Charles E. Smith

Life Communities

Meet Lee

A Positive Attitude Takes on All Challenges

Meet Lee HildrethRevitz House resident Lee Hildreth, sporting a ponytail, moved to our campus in 2011 when a struggle with blindness posed special difficulties with daily living. In so many ways, he's an inspiring role model for anyone challenged by physical disability: he remains upbeat and enjoys a wide range of activities in his new life.

Born in the D.C. area in 1949, Lee was successful professionally before he retired. He began working while still a teenager to help support his large family, one that included ten siblings. His first job was with a roofing company; he then moved on to property management in the Pittsburgh area. Eventually, he started his own business, an extermination company, and earned a Consumers Checkbook “#1-ranking” in the Washington area. Beyond work, Lee devoted time to volunteering, focusing on helping the less fortunate. Today he proudly displays his volunteer awards on a living room wall, including one from the Alleghany Chamber of Commerce for the role he played as president of a local Food Bank. When Lee returned to the Washington area, he took a job managing a warehouse. To his credit, regardless of the employer, Lee was a wizard at attracting new business, proving that even without a high school diploma, he was capable of achieving high goals through hard work and determination.

Lee began experiencing visual problems soon after returning to the D.C. area and ultimately required surgery for glaucoma. Because he is legally blind in both eyes, he’s unable to live on his own, thus necessitating his move to Revitz. Lee demonstrates on a daily basis that blindness is not going to hold him back; indeed, he was able to adjust and learn to navigate his way around Revitz House in less than a month. He feels very safe in his new environment, something that he explains is especially important for someone who is visually handicapped.

Lee is grateful that he has so many people around him who offer to help him out, in the same way that he was able to help others in his life. In fact, Lee still continues to help others, volunteering in the Revitz dining room twice weekly. As someone who enjoys socializing, He takes advantage of what Revitz House has to offer activity-wise, including bingo. For this, a special braille bingo card is a big asset! He also loves music, especially country, and sports (he's a big Nats fan).


[Note: Summer intern David Wolf takes credit for this 2012 interview.]


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