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At Easterseals, Retired Tuskegee Airman Stays Active

Cicero and Zadi

Cicero Satterfield served during World War II with the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. armed forces.

Today, at 93 years young, he’s “the life of the party” at Easterseals, where he attends an adult day program twice a week and enjoys socializing, dancing and therapeutic activities while receiving clinical care from a professional caregiving team.

Mr. Satterfield also looks forward to activities with the children who attend Easterseals’ child development center under the same roof. He has a great deal of experience with children. He and his late wife Freda raised 12 children of their own, and today his grandchildren and great-grandchildren total an eye-popping 92 -- just shy of how many birthdays he’s celebrated!

“When Cicero comes here, he gives our other clients reason to smile by telling such charismatic stories about his younger days,” says Keith Rouse, Easterseals activities director. “It really raises their spirits. When they see him dancing, they want to dance too.”

Because of his service with the Tuskegee Airmen, Mr. Satterfield has been an honored guest of both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama at the White House, and he had a seat on the steps of the Capitol for each of President Obama’s inaugurations.

“It’s a big part of his identity,” says his daughter, Renee Coates. “He and his fellow airmen are so happy to be finally getting the recognition they deserve.”

Originally from Mississippi, Mr. Satterfield majored in mathematics in college before moving to Washington, D.C., for an accounting position. In 1963, he was on the National Mall during Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and in 1965, he and Freda moved into the house that is still his home today.

Today, Mr. Satterfield’s family is grateful that at Easterseals, he continues to feel vital and valued.

“He really looks forward to coming to Easterseals,” his daughter says. “It makes him feel like he is contributing every day.”

Easterseals offers a Learn about our Senior Services that help seniors live as independently as possible for as long as possible. Contact Easterseals  to learn more about Easterseals Senior Services in your area.

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