allowing a person to age with dignity and purpose,” said Gene Varela, AARP New Mexico Associate State Director for Community Outreach. “For someone that has her life experience to still be sharing her skills and positive outlook with others, to help them lead a better, more productive life is exactly what Dr. Andrus had in mind when creating ARRP.”

Shutt earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education. She married John Paul Shutt, an ordained minister and travel with him to several different countries conducting ministry work. They were married for 52 years until he passed away.

Shutt has outlived her husband and her children but is still grateful for the time she had with them.

She will be honored for earning the Andrus Award at the Annual New Mexico Conference on Aging set for August 23 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at Isleta Pueblo as well as a local ceremony in Las Cruces.

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