2016: Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans
Donald Berra, 81, retired as President of First Community Credit Union and has devoted his retirement to helping others at home and around the world.
“To live a good life is not to live free of trouble, but to live free of needless worry.”
Donald Boekemeier, 86, continues to volunteer at several community organizations, logging hundreds of hours over the past 20 years.
“I am grateful for all I have been given, and I look for ways to pay it forward.”
Michael Gibbons, Sr., 91, is a true renaissance man from an era of civility that younger generations could stand to emulate.
“Go with the flow. Never Complain.”
Earle Harbison, Jr., 88, made his mark in the business world and still leads through his philanthropic and volunteer activities.
“There’s no substitute for hard work.”
Ann Dinning Houston, 91, continues to sing her way into the hearts and memories of fans throughout the region.
“I hope that I die on a stage with a microphone in my hand.”
Sanford (Sandy) Jaffe, 77, is a successful businessman, volunteer and philanthropist who has a passion for reading, helping entrepreneurs, and caring for families affected by Alzheimers’ disease.
“What’s the worst that can happen?”
At age 77, Jim Kennedy spends much of his time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, helping families improve their lives.
“It makes you feel good to see the smiles of the faces of those you are helping.”
Gail Knoll, 79, continues to run one of the area’s largest floral companies, Walter Knoll Florist.
“Work is rewarding when you’re helping people.”
Kenneth Kolkmeier, 84, was project manager for the Gateway Arch and President of Nooter Construction. Today his leadership and talents benefit the many resident of Bethesda’ Health Group’s communities.
“You feel good when you finish a job and everybody oohs and aahs.”
Earl Lindenberg, 82, has been called “The King of Auctions” for a lifetime spent volunteering and organizing auctions for area nonprofits.
“Always do the right thing, always be open and honest.”
Dr. Mary McFarland, 78, has taught generations of students in the U.S. and abroad, and she remains active as an academic curriculum developer, online coach, and educational consultant.
“Learning is a sign you’re really alive.”
Dr. Peter Raven, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden at age 80, has put St. Louis on the world map as a center for botanical science, research and education.
“I want to keep encouraging people.”
Erma Reid, 80, continues to teach, mentor, and inspire people of all ages with her love of learning and her boundless energy.
“I’m energized by people.”
Ralph Thaman, 80, continues to make a career out of helping others through his work on the St. Andrew’s Board of Directors.
“It’s important to give back, to be involved with organizations like St. Andrew’s that make a positive difference in the lives of so many people.”
Erin Verry, 76, has been the heart of the Institutional Advancement Office at Maryville University for 27 years and counting.
“I’m better when I’m really busy.”
John Walters, 76, retired Assistant Dean of the Washington University School of Medicine, discovered biking at age 60, and still rides miles each month.
“I like the challenge of doing something that’s never been done before.”
Fr. Rod Wiltse, 81 years of age and an Episcopal priest for 56 years, continues doing ministry at the Willows and at Episcopal Churches throughout eastern Missouri.
“Seek God and the God you find may well be a god of your own making. Seek the Truth and you may find God. Be careful when you think you have the truth. Be a seeker!”