2003 Honorees: Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans
“Suppose you got up in the morning and didn’t have anything to do? Wouldn’t your life be empty?”
Sister Bernard Marie Boland literally blooms at the age of 100. Sister creates lovely pressed flower greeting cards that delight others and provide funds for charity.
“My idea of heaven would be a ball game every day in the hereafter with the best players playing in their prime.”
The author of 20 sports books and former Post-Dispatch sports editor, Bob is THE sports authority and perhaps the greatest fan.
“It’s important to have affirmation, to be respected and appreciated, no matter what your age.”
Marty is an entertainer for whom retirement is not an “entertaining” alternative.
“Wisdom and experience are our greatest gifts.”
As past president and ongoing historian for the St. Louis Association of Colored Women Ruby shares her knowledge of the organization and the black experience.
“There is so much that older people have to offer; so many gifts they can pass on to younger people”
After an outstanding career in hospital administration, Sister Betty elected to skip retirement and continue serving others.
“We’re not necessarily expected to do great things. Do the little things that you can for other people; that is what is important.”
Mrs. Burns visits friends who are ill, prepares meals for others, chauffeurs and shops for those who can no longer drive and puts her heart into everything she does.
“You’re so busy when you’re younger, you don’t have time to reflect on relationships with other people. As you get older, you realize how important those relationships are.”
An investment broker and long-time Rotarian, Howards works part-time for Stifel Nicolaus & Company and supports Rotary’s programs for disadvantaged children and nursing school students.
“I’ve come to understand that it is our responsibility as human beings to help one another. It’s a God-given blessing that we have the ability to give back, to help other people.”
Frank is the “wheels” for Wheels for the World, an organization that collects refurbished wheelchairs for disabled people who are disadvantaged.
“As we grow older, it is important to work at keeping life meaningful; to be full of sap and very green.”
Patricia’s novel, Sap and Green People, is the inside story of retirement community residents, their joys, challenges and lifestyle.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that many people aren’t ready to retire at 65. We still have so much to offer.”
Dr. Flance is now practicing urban renewal. He heads a Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation program to revitalize the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood.
“I retired, got bored and returned to work part-time; it was the right answer for me.”
Dr. Fries retired after 32 years as chief of radiology at St. Anthony’s Medical Center, found retirement boring and went back to work at St. Louis University Hospital.
“It just doesn’t occur to me to switch gears and ‘sit down.’ I prefer to keep moving.”
Reverend Evlyn Fulton admits to being a Type A personality with no tolerance for indiscriminate relaxation.
“I’ve never considered myself a very wise person; but I think I have a very young soul.”
Mrs. Gerdine’s is an ardent and ongoing support of St. Louis’s cultural institutions, including the Symphony and Opera Theatre.
“We have to keep going, to make a difference. It’s not beneficial to simply mark time.”
As pastor of Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church, Rev. Gillespie has restored the congregation and leads the way in revitalizing the neighborhood through anti-drug efforts, programs for youngsters, a food pantry, and housing for seniors.
“I never want to really retire. I want to keep doing things until I’m gone because there is so much to be done.”
Marvin uses his experience in the grocery business to secure food donations for Operation Food Search, which feeds thousands of people in Missouri and Illinois.
“There are a lot of different ways to be active and to help people. You find your little niche and do what you can.”
A librarian for many years, Mrs. Graham continues to do historical research and develop research and referencing techniques.
“Be involved. I don’t believe in sitting back and letting the grass grow.”
Many call her “Peg of Our Hearts.” Margaret – Peg – Grigg is close to the hearts of everyone who enjoys St. Louis’s cultural institutions.
“With age comes wisdom, an understanding of the past, and a deep appreciation for the future.”
Whitney holds a place in history. Part of the post-World War Two legal staff that prosecuted German war criminals at the Nuremberg trials, he later wrote Tyranny on Trial. The Evidence at Nuremberg.
“Smell the roses and listen to good music; share with others and do your best to spread a little joy."
With the stamina of a dancer, the dedication of a volunteer, and a mother’s love, Jean devotes herself to others.
“Seniors have the gifts of knowledge and experience to share.”
Tom retired from the corporate world and began a new calling within the religious community.
“If there is something for you to do and you’re exuberant about it, you’re going to do it.”
After decades of playing the organ, including the Fox Theatre’s mighty Wurlitzer, Stan is considered the premier theater organist.
“I wanted to make a suit so fine that a man would pay $5,000 for it, but also shake my hand and be happy about it.”
Both in their 80s, each weekday you will still find them at their tailor shop creating the finest suits and clothing.
“I have compassion for people who are in need, and so, I do what I can.”
Ms. Kendall reads to children in a Head Start program, conducts Bible study at a home for unwed mothers, teaches Sunday school, and regularly visits friends in need.
“We have to continue to exercise our minds, our bodies and our skills, or all will fade away.”
Mary was a reporter and editor for the Globe-Democrat and the Post-Dispatch before retiring to write fifteen books and to do freelance writing.
“If I don’t work, I don’t feel I can relax. I like being busy, being involved.”
Walter has no intention of retiring from the aroma of fresh cut flowers, the beauty of blooming plants and the pleasure they bring to people.
“We all have the same goals. We want to be respected, to feel we’re contributing, that we’re needed.”
For Des, philanthropy is “an exciting journey of hope.”
“There is no greater gift we can give than ourselves and what we have learned over the years.”
An accomplished pianist, organist, and choir director she shared her music with everyone.
“We only have a certain amount of time on this earth. We need to spend it developing relationships with the people we love and doing what we can to help others.”
This highly successful Chevrolet dealer is a super salesman for worthy causes.
“I think if you just sit at home, it makes you old.”
Helen has touched the short, sweet lives of millions of doughnuts, but has no intention of hanging up her apron.
“Someday we want to be able to look back and think that we’ve made a difference.”
Concerned about a decline in integrity and ethics among young people, the McDonnells created CharacterPlus, a character education program now offered in 440 schools.