90-year-old Goodwill Ambassador

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Some weeks I really scramble to find someone to feature for my News 3 Neighbors story. That was the case this week, until I realized a perfect candidate was right under my nose.

We’ve all had our spirits lifted by something as simple as a smile and a kind word. Those are actions that can be exhibited by young and old alike. Take Roy Waller for instance. He’s a World War II veteran who just moved to Columbus in January. He’s having to adjust to a new home and a new way of life after losing his wife of almost 70 years last November. Despite being new to the area though, he rarely meets a stranger.

“I like to treat other folks just like I want to be treated, and that’s the way I try to do them,” says Roy Waller. “If I can help somebody by speaking to them or something, that’s what I  want to do.”

Roy is always very complimentary to his server when eating out, causing many to blush when he tells them how pretty they are.

“It don’t cost nothing to be friendly,” says Waller.  “And that’s what I want to be. I believe that’s what the Lord wants you to be.”

After paying someone a compliment, he will often add, it didn’t cost a penny to make that person feel a little better. If there’s one sure magnet for his attention, its children. He’ll migrate to a buggy with babies or toddlers in a heartbeat and strike up a friendly conversation with their parents. One of his favorite pastimes is playing with his great-grandson Micah who is four.

“Of course I’m 90 years old and when I’m around somebody like Micah, I feel like I’m about his age, you know,” says Waller.

Roy puts into practice the words of an old Glen Campbell song, try a little kindness. And Roy says that’s easy for him to do.

“It comes natural for me because I enjoy people. I sure do,” says Waller.

As a matter of full disclosure, Roy Waller is my father-in-law.

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