Why We Give

A Profile Of Frank & Mariann Baker, Cape Albeon Residents

“Ready to find a new home, Dave Nockels began his search.  Little did he know he would find much more than a new place to call home.”

Using his lifetime career and skills as a purchasing agent, he quickly put together a spreadsheet and began visiting and evaluating retirement communities.  Like most, he was concerned about location, costs, the environment and amenities.  As he thinks about his spreadsheet, he fondly remembered that “Cape Albeon was so bright and cheerful, nice wide hallways and good upkeep...and it ranked higher than the others he considered, the residents seemed very content and the staff was friendly as well.”

Not long after moving into his apartment, Dave became actively engaged in the Board of Resident’s Council as President, implementing a new resident photo album and a reception for new residents.  He went about his life at Cape Albeon, welcoming new residents, reaching out to others, participating in Songbirds and attending happy hour and other events at Cape Albeon.

One day, as the story goes, he was introduced to a visitor during happy hour.  They danced.  They dated. Before long they were married at the church down the street and had a wonderful reception at Cape Albeon with all their friends and family.  Sherry became Mrs. Nockels and is now a resident at Cape Albeon.  She and Dave together stepped in to oversee the Songbirds, a group of 30 to 35 residents that sing a variety of songs (over 150 selections)on Monday afternoons and also participate in concerts.  Sherry is on her fourth year as secretary of the Resident's Council and is also responsible for the Library at Cape Albeon.

Within the past year, Dave, who just turned 90, was admitted to the hospital after a fall and needed more assistance than Sherry was able to provide.  After leaving the hospital, Dave was admitted to the Rehabilitation Unit at Brooking Park.  As a resident of Cape Albeon, he was able to transfer directly to the rehab facility at Brooking Park from the hospital.  Sherry recalls, “Although it was an experience we weren’t looking for, it was a good experience.  Everyone was fabulous and outstanding as Dave went through therapy.  Once again our Cape Albeon family was there for us.” 

Dave and Sherry are grateful for Cape Albeon. Their life at Cape is good and they have special friendships, activities, and feel comfortable in their surroundings. They hope others can find this same happiness and have a full life at Cape Albeon.  They support the Friends of Cape Albeon fund which helps their neighbors, friends and other seniors in their Cape Albeon family who need assistance to stay in the place they call home.  Dave and Sherry both understand that seniors are living much longer than they expected.  Dave says , “My religion teaches me to care and take care of others, I’ve seen where help was needed, and I have chosen to help.”

Dave and Sherry are dedicated to their home at Cape Albeon.  They will be the first to introduce themselves and call everyone by name. “Afterall, we are a family here at Cape Albeon.” says Dave.


Why We Give

A Profile Of Frank & Mariann Baker, Willows Residents

“We choose to give to St. Andrew’s because we believe in its mission of empowering people our age.”

It was “meant to be” for Frank and Mariann Baker.  They each grew up and attended college in Iowa and later, they were neighbors in Virginia.  They eventually lost touch and finally, after 30 years and the passing of both of their spouses, they reconnected and were married.

“We moved to St. Louis in 2010, and we were so fortunate to discover The Willows,” said Mariann.  “We couldn’t be happier here.  It is everything we want.  We are close to some of our family members, and two of our grandchildren attend school at nearby Parkway Central Middle and High Schools.  Of course, the friends we have made at The Willows are so important and dear to us.”

Mariann and Frank have lived lives of service both individually and together.  Frank served his country for 26 years in the Army, and attained the rank of a Brigadier General. He also worked in a non-political communications assignment at the White House for four years, spanning the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations.   According to Frank, “Eisenhower and Kennedy were about as different in style as you could get, but both were good leaders.”

A defining moment in Frank’s life was the early death of his son from complications related to Multiple Sclerosis.  This tragedy led to Frank’s involvement as a member of the Board of Directors of the Capitol MS Society in the Washington, DC area.

Mariann is a former elementary teacher and piano teacher, and she worked for 10 years at the Danforth Foundation.  She continues to be active in the community and is the President of the Grace Church United Methodist Women.

Mariann and Frank also believe in the importance of philanthropy.  “We choose to give to St. Andrew’s because we believe in its mission of empowering people our age,” said Mariann.  “We think it is just great the way St. Andrew’s reaches and cares for seniors in all situations,” added Frank.  “The emphasis on helping seniors who have poor health, or who are lonely, or who have no financial resources is so important.  That is why we will continue to support the work of St. Andrew’s.”

Mariann added, “We also like giving to St. Andrew’s in memory of our friends who lived at The Willows and have passed away.  It is our way of remembering and honoring who they were and supporting a mission we love.”

Life will continue to be full for Frank and Mariann.  They have just welcomed their first great-grandchild into the world, and they plan to be involved in her life – as well as continuing to attend their grandchildren’s graduations, weddings, school activities, and sports events when possible.


Why We Give

A Profile of Bill & Eva Ball, Willows Residents

“In many ways, society is failing people who need support. This is why we give to the St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation. More and more people in our age group need financial assistance in order to live where they are and get the care they need.”

Just before his 70th birthday, Bill Ball happened to attend a chamber concert performed by the Sarasota Orchestra Symphony. He was so moved by the performance and was particularly struck by the beautiful play of the principal flautist.

“She played the flute so beautifully that I walked right up to her and asked her if she would consider giving me lessons, and she said yes!”

Now 86, Bill has decided to learn the piano… on his own. He and his wife of 63 years, Eva, have a piano in their apartment that Bill practices on each day. He is especially motivated to build his skills because he belongs to the Willows Piano Club. “We meet monthly and we always try to play a piece for the rest of the club members.” Bill is also involved in making videos and photos of many of the Willows activities as well as being a technical helper on computer problems for many of the residents.

Eva, 87, is a talented person in her own right; although she is quick to point out that her talent lies elsewhere than music. “There was a time when I wanted to be a folk singer. I tried to play the guitar and sing. My little poodle actually covered her ears,” She laughed. “That was when I decided to find a different way of expressing myself.”

Express herself she did… all during the annual talent shows at the Willows;  as Dolly Parton, Ernestine from the old “Laugh In” TV show, Diana Ross, Marlene Dietrich and even Sonny Bono, with Bill at her side as Cher. “I never really performed in front of other people until we moved to the Willows. Because we are among our friends now, I really enjoy it!”

Eva added, “It is such a nice way of doing something you enjoy with people you care about. We really are like a family at the Willows.”

“There is always more to learn,” said Bill. “The Willows gives you the opportunity and encourages you to try new things. For me, that’s the great thing about music. There is always room to improve. Many of my friends pick up instruments that they haven’t touched since high school and it is a way to reconnect with the past to better yourself now and for the future.”

Eva and Bill are also deeply committed to bettering the lives of others. “We believe in the goals of St. Andrew’s,” Bill said. “In many ways, society is failing people who need support. This is why we give to the St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation. More and more people in our age group need financial assistance in order to live where they are and get the care they need.”

This spirit of philanthropy can be traced back to important childhood influences for both Bill and Eva. As an eight year-old girl, Eva and her family left their home in Frankfurt, Germany in 1938 as Adolph Hitler was coming to power. “My father could see what was coming and was wise enough to get us out,” she said. “Our immediate family made it out, but so many of our other family members, we just never heard from them again.”

Bill’s grandparents helped raise him during the years his father was enlisted during World War II. It was their influence on his young life that helped inspire Bill to pursue a degree in engineering at Washington University, a career at Monsanto and eventually a return to Washington University as a faculty member in what was to become a very successful Department of Computer Science.

The Balls are proud parents of a daughter and son and never tire of bragging about their Mizzou Sophomore grandson.

“Although we no longer travel like we once did, we will continue to remain active as we age. We have more to do,” said Eva.

St. Andrew’s is grateful for the Balls and their love of humanity. Bill was recognized by St. Andrew’s in 2012 as one of its “Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans.”