New Castle News

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April 15, 2013

Family Matters: Edinburg man who has ‘adopted’ care home residents is first Person who Makes a Difference nominee



John is retired on disability after an injury led to the removal of all the vertebrae in his neck. The 1975 New Castle High graduate married Noreen, his high school sweetheart, 35 years ago, after they met when he was a star scorer and rebounder on the Red Hurricane basketball team and she was a member of the dance line. John remains a huge New Castle basketball fan and attends all the ’Canes games.

They are extremely close to their children, Jenna and son Matthew, and grandchildren Imanii Abraham, 4, who is Jenna’s son, and Matthew’s children, Maxwell, who is almost 9, and 2-year-old Madison. Jenna is pregnant with grandchild No. 4, a girl.

While Noreen is at work as a mortgage originator at Huntington Bank, John never is idle.

John’s mother, Margaret Moses, moved into his home when her house burned in November, so he oversees her care as well.

He heads to Cedar Manor as early as 6 a.m., and often is still there at 10:45 p.m., especially when the weather is warm and they all can sit outside. John often has his adorable chatterbox Imanii in tow and, like John, Imanii knows all of the residents by name.

“He took his basketball over with him one day last summer and asked a couple of the ladies who were sitting outside if they knew how to dribble. Before you knew it, they were dribbling the basketball in their chairs,” John said with a wide smile.


John was bothered when he noticed that Cedar Manor didn’t have Christmas lights and decorations, so he brought some of his leftovers and put them up last year. In the summer, he plans to haul his rototiller over to help dig the garden that several of the residents keep.

“If my mother can’t find my dad, she knows where to look,” Jenna said with a chuckle.

“It’s a two-way street,” Abraham said. “If I needed help, I know every one of them would be there in a minute to help me.”

John gets no reward for his actions other than personal satisfaction, but he says that is plenty for him.

“I’m not a rich man, but if I have it, I’m willing to share it,” Abraham said. “What good is life if you can’t do something for someone who has less than you do.

“I figure if I make someone smile, then it’s been a good day.”



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