2004: Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans
“Life should always be an adventure, no matter what your age.”
Gene has for more than half a century, led and directed numerous high profile companies and is a benefactor to scores of charitable, cultural, scientific and educational organizations and institutions.
“It’s important to keep active in doing the things you enjoy.”
Elizabeth’s warm smile and infectious enthusiasm are familiar to everyone at Tyler Place Presbyterian Church and Tower Grove Manor.
“Being active when you’re older doesn’t mean just being busy. It means doing what you truly enjoy.”
Two days each week, Ruth shares herself with other seniors who are housebound or isolated.
“No matter your age, it’s important to live a healthy lifestyle, stay mentally active and associate with other people.”
Dr. Freeman is an active member of the Urban League Block Unit program in his long-time neighborhood along Penrose Street.
“If you’re sitting in a rocking chair and enjoying it, you just don’t get it.”
An active volunteer and supporter of several causes, Mae’s main focus is education. A former teacher and forever a mom, Mae says age will never sway her resolve and efforts.
“No one can ever guess my age correctly; I tell them and they don’t believe it. The key, I think, is staying physically and mentally active.”
After retiring from a distinguished medical career in China and the U.S., Dr. Fu serves as an interpreter for Chinese immigrants in the St. Louis area.
“For good music, there is no age restriction. It is therapeutic, stimulating, soothing, inspiring – whatever we need it to be.”
Beautiful music surrounds Katja. She has shared music history, theory, and piano with thousands of young musicians and adds hundreds more to the list each year.
“Working to help other people is always a great inspiration, regardless of age.”
Dr. Karl is a research professor of medicine in the Division of Metabolism at Washington University. She is considered both an expert and an inspiration in her field with an indomitable spirit and an intense desire to improve the human condition.
“As they say, ‘If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.’ That’s one of the reasons I’m always on the go.”
Melton is much experienced in the ways of the law. Now his main focus is Elderly Law. He assists other seniors with their legal rights, wills, probate -- any legal matter that affects mature lives.
“I’m not necessarily qualified to tell other people to stay active and involved. I just know doing so makes life so much more interesting.”
Lee, the former chair and CEO of Laclede Gas, recently attained a doctorate of philosophy – in American history and literature. Earning a Ph.D. is something he always wanted to do.
“If you stand still you get planted. We have to keep moving.”
For more than 30 years, Lucy has devoted herself to the St. Louis community; to its arts and education institutions, and to its young, and often, most vulnerable members.
“As we grow older, it’s important to look for opportunities, for those things we can and want to do; and we can’t be afraid to try.”
Ed is a Hall Of Famer and sports authority who shared the microphone with the likes of Jack Buck.
“No matter our age, there is always so much more to learn. We need to keep our minds active, be interested in other people, and continue to use our talents.”
After a long, distinguished practice in internal medicine, Dr. Magee only semi-retired.
“I enjoy working with people. It’s a wonderful way to keep both mind and body active.”
For Anna - home, family, and community weave together her work and volunteer activities.
“These are things I enjoy. Staying busy, being with people, making a little bit of a difference in people’s lives.”
A long-time resident of St. Andrew’s of Jennings, Aldine is the culinary heart of the senior community.
“The busier you are, the better you are, the happier you are.”
Helen has been a volunteer and active participant at the Bridgeton Community Center, doing everything from helping with the center’s newsletter to assisting with its many youth, family and senior activities.
“To me, this is heaven on earth, being able to create and enjoy. And, you know, we don’t all have to be professional artists to do that.”
The good works of Brother Mel are everywhere. He is a sculptor, a painter, an artist whose work can be found throughout St. Louis and around the country.
“Age is not a factor when it comes to helping others. There are worlds of things to do and so many people who need us.”
Ignoring the idea of retirement is nothing new to Bea. After returning to school at age 60 to become an LPN, and graduating with top scores, she recruited one of her instructors to be an AARP volunteer.
“Public service is an excellent way to stay involved and to use your time in doing good in the community.”
Mike is a believer – in the human spirit and in doing good for the community. The retired Anheuser-Busch executive has never retired from being involved.
“My best advice for other seniors: Get involved. It’s so rewarding and you’ll find you’re needed everywhere.”
Eugenia serves as a volunteer intake worker at Feed My People, where she listens sympathetically to potential recipients’ needs and connects them to appropriate services.
“Staying busy and helping other people - that’s the secret to staying young at heart.”
For Norma a painful personal experience prompted many years of volunteering and involvement in community organizations. She’s been a volunteer for 20 years – logging more than 20,000 hours – at Barnes Jewish Hospital.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than sharing your talents and gifts with other people.”
A classically trained vocalist with Broadway performances to her credit, Nance coaches 50 young singers each week. After a long career on KSDK-TV performing as the beloved Corky the Clown and serving as the station’s weatherman, Clif still contributes to the communications and performance industries.
“Being involved and enjoying the learning experience is the key to enriching your life at any age.”
A good friend and supporter of St. Louis cultural institutions, her award-winning efforts are carried out with affection and a desire to enrich St. Louis culturally.
“Keep going in whatever you like; whatever gives you and others joy and satisfaction.”
To Sister Leo Rita Volk, all of life is beautiful and fascinating. From the tiniest life fragments to giant human-constructed monuments, they are all a source of wonder for this Franciscan Sister of Mary.
“Every night, before you go to bed, check your calendar to make sure there is something on it for the next day.”
At Cape Albeon, Walter plans programs and ensures everyone receives birthday and get well cards, and, perhaps most important, he is a friendly presence for current and new residents, helping them feel welcome and at home.