Decades Of Volunteer Work Has Given Mae Loglisci Her Sense Of Purpose

Decades Of Volunteer Work Has Given Mae Loglisci Her Sense Of Purpose

When you meet someone as positive as Mae Loglisci, you can’t help but walk away feeling more positive, too. Talking with her about age is reminiscent of a conversation with a little kid who anticipates turning the corner on the next number.

Loglisci is looking forward to her 84th birthday, which isn’t until next June. Yet she claims 84 years of age as if she’s already blown out the candles.

“I feel good,” Loglisci said. “I hear so many people complaining. They should be so thankful that they’re here.”

Loglisci constantly refers to herself as “blessed.” She uses it over and over again, but not in a trite way. Even when speaking of sorrowful times, the octogenarian is very positive.

Her mother passed away far too young at age 42, leaving behind seven kids — three girls and four boys. Loglisci, the youngest, was only eight years old at the time. “It was very, very frightening,” she recalled. “I was very fortunate to have relatives down the road from us.”

It was a different world back then. When someone in the family died, they were taken to the funeral home. Once the remains were prepared for burial, the deceased returned to the family home, where the family mourned with friends and neighbors.

“I can never forget walking into the house and [seeing] my mom in the coffin. It upset me. It took a long time for me to get over it,” Loglisci said. “It was a frightening experience.”

Of the seven children, Loglisci is one of only three still living. Four of her siblings passed away when they were still fairly young, two after battles with cancer.

Loglisci herself faced breast cancer in 2004, but she is cancer-free today having completed chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“I am so blessed and fortunate to be around at my age,” Loglisci said. “I don’t know how I am so fortunate. Maybe it’s my faith in God that I have and praying all the time. I am just so blessed to be here at my age, after my siblings were gone in their 60s. You know, when you hear the word cancer, the floor just sort of pulls out from under you. You ask, ‘Can I survive this? What stage am I? How am I going to go through everything?’ But you know, you do. Like I always say, with God in your life, you always have protection.”

Loglisci’s husband and children were a constant encouragement when she was fighting breast cancer.

Loglisci met her husband Tom on a blind date. She remembers having to be home by 11 p.m. Her father was fairly strict and would be expecting her. She and her sisters knew to hurry to the door after a date before the porch light began flickering on and off.

At first, she wasn’t crazy about the man her sister had set her up with, but that’s a moot point now. She was 19 years old when she agreed to that first date. Tom, who was 24 years old, had just returned from the service.

“I didn’t care for him at first, but then all of a sudden he grew on me, and believe it or not, we got engaged after a year, then got married the following year, and that’s history,” Loglisci said.

The fact that they married at a young age, coupled with their age difference, is something that Loglisci finds herself contemplating as she considers marriages today. “I am wondering if this is what has kept some of the older people together so long,” Loglisci said.

The Logliscis raised three children, a boy and two girls, and will celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary on Oct. 5.

Loglisci loved being a mother to her three children. She always wanted to be sure they were well cared for, and she remained a stay-at-home mom for many years. It was at this time that she began volunteering regularly, taking a page from her father’s book. He volunteered right up until age 92.

“He always felt rewarded when he came home, that he’d done something good,” Loglisci said of her father’s volunteer work. “I think that is what grew on me, and I do feel rewarded when I feel like I am helping someone.”

Loglisci volunteered for many of the clubs and events that surrounded her children. Once the children were out of the house, she continued to volunteer. To this day, volunteering is Loglisci’s passion and pastime. She’s the corresponding secretary for the Wellington Seniors Club. This involves writing and sending letters and cards to members who are sick or in the hospital, or sympathy cards when needed.

“We have 780 members. Being a senior, someone is in the hospital at one time or the other, or there are deaths in the family, so I send them out cards,” Loglisci said.

Loglisci has been a volunteer with the organization for 18 years and has served on the board for nine years. She is considering stepping down when her term is up. “At this stage of the game, it’s time for me to pass the baton on to someone else,” she said. “I’ve been in this position for nine years, so it’s time for someone else to take over.”

Loglisci is also an active volunteer with her church, St. Therese Lisieux Catholic Church on Lake Worth Road. Loglisci serves on the Council of Catholic Women and is a eucharistic minister.

Volunteering is important, but she has also had other hobbies, like sewing matching outfits for her girls, knitting and even playing poker once a week with the girls.

“We used to meet every Thursday night, and we did that for 31 years,” Loglisci recalled. “That was the most fun I ever had, just being together with other women and letting go of all that went on the rest of the week. We only put up five dollars for the whole night.”

A few years have passed since Thursday night poker. Loglisci is older now, but she feels good about the aging process. Today she reads and just finished redecorating a 1,500-square-foot house.

“I try to keep myself busy,” she said. “If you don’t do things or get involved, then your life becomes very stagnant. I have to keep on the go.”

Tom and Mae Loglisci used to travel quite a bit. They went to Europe several times and also to the Caribbean. They’ve slowed down on their traveling abroad in recent years, particularly since Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. However, this hasn’t stopped them from getting out and about. Loglisci makes it a point to get out of the house with Tom as often as they can, even if it’s just taking a trip to a store or to the mall.

“I just think staying young at heart keeps your body motivated and keeps you looking forward to things,” she said. “Having a different outlook helps so much.”

Loglisci now has five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She looks forward to the future, which she hopes will include more great-grandchildren.