Bernice Thompson, 81, was named one of the “100 Most Inspiring St. Louisans” in 2009 by the St. Louis American, and she continues to be an inspiration today. She has remained active in her golden years as a counselor for Agape Christian Counseling, helping individuals and families cope with their challenges and find peace. She also serves as convener of the Congregational Crisis Committee for the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy in St. Louis, which seeks to resolve conflicts and promote social justice. With a master’s degree in social work, she has served thousands of people in crisis as a former director of a mental health agency, addiction counselor, church elder, and professional instructor, always demonstrating her love of God in her work and throughout her full life.
Robert Snyder, 79, has spent the past six years since retiring from a successful accounting career advocating for individuals in long-term care communities as volunteer for the VOYCE Ombudsman Program. He visits long-term care communities at least once a week to identify issues, isolate particular areas of concern, and to skillfully resolve any challenges with compassion and respect for those living in the long-term care community. His knowledge of issues in aging, understanding of his designated long-term care community and passion for others make him an outstanding advocate. Residents have come to rely on him to obtain necessary medical attention, help correct unsafe care conditions and improve their quality of life. Bob also serves on the board of the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging, and chairs the Silver Haired Legislature, which annually advocates for seniors’ needs in Jefferson City.
William Siedhoff, 75, is the former director of Missouri’s Division of Family Services, where he oversaw a 6,000-employee agency delivering critical services statewide. As Human Services Director for the City of St. Louis, he implemented a 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness that was hailed as a national model for moving homeless people into permanent housing. After retiring in 2014, he led a successful tax campaign to fund needed services that allow older adults to age in place in their own homes. Today, he chairs the Senior Service Fund Board and the Advisory Board of the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, helping young and old. Twenty board memberships keep him busy, but as he says, he’s familiar with the problems and committed to making a difference in people’s lives. He continues to provide volunteer and philanthropic support to the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery, the St. Louis Zoo and the Botanical Gardens.
Earl Robert Schultz, M.D., 86, retired in 2006 from private practice as a Neurologist and Psychiatrist after more than forty years, but he continues to impact the lives of thousands of patients and physicians. Dr. Schultz now volunteers at a free clinic in St. Charles helping to meet the health care needs of low-income, uninsured residents. He also devotes time to mentor medical students at Washington University and serves on the Cancer Research Review Board at Missouri Baptist Hospital.
Judith L. Roberts, 81, has served as a 50+ year member of the First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood as a Deacon, Trustee, Elder and as a co-chair of a recent three-year project that included renovation of the chancel. She generously supports a variety of other organizations through her time, talent and financial resources. One outstanding example of her philanthropy is a $50,000 contribution to the Kirkwood School District instrumental music program.
Henrietta Parram, 80, volunteers as a “master gardener” in her North St. Louis neighborhood, creating community gardens, organizing beautification projects and sharing her love of gardening with others. She educates community members on the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and provides hands-on instruction on how to grow food.
Arthur McDonnell, 75, served as a dedicated public servant in the city of Kirkwood for 16 years; 8 years as a city councilman, and 8 years as the Mayor of Kirkwood. Additionally, he is the long-time owner of McDonnell’s Market Place grocery in Kirkwood. Art has received many honors, including the Buzz Westfall Award from the Municipal League and a Kirkwood Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year.
Judy Luepke, 80, a tour guide for a private company, decided to turn her love of St. Louis into a career and make herself available to conduct tours on a freelance basis. Now 50 years later, this Maryville University Alumna still gives tours of the city to various groups and counts in the thousands the number of people with whom she has shared the things she loves best about St. Louis.
Joan Krumrey, 83, & Norman Krumrey, 85, have been married for 59 years and raised five children while both juggled successful careers. Kicking back and relaxing was never an option for this ageless couple when they finally retired several years ago. On any given day, you’ll find them working the information desk in Forest Park, interpreting exhibits at the History Museum, greeting out-of-town visitors at Busch Stadium, or washing laundry at the Room at The Inn.
Ernest Theodore “Ted” Kretschmar, 81, is a graduate of the Naval Academy, a Marine officer, church deacon, and a highly successful businessman. Leveraging the leadership skills gained in those roles, when he finally retired in 2008, Ted helped start and serves on the board of the Focus Marines Foundation, a volunteer-led nonprofit that helps psychologically wounded servicemen transition back into civilian life.