NAPLES â€“ If you saw Bill Schlee working out at your gym, you would never guess his age. Bill turned 100 on Jan. 25, 2012.
Since retiring to Naples, Schlee has volunteered with Collier Harvest and now with St. Vincent de Paul Society Naples District Council for the past four years, collecting baked goods from the local Publix for the Meals on Wheels program. When asked why he volunteers, his response is: â€śI am charity oriented.Â I feel like I should do some good for someone who doesnâ€™t have as much as I do.â€ť
Schlee has had a full life. The father of two children, blessed with two grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1943-1946, and saw action during World War II, serving in England, France and Belgium including seeing combat during the pivotal Battle of the Bulge in December 1945. Bill is a recipient of the French Foreign Legion Medal of Honor for participation in the Libration of France.
As a young man, he worked for the Corporate Refinance Company in Chicago, Ill., until duty called. Following his military service, he returned to Corporate Refinance Company for 14 more years. In 1960 Schlee joined the U.S. Treasury Department and remained there until his retirement in 1975.
He moved to Naples in 1982 and served as an usher for 25 years at St. Ann Parish where he still faithfully attends Mass. Schlee works out in a gym three days a week doing cardio and strength training. He credits volunteering, working out, and enjoying life as the secret to his longevity.
Schlee is an example of the dedicated many volunteers who help sustain the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Naples District Council. The Society is a non-profit organization that serves Collier County, providing assistance for rent, utilities, clothing, furniture, food, transportation assistance, burial plots, scholarships and Meals on Wheels to the elderly and infirmed.