Ageless Honorees - 2013
It is hard to imagine anyone doing the same job for 72 years, especially when that job is teaching young children. It is harder still to realize that Marjorie Allen is still at it at age 96, substituting at the local elementary school when needed and volunteering wherever she can. An avid gardener, baker and church member, Marj also exercises regularly and is a frequent participant in UMSL’s Gerontology Program. Above all, she remains true to herself and her values... the perfect example of successful, productive aging!
Sr. Mary Ann Eultgen, SCC
You do not say “no” to Sr. Mary Ann Eultgen, SCC. Many have tried, but few ever succeed. As a Board member with St. Vincent Home for Children, she regularly seeks out donations for their auction, usually dropping off boxes full of donated gifts each week. She once approached a small company that claimed they had nothing to donate. She left their offices with their brand new vacuum cleaner, which was auctioned off for retail price. At age 80, this Sister of Christian Charity has also traveled three times to Costa Rica in recent years to help set up specialist medical clinics in impoverished areas. Her luggage is filled with all sorts of supplies and treats for the children there, gathered, of course, through her charming but persistent manner.
Throughout its history, Gerber Chapel in Webster Groves has been known as a small funeral home providing very personalized and compassionate service. That reputation starts with 83-year-old Don Gerber, who purchased the business in 1961 and has been a beloved fixture in the community ever since. An unassuming gentleman, Don also generously supports local causes, from Crisis Nursery (for whom he serves as a celebrity waiter), the Salvation Army (he’s the one ringing the bell), the Lion’s Club, the Webster Chamber of Commerce, and many others. He is also a gold medal swimmer at the annual Senior Olympics. A past Citizen of the Year in Webster, Don remains one of that community’s most beloved leaders.
If you want to be amazed, go to Youtube and search for Elizabeth Herring on her 83rd birthday twirling upside down and spinning on an aerial trapeze. A former Ringling Brothers’ circus performer — her act included being picked up in an elephant’s mouth — Elizabeth still prides herself on her strength, agility and sense of adventure. She now shares those ideals with young women in local detention centers, teaching them skills that give them self esteem and confidence. At the rate she’s going, one can only wonder what’s in store for her 90th birthday party.
When Anita Hockett retired in 1995 from a career spanning 41 years as a Registered Nurse, she wasn’t quite ready to walk away from a lifetime of experience and skills. “I wanted to do something meaningful with my days,” she says. She has done that and more, helping to open Volunteers In Medicine, a free medical clinic in St. Charles, and continuing to serve as the Clinical Director there. In her new role, the 79-year-old coordinates the work of more than 60 volunteer doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. She annually manages day-to-day operations, acquires supplies, and supports fiscal and fundraising operations. “It would be tough to find something equally rewarding,” she explains.
Barry Hyatt, 79, is a national award winning jewelry designer, an accomplished musician and a well-regarded actor in the St. Louis community. Known for the innovative designs he created at his Plaza Frontenac jewelry shop for more than 20 years, he still works six days a week at his newest shop in Creve Coeur. He also donates his time as associate music director of the Moolah Shriners Community Band, conducting and playing lead trumpet. Plus, Barry is active in local community theater, appearing in more than 50 plays. He was even selected to appear as the face and voice of “The Old Man in the Tree Stump” in Magiquest’s interactive role-playing game found in Great Wolf Lodge amusement parks across the country.
Deacon James Joiner
Deacon James Joiner, 84, has been a Teamster, a shop steward, a union trustee, a professional photographer and a Special Forces operative in the armed forces. But his legacy will likely be his work for the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, where he volunteers full-time as Community Relations Director. Under his guidance, the church has purchased properties, built new housing for seniors and others, established senior service programs, solidified its fiscal policies and procedures, and become an anchor in North St. Louis. Ever humble, Deacon Joiner deflects the credit, but his contributions and his importance to the church and the community speak for themselves.
Dr. Charles Kilo
While serving as a young Air Force meteorologist and intelligence officer in Iran, Charles Kilo witnessed how one doctor could make a huge difference for the local population. Returning home, he attended Washington University Medical School, and he has been making a huge difference for millions of Americans ever since. As a clinician, researcher and founder of the Kilo Diabetes and Vascular Research Foundation, Dr. Kilo is a pioneer in the treatment of diabetes, and cardiovascular and neurological complications. Through his work, he demonstrated that controlling blood sugars was the key to managing this disease. Since 1972, the Foundation has raised $19 million for research, education and patient care. Although he is now 86, he plans to keep working and raising money until a cure is found. It would be wrong to bet against him.
Rosalyn “Rosie” Kling
For a woman who has dined with presidents, mingled with ministers and celebrated with senators, Rosalyn “Rosie” Kling is remarkably humble and reserved. As the wife of the late S. Lee Kling, Rosie traveled the world, sharing her husband’s passion for social issues and political causes. Described by a friend as “one of the most kind and generous people you will ever meet,” With Rosie’s assistance the Kling Family Foundation, continuing its efforts to make the world, and St. Louis, a better place. Rosie has a deep passion for animals finds time to care for a gaggle of animals, including a dog, a cat, an appaloosa horse and her neighbor’s pet turkey, Urkel.
Ken Kranzberg credits his wife, Nancy, with getting him involved with everything. A lot of organizations are grateful to her, as he has used his business knowledge and generous spirit to support hundreds of arts, education and cultural groups. At age 76, the CEO of TricorBruan Industries, the largest company of its kind in the world, currently spends his time helping Grand Center, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Old North St. Louis, the Jewish Federation, and the Anti-Defamation League, among many, many more organizations. His legacy of community involvement and collaboration will have a lasting and positive impact on St. Louis.
Fritzi Lainoff first participated in a civil rights protest at the age of 14. Sixty-nine years later, she’s still a vocal advocate for those in need and those less fortunate. On any given day, Fritzi can be found writing letters about environmental issues to state and national legislators, organizing groups of older adults to lobby for senior rights in Jefferson City, or helping with a Back to School clothing fair for more than 1,100 underprivileged children. A Board member with the National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section and chair of the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging’s Silver Haired Legislators, she brings a high level of energy and commitment to everything she does, proving that anyone, at any age, can and should make a difference.
Stephen N. Limbaugh
The Hon. Stephen N. Limbaugh served as a federal judge in St. Louis for 25 years, retiring when his son was appointed to the bench in Southeast Missouri. Not one to slow down, however, he soon joined the Armstrong Teasdale law firm, where, at age 85, he continues to work five days a week on litigation, arbitration and mediation cases. He also finds time to study history, give frequent patriotic talks to groups and businesses around town, raise funds for legal service groups, and even keep up a regular game of tennis. Given that his father continued to practice law until age 104, we can expect we’ll be hearing a lot more from this dedicated and distinguished defender of the law.
Irwin “Irv” Shayne
Irv Shayne studied engineering and helped introduce radar technology to the military during World War II. After a career at McDonnell Douglas, someone suggested he take his analytical skills to the investment field. “He told me I’d be good because I know how to talk to people,” Irv explained. Now, four decades later at age 88, Irv still works 5-6 days a week, analyzing data, identifying trends, and helping his clients meet their financial goals. After walking home from work, he’ll often play the trumpet or help his wife with a charitable cause. He admits he doesn’t really think about tomorrow, probably because he’s too busy doing what he loves today.
Throughout her 25-year career as an elementary school teacher and reading specialist, Harriet Spilker impacted the lives of thousands of young learners. Now 77 and retired from teaching, she continues to impart a love of learning and excitement to children as a volunteer tutor with the OASIS intergenerational tutoring program. She’s also embarking on her own educational exploration, enrolling in Lifelong Learning classes at Washington University. “I enjoy exploring new ideas and activities,” she explains. “It’s all about setting goals for yourself. Then get up and get going.” Now that’s a lesson plan for success.
At age 81, Roger Stueckel still has the desire to be involved and lead people to success. Having founded and led three successful companies, he now uses his many talents to help plan and lead golf tournaments, casino nights and other events to raise much-needed funds for St. Andrew’s and Brooking Park. Roger also enjoys cooking, boating at the Lake of the Ozarks, and playing golf several times each week. Now a mainstay at The Willows, Roger is also known as a dedicated friend and “fill-in husband” there, always willing to help other residents with odd jobs and other last minute needs. “He is,” says one resident, “a true friend and a gentleman.”
Peggy Symes has a passion to make the world a better place. A full-time property manager, part-time real estate broker and estate planner at age 75, she still finds time to serve on dozens of nonprofit boards and committees, including St. Andrew’s. As Town & Country’s Mayor in the 1990s, she set an example for the type of leadership and commitment we expect from our elected officials. Today, she rarely says no to an organization or a cause, as long as she feels she can make a difference. Whether it’s senior services, education, literacy, the arts, children’s causes, or politics, it’s clear the world is a better place thanks to Peggy’s involvement.
Dr. Mary Tillman, 78, calls herself “the last of her breed.” She’s a pediatrician who made house calls most of her career, a teacher who trained hundreds of medical students, a homemaker who cooks three meals every day for her family, a volunteer and a philanthropist. Nevertheless, she’s always looking for something more to do. Since retiring from her medical practice in 2011, Dr. Mary devotes much of her time to her church and to the various chartable causes of her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta. She also exercises 30 minutes each day, and she recently recorded an instructional video to teach young mothers about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. “I’m not happy unless I’m busy,” she says.
Any history of jazz in St. Louis has to include Jeanne Trevor, whose talents have taken her from the nightclubs of Gaslight Square to the stage at the Muny and the elegance of Powell Symphony Hall. A versatile musical performer, Jeanne’s stage credits include roles in Annie, Evita, Les Miserables, The Producers, Showboat and Kiss Me Kate, among many others. She is listed in the St. Louis Jazz Hall of Fame and, last year, was honored on Ferguson’s Wall of Fame. Still actively touring and planning another CD recording, Jeanne also enjoys educating children about music. “It’s just in my DNA,” she says. “I love everything about my life.”
When Dr. Edwin Wolfgram was age 48, he admits he could not even run to the end of the block. Thirty-three years later, he has participated in 10 World Triathlon Championships, bringing home the gold for his age group in 2003. A practicing clinical psychiatrist, Ed makes time to work out for at least 2½ hours a day, six days a week, incorporating running, swimming, biking, yoga, Pilates and weight lifting into his regiment. “I do best when I’m busy,” he explains. “I’m really average, but I work hard at it, which allows me to excel.” The author (with his wife) of It’s Never Too Late: Dr. Ed Wolfgram's Book of Fitness, the good doctor is living proof that anyone can improve their health and fitness, at any age.