2013 Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging
2013 Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging
The Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging is an annual event that started in 2011. Nominations are taken April thru July of each year. Winners are honored at the annual Optimal Aging Luncheon held in the Fall. Nomimees must be 85 years of age or older and should exemplify someone who is making the most of whatever their later years bring and continues to love life. All nominees who attend the annual luncheon are recognized. Starting in 2012 nominations were expanded to two separate categories, individuals and couples.
2013 Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging Nominees
View all of our photographs from the luncheon at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/88011463@N04/sets/72157635885622115/
...AND THE WINNERS ARE:
Lucile B. Leggett, 94
Nominated by Mayor Greg Fischer
At the age of 94, Lucille Leggett walks and uses the TARC bus system to make her rounds to various events all over Louisville on a daily basis. She is often seen walking from her house to events with a smile on her face to perform various civic duties and participate in volunteer events. She is a model citizen and exemplifies the meaning of fulfilling one’s civic duty as an avid grassroots contributor. She has been involved in 15 different mayoral campaigns, and helped a number of other officials get elected in Louisville over a 60-year period. All the while she has encouraged, and continues to encourage all Louisvillians to vote and volunteer in their city. She is a retired Jefferson County Public School teacher where she served 25 years, is active with Operation Brightside, and participates in various beautification efforts across Louisville. She has been a resident of the Russell neighborhood for over 60 years. During that time, she has dedicated her time and efforts to bettering her community. She still mentors youth, has served as an active member of the NAACP, and recently played an active role in re-opening the Parkland Boys and Girls club. Ms. Lucile Leggett is still “kicking her heels up” as the oldest dance team member of the Oak & Acorn Dance Team, which dances all over the city. Recently she boogied with her fellow teammates at the Universoul Circus when it was in Louisville.
Tom Moffett, 89
Nominated by Constant Merritt, MSSW
Soni Castleberrry, Christian Care Center
Tom Moffett moved to Chapel House a couple years ago, partially to be closer to bus lines to enhance his ability to go where he needed. No longer driving, he wanted to be sure he could maintain his active usual routines. One staff person said that although Tom participates in some of our events and has initiated some, mostly folks see him in full stride going toward the bus stop, protest sign in hand, out to demonstrate. After a short course of physical therapy in his late 80s, Mr. Moffett decided that he needed to do more to improve and maintain his fitness, and decided to join the downtown YMCA. He joins one of his nominators and a fellow Christian Care Center resident for Saturday walks in Central Park. His spryness at 89 is a testament to the fact he has always been someone who is out and about, seemingly with untiring energy. Mr. Moffett has a long history of civic engagement and activism. He was active in Louisville's Fair Housing movement and has been an active member of the Kentucky Alliance to Abolish Racism and Political Oppression on whose board he served until recently. Mr. Moffett is a tireless advocate for racial justice and universal, single-payer healthcare. Over the last few months he has attended a symposium on the school-to-prison pipeline hosted by the Ali Center and participated in and recruited others to attend a Civil Rights tour of Louisville. Mr. Moffett's lifelong commitment to social and economic justice is praiseworthy and inspiring. Tom reaches out to others in need. In today’s society, where social media is commonplace, Tom also has a Facebook presence and over 200 friends. Perhaps most interesting is how this 89-year-old man is so well-respected by the young people he has come to know through his many activities as well as those older folks he has known for decades.
Elmo and Martha Martin
Nominated by Anthony Martin, MD
At the age of 85, Elmo and Martha Martin are a team, true partners in life and role models of health and maintaining vitality and activity.
Elmo Martin, 85
Elmo Martin demonstrates good physical health in a number of ways. He exercises regularly at the YMCA at least 5 days a week to maintain good cardiovascular health. That is only a beginning; he maintains a farm for a hobby and grows a large garden every year providing family and friends with fresh corn, tomatoes, green beans and other vegetables. He and his wife of over 50 years go square dancing every Friday night. Elmo spent 35 years in the Army Reserve retiring as a Colonel. He is active in the ROA (Reserve Officer's Association) and the Association of the Century (supporting the 100th Division-a KY based unit with a long history of service). He is a retired school administrator for the Jefferson County Public Schools and served as a volunteer administrator for years after retirement mentoring new school principals as they were still new to the job. He continues to go to Middletown Elementary School helping with various projects at the school. When he goes to Middletown Elementary to volunteer he takes candy and quizzes the students on math problems (grade level appropriate), the kids enjoy the rewards for answering correctly. He is a season ticket holder for University of Louisville football, Men's and Women's basketball rarely missing a game and helping other people his age to attend by driving another couple to the events. A lifelong Baptist, he frequently teaches Sunday School and never misses a Sunday at church.
Martha Martin, 85
Martha exercises daily, going to the YMCA each morning and then frequently follows that with an evening walk. She works on the farm, helping to pick vegetables and cans and or freezes the vegetables so that the food can be enjoyed year-round. Martha has volunteered for years at Ronald McDonald House helping to host families who have children in the hospital. She volunteers for meals on wheels, driving meals to people who can't get out and do their own grocery shopping. She has organized bingo games on Monday nights at a local nursing home/assisted living center. She helps to preserve traditional dance by square dancing every Friday night. She is active in a retired school teacher group that meets regularly for coffee and conversation. She attends all UofL football and basketball games (both men and women). She regularly attends church, is a lifelong Baptist, and teaches in Bible School during the summers. She is the glue that holds the family together; she organizes the holiday events, often doing the cooking for up to 20 family members.
Congratulations to the winners and the nominees.
There were over 50 nominees for the 2013 Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging.
We have respected the wishes of some of our nominees to remain anonymous.
2013 Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging Nominees
Mary Albert, 85
Mary maintains an active lifestyle from daily walks with her dog, to her weekly tai chi classes. Mary regularly participates in Miralea's (Masonic Home) physical activities, such as strength class, tai chi, and water aerobics. Mary is currently Vice President of the PEO, which raises money for women's education. She is also the Docent in the Speed Docent Council, has been Chair in the past, and serves on the transition committee. In the past, she has also volunteered with the Louisville Zoo, Speed Art Museum, and Chenoweth Elementary as a tutor. Mary is positive, encouraging, inspirational, motivating and creative. She collaborates with others to find a happy medium and is constantly looking to help improve anything and everything. Mary is a definite go-getter and is certainly an inspiration.
Adele Andrisen, 99
She loves staying fit and attributes her exercise habits to one of the reasons she is so healthy and active. With nearly a century of experience under her belt, she still lives life with zest and loves to workout, crochet, and volunteer in the community. Adele used to volunteer as a receptionist at Atria Elizabethtown. She also previously volunteered at Hardin Memorial Hospital. She helps out at Feeding America once a week as she loves to stay involved and give back to others. Volunteering has been an important part of her entire life. Being very good at knitting and crocheting, Adele decided to share her talents with others. She leads a knitting and crocheting club in the community, where she uses her patience and skills to teach others how to create. Active, spry, sweet, involved and spiritual very some of the words I'd use to describe this amazing woman. She is the picture of what it means to age with grace, and continues to live each day with love and compassion.
Russell Avery, 92
Mr. Avery began walking around the community track path several times a day, capping at 1.25 miles, and now several residents go with him. He has inspired others to join his healthy habits and is a joy to be around. He loves helping people, and has compiled a book of religious stories to share with others. He loves discussing faith, life and sharing his very well-written and well-documented life stories with other people. He's lived a life of service and gratitude, and is extremely humble. Mr. Avery is a gifted writer and has written his own autobiography. He attends bible study weekly, and has written 19 religious articles that he shares with other people in hopes of inspiring them or joining them on their journeys of faith. A wood worker for over 40 years, he used trees from his family farm to make beautiful furniture and gift it to others. He is a brilliantly gifted carpenter, although he no longer has the space or opportunity create the tables, cabinets and other items. He is truly remarkable and very humble about his talents. Russell Avery is an amazing man, and the fact that he is 92 is just a detail. He is humble, sweet, grateful and the very picture of optimal aging. He lives each day to the fullest, reflecting on his blessings, and goes out of his way to stay active, connect with others, and share his love for life.
Julia Claire Thomason Baker, 88
Julia walks her 110 lb. German Shepherd every day, mows her own grass and then practices chipping golf balls in the back yard while the dog retrieves them for her. She loves gardening, both flower and vegetables. She also loves to share the bounty of her vegetables with friends and neighbors. She still drives and, up until six years ago, rode horses. Though she must have a magnifying glass or large print books, Julia is an avid reader. She does her own house work enjoys a tidy, well organized place. Julia visits shut-ins. She sings in her church choir and with the "Singing Sisters" as they perform at nursing homes and schools. She strongly supports our veterans as she was a Cadet Nurse during World War II. Julia still plays golf at Hurstbourne Country Club with the 18 hole ladies competing annually with her daughter in the two-day Peacock Classic. Julia plays bridge three times a week and is the coordinator of one large group of ladies. Julia is an artist selling both her paintings and the notecards she produces from her artwork. Each year, her Christmas cards are her own original design. Her largest frustration is that she can no longer drive a golf ball 200 yards down the center of the fairway. She still hits it in the center of the fairway. It just "doesn't go far enough!”
Betty Beckman, 92
At the age of 60, Ms. Beckman had a heart attack. From that point forward, she began to walk. She walked 2 miles a day through Cherokee Park and Cave Hill Cemetery. Her walking was not only for her health but she saw an opportunity to help others with it. A friend was widowed and Betty invited her to walk. This walking conversation became a type of grief therapy. Ms. Beckman continues to walk though now with a walker. She also attends exercise 6 days a week and continues to invite others to come along for encouraging conversations. Her volunteer work was centered in the church. Ms. Beckman was active in monthly meetings of the Louisville Historical Society until her arrival at Signature of Cherokee Park in March 2013. Ms. Beckman was inspired to become an extra-ordinary minister of Holy Communion with St. Francis of Assisi because of those who served her husband during his illness. She also served as volunteer leader of the RCIA which teachers the tenants of the Catholic faith for those seeking to join the Catholic Church. Ms. Beckman belongs to "Renew," which was formed out of the renew movement in 1983 within the Catholic Church. Her group is the oldest group in the Archdioceses with the same leader. She continues to meet with this group monthly. She has great listening skills, has the talent of drawing and painting. Ms. Beckman chose to raise a family instead of the career she started; but what a career she had in raising five great children, one a Pulitzer Prize Winner in 2012 for Journalism, another is a writer who served in the peace corps. Ms. Beckman has been abroad 3 times, visits her children in various locations around the country, but does not sit on the porch. On her daughter’s farm, she drives the tractor and helps take care of the horses. In Florida, she is a willing hand on another daughter’s sailboat. She is truly an inspiration to many because she lives her life to the fullest.
Anne Boldrick, 88
Anne is at Milestone an average of 5 times a week and inspires everyone she meets with her zest and zeal for life. She has been an active member for 13 years, a member of aqua-orchids for over 20 years. She has been on Bellarmine Women's Council for years, and altar society with Lady of Lourdes. Anne has been active in tennis nearly her whole life; in leagues for 40 years. Anne has lunch once a month with friends from Milestone aqua aerobics class. She was member of Louisville Orchestra for many years and is a regular Derby Dinner participant. Anne is very engaging, and has maintained a cheerful presence even in the face of challenges over the past couple of years. She is continually outgoing and friendly to others.
Nell Cecil, 91
Nell was an outstanding softball and basketball player in her youth. At the age of 15 (1930’s) she played on a women’s traveling softball team, The Dairy Maids, as a shortstop. After marriage, she took up golf, and became the Women’s Club Champion at Woodhaven Country Club. To this day, she credits her good health to getting exercise every day. She exercises 2-3 times a week and tries to walk every day. She volunteered for years at her church. As a teacher, she would stay after school to tutor children who needed additional help with their school work. She also helped some of the neighborhood kids who were struggling with their grades. She is an avid card player and crossword puzzle player. She usually plays cards at least three times a week. In addition, she does the crossword puzzles in the Courier Journal every day and buys crossword puzzle books. She is also a voracious reader. She occasionally goes to the library for books, but uses her Kindle to download books. She has taken to Facebook to keep up with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She married her childhood sweetheart and raised ten kids. She received a college degree but stayed home to raise her children. After the youngest started first grade, she returned to college to obtain her Master’s Degree and become a school teacher.
Juanita Chapman, 85
Juanita Chapman grew up in Eastern Kentucky, where she walked everywhere. The family had a horse-drawn carriage that they used to go to church, but she walked to school and anywhere else. She worked alongside her brothers and sisters in the field on the family farm. She has always been active, and that trend continues at the age of 85. She walks from Atria Springdale to the Summit shopping center each day and is very active in community life. She knits blankets to sell at the annual Atria Fair, and all proceeds go to the Alzheimer's Association. She is also an ambassador at the community, welcoming new residents and showing them around the community. During the holidays, she made homemade treats for each staff member at Atria Springdale and labeled them from all residents, as not to take the credit herself. Since she moved into the community two years ago, she has been making blankets for residents at a local nursing home. Juanita is a humble, amazing woman, who loves to lend a helping hand to someone else and goes out of her way to make life brighter for others.
Molly Deignan, 85
Molly enjoys taking care of her home, driving and shopping. She continues to be her youngest granddaughter's number one fan in the stands at Assumption High School soccer games. She attends all UofL home football and basketball games which requires personal stamina and is a UofL Cardinal enthusiast. Her days are active with Okolona Women's Club meetings and activities, some which require out of town travel. Molly is a 58-year member of the Okolona Women's Club for which she has held a variety of positions. She does right by her body and mind and respects the decisions of her doctors to help guide her medical needs, keeps up on current events and has not shyed away from technology. She enjoys her family at all times. She doesn't miss hosting or attending a family function. She is an independent extraordinary woman who enjoys life to its fullest.
Sophia Fleming, 86
Sophie is in exceptional health considering she battles macular degeneration. She is a member of the Silver Sneakers Fitness Program at the YMCA, and along with her husband (82) of 53 years, she walks several days a week. Sophie has always been civic minded. She has been a member of the Louisville Bar Association Auxiliary. Sophie also loves attending the many sports events that involve her four grandchildren. Even though she can’t see everything, she is their most faithful cheerleader. Sophie and her husband get together with friends once a month for music, song and go to eat afterwards. Sophie grew up Greek Orthodox in Toronto, Canada, and is very proud of her Canadian heritage. Sophie is a wonderful cook of baklava, kolourakia and other Greek delights. Even though she cannot see to do it herself, she shares her recipes with family and friends. She is known for lively conversation, careful listening, an open mind and a sincere heart.
Fr. John Gephart, 92
Fr. Gephart lives at Nazareth Nursing home where he totally takes care of himself, goes to morning exercise class, does his own laundry and also plays bridge. He has been a priest for 65 years. He has never sought attention. He just wanted to serve God and God's people. He is devoted to the quiet, constant work of his ministry. He was chaplain of Jewish, Norton, and Kosair hospitals and Frazier Rehab. Fr. John has done so much for so many and always without notoriety, never wanting to be recognized but he's certainly someone who deserves recognition now. For most of his adult life, he has been an avid tennis and golfer. After 65 years as a priest, he is still present every day at altar at Nazareth Nursing home, where he is present every day for mass at 11:00. Over the last 10-15 years, he has been very active in our family’s genealogy, not just our immediate family but extended as well. He has made numerous booklets for every member of our family. Fr. Gephart is my uncle and for my entire life I have watched him put God and other people above and beyond his own needs.
Betty Gibson, 85
Betty is an active, spry go-getter who knows that age is just a number. She walks each day at local malls. She takes pride in staying active and her appearance and is always put together and ready to put her best face forward. Betty makes a point to welcome new residents into our community and make them feel at home. She goes out of her way to connect with others and bring them into her social network here. A social butterfly, she is highly involved in community life and always warms a room with her smile and personality. She taught Sunday school for 40 years and continues to let her faith and love steer her forward. Betty is a remarkable woman who lives each day to the fullest, and looks forward to each new day. She loves reaching out to others to make them feel special.
Imogene Gregson, 87
Imogene's health has been a challenge to her for a number of years; however, she always has a positive attitude and encourages other residents in and through their physical challenges. Imogene volunteers to cover the Independent Living Concierge's desk at Horizon Bay when she is taking her lunch. She has done this for over 3 years and has been an asset to the community. She is very friendly and outgoing and very positive. Imogene has been an ambassador for the independent living building, helping new residents make the transition an easy and happy one. She teaches a Bible study class in the independent living building. Imogene has a servant's heart and her desire is to serve. She enjoys craft classes. It is a challenge to put into words what a blessing it is to know and be around Imogene. Everyone's life is truly enriched by knowing her.
Dorothy Grossman, 94
Dorothy continues to walk around the house, and occasionally will dance in folk dances. Into her mid to late 80s, she took a tai chi class. She remains active intellectually by working daily crossword puzzles, reading, and undertaking organization projects such as organizing her music files and creating family albums from old photos. Dorothy volunteers once a week at church, answering phones and doing office tasks. She sings in the church choir, attends monthly church luncheons and lectures. She votes in every election and follows politics closely. After retiring as Director of the hospital lab at Berea Hospital, Dorothy played the piano for the Berea College Country Dancers. Later, she coached "Kid bands" both in Berea and in Louisville on how to play music for folk dancing. Since 2004, Dorothy has provided live music for a local group of youth who attend Berea College’s Mountain Folk Festival each year. She opens her Berea home each year to provide a homestay for the Louisville youth folk dancers when they attend the Festival. Dorothy has worked on creating an index of folk dance tunes, and taught herself to use a computer in order to undertake this work. She also uses email and has a Facebook account. She encourages young people, young musicians, one of whom happened to be her nominator’s son.
Al Gustafson, 86
Mr. Gustafson is member of the Male High 1945 State Champion Basketball Team. He takes daily walks, and has been Glenview Hills Commissioner for 19 years; each time elected for 2 year terms. He is Past President of Louisville Board of Independent Insurance Agents, and Past President of Louisville Boat Club and has been a member of the Louisville Boat Club since 1924. He is a Member of John R. Craft Society at UofL School of Business, as well as the Quarterback Club, and Male High 50-Year Club. He is a member at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. An active insurance agent today, he has been in Risk Management Insurance since 1959.
Virginia Hancock, 89
Ms. Hancock has always been active and healthy. She keeps her mind active by doing crossword puzzles, reading, writing letters, keeping up with friends, and watching her beloved “Jeopardy.” For years she spent many happy hours as an active reader for Recording for the Blind. She continues to be very interested in local affairs, and her lifelong love of Louisville and its neighborhoods, particularly Crescent Hill, where she grew up. She enjoys attending programs of the Historical Society, concerts at the University of Louisville, Making Music Concerts, or anything having to do with the history of Louisville. She loves going to the library; there are always several library books on her side table. Her only concession to “advanced age” is using a handicapped parking space and a ramp to the side entrance of the church. Although not trained as an artist, she painted watercolors as a hobby. I think her secret to staying young is being interested in so many different things and people. Although she’s never embraced technology, she keeps in touch with friends and family in her own personal way – phone calls and handwritten letters and cards.
James Henry, Sr., 87
Mr. Henry plays tennis twice a week (outside). When in Florida (January to May), he rides his bike to the tennis court. He walks every day; indoors at the malls, in inclement weather. Several summers ago, when he was "babysitting" a 12-year-old, he called on a Sunday to ask if Monday's projected temperature index of >100 would be too hot for outside tennis. He was not inquiring for his benefit, but for the 12-year-old. He swims every day when in Florida and whenever he has the opportunity in Louisville. He volunteered weekly at Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic for 50 years, until they closed the Louisville Studio. He volunteers weekly at Sacred Heart Village, calling bingo and reading out loud to low-vision residents. He is super active, wanting to celebrate everyone's birthday, every UofL ball game every Derby, every major holiday, etc. He reads voraciously, usually having multiple books going at one time. He is a lifelong Catholic and attends Mass daily. He lectors at church and participates in the social and charitable events at his church, Our Lady of Lourdes. He recently bought a Toyota Prius and actually read all the manuals that came with it and has embraced all of the technology associated with it - cell phone, music, GPS, etc. He told me not long ago that he can honestly say he has never been depressed. He has such a "joie de vivre" that it's almost contagious.
Doris Hottel, 88
Doris Hottel is still strong, very independent, takes 1-mile walks (weather permitting), pays her bills on the computer, and remembers over 100 birthdays by sending cards. In the past, she volunteered at the YMCA assisting the elderly care program with serving lunch, taking the ladies to the beauty shop. She has volunteered with the American Legion supporting our troop and veterans, the Crusade for Children, the VA and Kosair Hospitals. She has worked the voting polls, and frequently sends out mailings for the American Heart and Cancer society. She also has volunteered at Actors Theater. She is a current member of the American Legion Post 193 and was very active in the past as the Auxiliary President (twice) and is a member of the executive committee. She is a great neighbor and friend, always very generous and willing to help or just listen to anyone. Doris is very artistic and creative and loves to stay busy and try new things. A very good seamstress in her day, but unfortunately her sight does not allow her to sew much anymore. She enjoys watching the food network or attending classes and trying out new dishes. She continues to makes homemade Christmas gifts, and loves to travel.
Josette Kearns, 85
This beautiful French lady [former professor of French] is the image of good spirit despite several ailments and the loss of her husband .She attends seminars at Bellarmine and participates in cultural organized trips.
Edna S Keeling, 89
Edna walks with a walker but still walks most days at the mall for her health; her doctor is amazed she can walk due to her scoliosis. She is an avid reader. She attends weekly meetings during Winter/Spring of the International Friendship Organization which meets at Walnut St. Baptist Church (she is a founding member of this 40+ year non-denominational outreach to the internationals who come to Louisville to be educated, work, etc.). She was a Red Cross Disaster Service worker for many years, going to disasters and working in the feeding centers or where needed. Along with church and family gatherings, her social calendar is filled with great grandchildren's lives. Every Christmas and birthday, she receives birthday cards from her "international" family who have since left Louisville and returned home or elsewhere in the USA. She receives cards from Japan, Mexico, Turkey, India, Philippines, etc. She has always been an ambassador of love and Louisville
Helen Langley, 102
Helen is a vibrant lady with a love for life. She is self-sufficient and engaged in life. Her only physical problem is limited vision, and she uses a cane. She enjoys going out to eat or visit with friends. Going to new restaurants is one of her favorite things. Helen is an outgoing "larger than life" centenarian with a remarkable spirit for enjoying each moment. Helen is involved with the Queens Daughters, a Catholic Women’s Organization, and has been a member of the Bellarmine Women’s Council since 1997. She continues to attend functions for the Shiners, keeps connected with friends and family through telephone conversations. She is always ready to go anywhere and loves new experiences; she had wanted to go to UofL basketball game last year just for the experience of going to a game. The financial market is interesting to her and she keeps up to date on local businesses for investments. Helen is a great storyteller, and can keep your attention by relating stories of her travels overseas with her husband.
Alma Lee, 86
Alma has had osteoarthritis for several years, which has reduced her physical activity from 2 miles a day to one-half mile a day. Alma is fully independent performing all activities of daily living. She drives a personal car and has not had an accident in over 30 years. Alma has been a volunteer for Fern Creek/Highview United Ministries for 25 years. Alma is an active participant in the local senior adult group, Toppers. For the group’s social events, Alma creates all of the centerpieces and selects all of the prizes for games. Alma is devoted to her church, is an active member in a Sunday School class and provides food for bereavement meals either served at the church or taken to individual homes. An ongoing commitment is the Methodist Children’s Home. Alma uses her creative abilities to transform old greeting cards into encouragement cards for patients at Baptist Hospital East. Alma finds great fulfillment and enjoyment from creating the cards. Alma has a strong sense of family and enjoys traveling with her daughters. She has cared for several of her siblings during illnesses, most recently her older sister who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Alma’s pleasant, encouraging, compassionate, and loving disposition is a source of blessing to family, friends and individuals in the community.
Norma Lewis, 91
Norma Lewis was in WWII in naval intelligence. She has osteoarthritis in spine and has partial loss of vision in one eye, but is on the go all the time during volunteer work with the deaf. She has been interpreting for the deaf since 1971 and started deaf choir. She worked full time in vocational school-deaf program, worked as an interpreter in the legal system, has done deaf interpreting for AA, JADAC, and for Catholic mass of the air on Sunday (WHAS) for 35 years. She has been in the theatre since the age of 5, performed Gilbert & Sullivan in college. She did summer stock theatre in New Jersey, was in community theatre - Little Colonels, Derby Playhouse, and involved in Corn Island Story Telling Festival-interpreting. She is currently in a writers and poets group - Cherokee Round Table - has published one book.
Eldon McCreedy, 86
Eldon loves to teach & tell stories to friends & family of his 80-plus years of fishing. He grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and has many stories that he loves to tell about his past fishing mishaps from 1930’s and on. There were so many he bought a tape recorder so that when he thinks of one he talks into his tape recorder, so everybody can listen to his stories from the past. Eldon is nominated for his wealth of information and his continuous effort to teach us what life what is all about!
Julie Roszell McGee, 89
Julie lives an active, independent life, driving to her volunteer work at the Baptist Health Oncology Unit, or walking to Episcopal Church Home. She moves with the grace and energy of a much younger person! She is a vibrant, energetic woman with a heart of generosity and a commitment to serve others. She has been a volunteer in the health care field for 71 years, beginning as a hospital nurse's aide at age 17. During World War II, she served wherever she lived (England, Germany, California, Oregon, and Alabama). Julie has volunteered for the Red Cross, Veteran's Hospital, and the old General Hospital. In 1980, she co-founded the Louisville chapter of Compassionate Friends. She has been an active volunteer for Hosparus since 1982, and still regularly sees patients, visits the Episcopal Church Home and the Baptist Health Oncology Unit. Julie leads a sing-along at Episcopal Church Home each week. She trained to be a Stephen Minister in the late 1970's, but was called to begin the Compassionate Friends group in Louisville, after losing her daughter in an auto accident in 1978. Julie delights her Hosparus and nursing home patients by singing to them! She will even sing to the Hosparus volunteer staff when she leaves a voice mail! Julie exemplifies service, vitality, compassion and joy in life. She is active, cheerful and looks out for others. Hosparus patients and families, as well as so many others, have been blessed by her visits, laughter and song.
Vernon Phelps, 88
Vernon Phelps is the owner of Phelps Construction Company, a carpenter by trade. He does residential and commercial projects of varying sizes. He still builds and installs custom projects. He has been through cancer treatments and pacemakers. Vernon has remained active and physical. Vernon has enjoyed a variety of hobbies from wood working to competitive roller skate dancing to music. As a carpenter by trade, he has always enjoyed woodworking. He will still get out in his shop and "dawdle" around if he isn't working on a project. Vernon has always enjoyed roller skating, but at the age of 69 he began training for competitive skating and competed in regional competitions for almost 10 years. You can still find him at Robbins Roost on Sunday nights. Vernon also enjoys playing the organ. Always enjoying the sound of the organ, he started taking music lessons about 17 years ago. The organ is another "release" or "outlet" on those days when he cannot get to the skating rink or make it out to his workshop.
Larry and Sidney Renn, 86 and 92
Mr. and Mrs. Renn each have their quota of chronic problems, but despite that they remain active in many activities. Their nominator states “he loves how they interact with each other.” They are both gracious, outgoing, active and enjoy driving to Florida each year. Their nominator notes that Larry is very distinguished and Sidney is very stylish.
Wilma B. Riddle, 92
Despite limitations associated with Alzheimer's, dementia, COPD and heart issues, Wilma started taking "piano lessons" just a few weeks prior to her 92nd birthday. For her 92nd birthday she gave a recital to her immediate family and has entertained others through a video that was made from that recital. Some songs, poems and ditties performed by Wilma were recorded at a later date and added to the video. Wilma continues to inspire those she meets with her positive attitude and her life stories.
Seymour Slavin, 90
Sy remains physically active taking walks with his wife Claire Drucker around their neighborhood. He is also engaged in numerous civic and social activities. Sy, retired faculty from UofL, remains engaged and involved civically serving on several advisory committees, helping to organize within the Labor arena especially with the establishment of a labor museum in the Louisville Metro area. Sy remains active in his writing and research, hosting social gatherings, along with his wife Claire Drucker, at their home. He attends various performing arts events as well. Of Jewish descent, Sy lives out his faith in his life activities. Sy, continues to write, is involved in, and hosts, several discussion groups.
William Smith, 91
William Smith has the spirit of a young man. He began and maintains the community garden, and other residents now follow his lead and join in to help. He also likes to walk and spend time outdoors and is physically fit. Every week, he volunteers at Feeding America. If there is a way for him to get involved and help out, he is there. Mr. Smith goes out of his way to welcome new residents into our community at Atria. He makes it his job to see that new residents feel like they have a friend, and teaches them the ins and outs of community life and suggests some favorite programs that they might enjoy. He also began our "Men at Work" club, where everyone has a specific job in the flower and vegetable gardens outside of our community. Despite the name of the club, women are allowed to join as well. The men and women laugh and socialize while getting their hands dirty and growing vegetables for all to enjoy. He credits his faith for his longevity and many blessings. Mr. Smith is an all-around great man, and at 91 he takes advantage of each day he is given to make it the best that he can. He inspires others to get outside, get involved, and be grateful for their blessings.
Samuel "Sam" G. Swope, 86
Sam Swope rides his motorcycle on a regular basis, started working out with a trainer approximately 20 years ago and still works out 3 days a week. He recently hosted (and participated in) the 14th Sam Swope Charity Ride, a motorcycle fundraiser that benefits children through Kosair Charities. Mr. Swope’s affiliation with Kosair Charities began over five decades ago, and continues to thrive today. He’s served on the Board of Kosair Charities for several years. He enjoys meeting regularly with the Kosair Shrine Jesters, the Kosair Motor Corps, and his friends at the Louisville Boat Club. Mr. Swope is also involved in numerous causes associated with organizations he contributes to, and continues to be active with philanthropic efforts of the Rotary Club of Louisville, Kosair Charities, the Kosair Shrine Temple, and Bahia Shrine in Orlando, FL. As a lifelong Masonic Homes supporter, and a Mason himself, Mr. Swope’s involvement over the years culminated with his honorary chairmanship of a capital campaign to replace the healthcare center on the Louisville campus. His endowment enabled Masonic Homes of Kentucky to build and open The Sam Swope Care Center. Although he is officially retired, Mr. Swope still contributes to the Swope Autogroup. He often provides creative ideas for promotions that are recognized by people across Kentuckiana. For several decades Mr. Swope has partnered with the Boy Scouts of America through personal leadership, volunteerism and support. He served as Chairman of the “Friends of Scouting” capital campaign for a new headquarters for the Lincoln Heritage Council. In October 2012, Mr. Swope remarried. He and his wife, Marlys, are very happy and keep a calendar that would exhaust most younger couples.
Donald King Taylor, 89
Don is still an independent, active man. He has no health problems, does not wear glasses, takes no medications and is very spry. He played golf until last year when he just got too busy to play anymore. He still drives - very well - and he shows no signs of slowing down. Don volunteers his time to help the homeless. Each week he delivers 50+ meals and clothing to 50 men on Monday night. He provides them with new socks and underwear. (He's up to 6,000 pairs given away to date!) He buys used clothing, which he washes and prepares, to give to these men. He has been known to give haircuts if asked (no training in that field) and also supplies toiletries. The basement of his home has been converted to hanging racks and bins to store what he buys for the men. Don is very active in his church. When his church helped another man who was also 89, Don jokingly asked the pastor when he would be helping him. The pastor replied, "When you act like you need it!" Don served as a prison minister (volunteer) at LaGrange Penitentiary for over 40 years - faithfully going every week. When he felt "too old" to drive there, he began his ministry to the homeless. The people at his church bring donations of clothes and sometimes cash to help him, but he is the person who is the hands and feet of Christ in bringing hope to the homeless. My dad has been a Christian for about 53 years and has always had a ministry that exemplified what Christ would have him do.
Philomena Y. Wayne, 93
Mrs. Wayne values her health and works hard to maintain it. Although age has diminished her energy, it has not diminished her devotion to regular exercise, a balanced, healthy diet and a routine of sleep, meal times and activities. She begins each day with some exercise, and makes time for a mile walk outside with her chihuahua, Jose. She enjoys bridge on the computer, reading and chatting on the phone. As a nurse she helped with blood drives in the community. In retirement she accumulated over 5,000 hours of volunteer work at her local hospital. When she moved near family at age 87, she volunteered at Providence Retirement Home in New Albany. She voluntarily gave up driving at age 92 1/2, and began volunteer activities at home, including preparing labels and mailings for a local charity. She never misses voting and attends the Memorial Day ceremonies every May in Sellersburg to honor veterans. In 1956, she and other women started the "Chit Chat Club." Although the membership has changed slightly during its 57 years history, Mrs. Wayne, has been an active member (except for the years she lived away) hosting the group in her patio home. She stays in touch by phone calls, email and snail mail. A seamstress, knitting artist, poet, and gardener – this summer she has a garden in her small backyard that has produced lettuce, beans, a variety of tomatoes and peas. Currently she is working on collating thousands of personal and family photos to insure their preservation for generations to come. She is a woman of deep faith and few fears. She is aging gracefully, accepting life's limitations as presented, but using her strength and skills to stay active and engaged in living. She is an inspiration to all she meets.
Marty Zimov, 88
Marty suffered a heart attack in 1998. Five years ago, he had stints put into his arteries to combat a blockage. Since then, he makes a point to stay physically active to keep his heart open and healthy. He walks 2-3 miles each and every day, still drives and is very independent. As such, he also makes it a point to stay involved outside the community. Every Monday for the past five years, he drives to Jewish East where he volunteers for half a day in registration and as an escort. Every week since he moved to Atria, Marty attends his weekly poker night outside of the community with eight other gentlemen. Every Tuesday and Thursday he can be found in the center of the Atria happy hour crowd enjoying time with others. He walks the mall each Wednesday morning, and has dinner with his grandchildren at least once a week. He loves being social and knows that his social life helps his brain stay healthy and active. An avid reader, Marty always has three books in his rotation at one time. He walks over to Barnes and Noble and skims books to see which ones pique his interest. He then goes to the library to see if they have it there for him to borrow. He is currently reading The Chosen, Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln.