2008: Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans
‘I feel fortunate to be an American. Life taught me to give back.”
Ilse Altman believes all of us, especially young people, have a responsibility to make this world a better place.
“Bricks crumble, people grow.”
Dr. Aronson is one of the arts community’s leading angels, having founded along with her late husband, Adam, the Laumeier Sculpture Park.
“I like to keep busy – and if you’re keeping busy you might as well be doing some good some place.”
Willis leads a life of loyalty and activity, from his quarter century as a highly honored member of Kiwanis International to his leadership role as chair of the endowment committee at Affton Presbyterian Church.
“People have heard older adults say, ‘We want more. We have minds…that need stimulation.’ OASIS has filled that kind of a need.”
For over two decades, she has parlayed her intense interest in the people and the world around her into a contemporary issues program at OASIS.
“I never had a day that I didn’t want to come to work”
For the past 60 years Vincent Bommarito has run the finest restaurant in our city, Tony’s.
“I’m doing all this because I am giving thanks to God for the many blessings I have received while enjoying the feeling of helping to make God’s world a better place.”
A longtime nurse, mostly retired, she now helps people through her efforts as a community activist, lobbying in Jefferson City with Congregations Allied for Community Improvement.
“One of the biggest things of my life has been to try to make a difference in the lives of people.”
Carlene spent 37 years as a teacher and now she lends her gifts and talents to a multitude of organizations, including St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors.
“I feel fortunate I have what I have, so I just try to do something for somebody everyday.”
As chair of the Assistance League of St. Louis’ Project ROSE (Raise Our Self Esteem), she heads a committee that provides gift bags of clothing and personal items to abused and battered women in shelters around the region.
“The Good Lord said to love your neighbor, and you sure don’t love him by sitting back and being by yourself.”
Mary’s engaging and perceptive personality, combined with her superb baking skills, make her a favorite at the U.S.O.
“That’s when I am most happy – when I have created something.”
J. Robert is a creative force. His career as an architect, working on mainly residential homes, attests to that
“People come and go, but the flow and understanding of a mission remain the same.”
One of the most active and effective volunteer board leaders in the region, Jim understands the importance of foresight and restraint in board governance.
“Music is very emotional – it will touch something in you, if you’re lucky.
Sometimes it brings back happy memories, sometimes it makes you feel good and sometimes it makes you feel sad. It’s so beautiful.”
Sally has an emotional bond with music, especially opera.
“Life is an adventure. If I can’t make a difference, I don’t want to get involved.”
It can be said that Carolyn Losos has seen and done it all.
“You just don’t know what kind of impact you have, what kind of a need you’re filling. It’s just fun to have one-on-one time with these little kids…that really is a great experience.”
As a volunteer at the Saint Louis Zoo, Gregg can often be found interacting with fascinated visitors, filling them with facts on the long-legged creatures or discussing habitat destruction in the wild.
“Be yourself. Enjoy the successes of others. Having a wonderful family and being in contact with smart people on a daily basis keep you young.”
Dr. Peck is director of the Washington University Center for Health Policy and is the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine, heading up an important research program.
“Many volunteers I have worked with have felt I was a mentor, helping them get going in whatever area they were working in. That’s one reason I’ve always been available…that’s a good feeling.”
Margaret has sustained her love of music by volunteering with a number of institutions that promote the arts and music.
“As long as you’re able to do it, you should be involved.”
As chair of the Saint Louis Symphony’s Gypsy Caravan, Barbara is responsible for organizing a volunteer force in the hundreds, and helping to ensure the success of this annual event. This is just another in a long line of fundraising and special event successes she has orchestrated.
“I have a need to be around people and do things with them. I have the motivation to get up every morning, to come here – and I feel needed.”
Ollie Mae is Executive Director of the Southside Wellness Center, where she has been the driving force for the past three decades.
“If I get the opportunity to work on a real estate deal or help somebody, I’ll do that, and I enjoy that very much.”
Turk’s organization, now known as Colliers, Turley, Martin and Tucker, has brokered or managed many of the largest and most visible properties in the region.
“That’s what our program’s all about: We can touch somebody’s life, somebody who never dreamed that he or she could have that opportunity, give these kids a blessing and give them the education to go forward and become productive citizens.”
Earl Wilson, Jr. is the founder of the St. Louis Gateway Classic Sports Foundation, helping to provide the means for others to succeed.