2009: Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans
“With respect to weather and interacting as a teacher, my students and I have a very intimate relationship.”
Professor Abell loves studying the weather so much that he still spends much of his time teaching and forecasting.
“People less fortunate than we deserve our help. You have to get involved with other people. It’s the only way to learn, to get new ideas, and to grow. I learn something from everyone I meet.”
Mel has served as treasurer of The Danforth Foundation for 54 years, giving him a hand in many of the region’s most important projects.
“I feel I am doing a service; I am being useful. I have skills that can help nonprofits, and I don’t want to quit working.”
A life-long volunteer with many organizations, John remains most proud of his past and current involvement with City Academy.
“I love the idea of getting involved with something worthwhile and making it better. And by coincidence, I have come to love jazz, the circus and the theater.”
Through his involvement with Grand Center and arts programs like Circus Flora and Dancing in the Streets, Peter continues to have a positive impact on the boards he serves.
“It’s all about people. I look forward to meeting new people and continuing to learn from them. The days go by awful fast, so you have to enjoy each one.”
Since retiring in 1990, Fred has provided wise counsel, a listening ear and unparalleled good humor and optimism to help thousands in need through Lafayette Industries and Business Persons Between Jobs.
“I have a passion for the things that I do… I’m not the rocking-chair type. To me, history is more than names and dates—it’s the stories of people that we need to preserve.”
The author of four books, Rosemary still volunteers, attends city council meetings, and tutors elementary school children each week.
“I really like to help people who cannot help themselves.”
Annie provides housekeeping services for older adults, helping them maintain their independence.
“Faith is everything. If I didn’t have church, I don’t know what I would do…I also just thank God for giving me a mind that doesn’t ever let me stop being active.”
Whenever the staff of St. Andrew’s of Jennings has a job that needs doing, Marie is always there to lend a hand, willingly and with her signature smile on her face.
“I like to help people, especially young people. I don’t make a big deal about it. I just like what I do and I’m glad I’m able to do it.”
Mary Ann has devoted her life to helping others find beauty, joy and opportunity through her philanthropy.
“I think we shouldn’t think about getting older. Instead, think about improving the quality of life for other people. And be sure to do the things you like and to share them with the people you love.”
“I really enjoy the different personalities and the interaction that I share with them. It makes me never want to give up and moves me forward in my chosen field.”
Ed and Lenore work full time at their design firm, Edwin Pepper Interiors, and volunteer extensively with a host of nonprofit organizations.
“If you’ve got something to offer and it’s going to help humanity, that’s what you’re here to do. If I were to sit back, I wouldn’t think much of myself.”
When he is not working full-time at Sansone Group, the development company he founded, Anthony can usually be found riding his Tennessee Walker, playing golf, or spending time with his eight children, forty-one grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world. When I can help someone out, I get as much out of it as they do. If you’re not happy, we’re not happy. Simple as that.”
As owner of McMahon Ford and four other dealerships in the region, Bill is still hard at work in business and as one of St. Louis’ most dedicated volunteers.
“If you still have a life force, you have to do something. For me, writing is an exploration of the world. If you are confined to your own experiences, you live in a very small world.”
Dr. Schwarz, a Washington University professor emeritus of German, is editing another book and adding to his lengthy list of publications.
“I think all these issues are important because they make a difference in people’s lives. I find working on public policy issues is a productive use of my time.”
Sydell keeps her intellect sharp through her involvement with the League of Women Voters, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Jewish Community Relations Council.
“My dad passed along his philosophy: ‘Of those who have much, much is required.’ How can I not give back to make somebody else’s life enriched?”
Marjorie, a city resident for more than half of her life, devotes her time primarily to education-related organizations.
“I really don’t want to miss walking or miss a Parkinson’s meeting. It’s not like a job. You go there to meet your friends and to be part of what’s going on, and I have always received much more than I have given.”
Jack spends a lot of time on the telephone, providing a sympathetic and understanding ear for members of his Parkinson’s disease support group.
“Remaining active and involved are key to enjoying life as we grow older.”
Albert is a seasoned practitioner of the law and wise counselor. And, as a concerned citizen, he has accepted several political appointments related to community service.
“I really enjoy being with other people and staying active. I’ve never been one to sit and watch the world go by.”
Mildred is a centenarian and still “rocking.” One day each week, she lovingly rocks babies at the University City Children’s Center.
“I’ve never grown up; never accepted the idea that I am growing older.”
Dr. Thalmann is a physician and Professor Emeritus and Lecturer at Washington University specializing in research related to hearing and deafness.
“Keep learning; exercise the mind and the body; and, have a good time.”
Helen stays involved, stays motivated because, she says, it’s so much fun.
“Life, you could say, is a lot like a game of tennis. The score is not all that important. It’s the fact that you play.”
Eugenia has been playing tennis for more than 70 years, and is a long-time competitor and champion in the Senior Olympics.
“This is the calling I have, so I never get tired or bored with it. Being around these young people keeps me going. It’s just a part of my life.”
Alexandra Zaharias still teaches 10 classes each week to aspiring ballet dancers, many of whom have gone on to become outstanding amateur and professional artists.