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96-Year-Old Volunteer Brightens Days of All He Serves in Minnesota

People who spend time with Frank Klauda should consider themselves lucky.

The 96-year-old volunteer was born in Austria in 1924 and immigrated to the United States in 1949. He came to Rochester in 1957 as an electronic engineer and former radio technician, transferred by IBM to their new Minnesota facility.

Frank says he started volunteering in the community shortly after he arrived, and more than 50 years later he has no plans to stop coming in to volunteer every Tuesday and Thursday.

“The whole idea of helping others — I’m impressed by that concept,” Frank says. “Every time I’ve been able to help somebody, it brightens my day and it’s a driving force for me in my volunteer work.”

According to Frank, the kind words of appreciation, compliments and handshakes he receives from patients are all the thanks he needs, saying that gratitude is “rent” paid forward to brighten the day of the people he meets. Helping others and bringing joy to their lives are the reasons for his volunteer work, and it is that joy that drives him to follow the advice he was given when he first came to Rochester.

“Someone once told me, ‘You have to pay rent to your city with public service’,” Frank says. “Since 1962 I have followed that advice, and I am still paying my rent.”

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