Sara Stubbins, far right, with other Ozarks HonorFlight volunteers.
How long have you lived in your neighborhood and why do you choose to live there?
I moved here in 1988 from Texas to take a professorship at Missouri State University. I rented first on East Rosebrier. When the owner sold the home, I rented a home on East Greenwood so my children could continue attending Cowden Elementary. When my landlady passed away, her estate sold me the home. I like the neighborhood because of the mature trees and how most of the properties are well kept. My house looks a little different than the rest of the homes on my street; I like that.
What do you do for a living?
I retired in 2012 from the education field after 43 years, 41 of those spent in school libraries. I was a library science professor at MSU for 10 years, then worked overseas as the head librarian in school libraries in Venezuela, Qatar, China and Sudan. Now I’m working part-time for Oxford Healthcare in the accounting department as a support specialist. I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, then moved to Madison, Wisconsin, then ended up in hill country of Texas. I didn’t know that Springfield, Missouri existed, but found the MSU job through the American Libraries Association while interviewing at a conference and decided that Springfield would be a good place for my kids to grow up.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I play the violin. I’ve been to 70 countries, which has been an eye-opener. I think every American should go somewhere they’re not comfortable and stay there for awhile. You’ll find out we’re all just trying to make a living and raise our children. I volunteer a lot now because as a single parent I wasn’t able to give back to my community when my daughters were growing up. I have my afternoons free now, so I’m able to volunteer for my church, First and Calvary Presbyterian, in the Binnie Clements Guild, a women’s group that benefits children’s charities in Springfield. We donated $15,000 to various local children’s causes last year, which was impressive for group as small as ours. I am a volunteer with the HonorFlight of the Ozarks program and was privileged to be a guardian for one of the Veterans August 2018 flight. I also volunteer at CoxSouth and additionally with a group called No One Dies Alone. I have been volunteering for Safe to Sleep (Council of Churches) and with Friends of the Library. In the past I have also volunteered for the Red Cross and the Humane Society and continue to help every once in awhile.
What’s something you’d like to change about your neighborhood, or about Springfield in general?
Sometimes rental properties aren’t kept as well as owner-occupied homes. They’ll have junk in the back, or tall grass. Good, responsible landlords come by and make sure their homes are taken care of while other landlords do not and I think all landlords should be responsible home owners whether they live in the homes or rent them.
Please tell us about your family.
I have two daughters, Debra, 41, and Diane, 39, and I have two grandchildren, Olivia, 7, and Avery, 4.