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Previous Recipients

The Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging celebrates and honors adults aged 85 and older who embody the Trager Institute’s vision for a world where all older adults lead engaged and flourishing lives. These individuals are recognized by their community as outstanding models of optimal aging in the following areas: physical, social, spiritual, and creative. Winners are separated into individual and couples categories.


Previous Recipients: 2014   2016  2017  2018  2019 2020 2021


Recipients: 2021

Reverend C. Joseph Batcheldor | Age: 90

At the age of 92, Rev. Batcheldor is a Senior Priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville.  Since his ordination to the priesthood in his mid-twenties, he has served as pastor in many diverse parishes, urban and rural.  His organizational leadership has always been inspirational, practical, and up-to-date.  For example, in the 1970s he was involved in the innovative concepts of team ministry as well as the priests’ council, of which he was an early president.  He enjoys saying that even now in his later life he “likes to keep up with what’s going on!”  Rev. Batcheldor shows zest for his life in a variety of ways:  He still works – for the past 10 years he has been serving many rural parishes weekly to fill in for pastors who are on vacation, ill, or have other responsibilities.  He lives in the rectory at the Basilica and cooks, shops, and does household chores to support the Pastor.  He loves to travel and says, “the world is a book – if you don’t travel you know only one page!”  Prior to COVID, he walked a portion of the pilgrimage in Spain called “The Camino” with his niece and her husband and was invited to concelebrate Mass at St. James for the returning pilgrims.  He declined because there was no railing for the stairs up to the alter and he needed them to keep his balance.  He did not want to call attention to himself.  He is devoted to his golfing priest-friends and loves golfing, which keeps him fit.  "As I age I dare to keep serving the church, cooking and shopping for our rectory household and driving!”


Ruby Bandy | Age: 88

Ruby has a passion for serving other people. Prior to the pandemic, Ruby served as one of the regular volunteers at our congregation's clothes closet. Although the clothes closet was forced to close, Ruby's volunteer spirit remains undimmed. She has been delivering Meals on Wheels throughout the pandemic - in all kinds of weather. Her dedication and gentle spirit are inspiring.


Alma Chamberlain | Age: 91

The Gold Standard for Optimal Aging is Temperament and Health. And that my friends is Alma Chamberlain.  She is healthy as a horse with the temperament of a mule. Long Live Mamma!  Alma said, "As I age, I dare to live."


Reverend H. Donald Cockerham | AGE: 90

Rev H. Donald Cockerham was born October 5th, 1930 in Mc Comb Mississippi.  He was one of 3 children born to Mr. and Mrs. E. Cockerham. He is now 90 years Young.  Rev. Cockerham's family moved to Chicago, IL for work and where was educated at Forestville Elementary and DE Sable High School.  Young Donald went on to complete Chicago Baptist Institute where he obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Theology.  He later studied Theology and Church Administration at University of Illinois, Roosevelt University and also studied music at Chicago College of Music.  Rev Cockerham went on to become a pastor at for Calvary Baptist Church in Chicago Heights, Illinois for 7 years.  He became known as a church builder when he grew this small church to one that became a large new much larger church on two acres of land.  In true black Baptist style, he was also known as that young pastor who would preach until his suit was wet to make his church grow.  Such a reputation led Rev Cockerham to be called to Louisville Kentucky as a pastor to historic Zion Baptist Church, after he replaced an ailing speaker from the Progressive National Baptist Convention and so wowed the crowd that they asked him to become their pastor in 1961.  Pastor Cockerham grew and expanded that church and built the first African American Senior Housing Complex owned by a church across the street from the Zion Baptist Church.  After 35 years of expanding remodeling and building rev Cockerham retired.  He served on the board of the Louisville NAACP, the grants board of Crusade for Children and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Simmons College.  He is a commentator on Louisville's Moral side of the News and on the Louisville Ministers and Deacons Association.  In 2004 a large celebration of his RETIREMENT was held.  He even has a street named for him alone with several commendations.  Still Pastor Cockerham felt God was not done with him.  He currently serves as an interim pastor for Baptist churches when their pastor dies or a church is left without a Shephard.  Rev Cockerham is serving in this capacity as interim pastor at Historic West Chestnut Street Baptist Church in the Russel area of Louisville, KY where he preaches every Sunday and is training and preparing the membership for new leadership, after the death of their pastor.  Rev Cockerham has traveled with his now deceased wife to the Holy Land, England, Egypt, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland as well as several Caribbean Islands in his spare time.  He truly believes doing Gods will and going where God directs you to go, helps one to Optimally Age.


Anne Currie | AGE: 90

As 90-year-old, Anne Marie Currie was a teacher for nearly 40 years teaching a variety of subjects and topics. She lives at Nazareth Home (Newburg Campus) but keeps busy with doing various drawings and art projects especially using watercolors. She is still fluent in both French and Spanish which she used to teach for JCPS.  She is humble and sweet caring person who remains active with other residents at Nazareth Home and very tight relationship with her daughter, Gwen Snow.  "As I age, I dare to never quit being me.  I want to enjoy this life as much as I can and willing able to do so."


Ann Dorzback | AGE: 100

Mayor Greg Fisher writes, "Ann Dorzback is one of many Louisville residents that have many years behind them, and yet you wouldn't guess it by her vivacious personality and very active lifestyle.   As Mayor, I recently had the opportunity to present her with the Ulm Citizen Medal, an honor given to an exemplary citizen of Ann's hometown of Ulm, Germany.  Upon getting to talk to Ann and her family, I learned just how exemplary Ann is.  Her family was able to escape the Holocaust and journeyed to America.  A great focus later in her life has been giving presentations in classrooms, community groups and libraries about her experience in order to encourage others to overcome adversity and reject hate.  Her story has inspired so many.  In each of her days, Ann lives to make the world around her a better place and to instill in others that we must love one another because our differences are what makes us as individuals great.  Her days also remain busy by volunteering at her church, All Peoples Unitarian Church, researching history & genealogy and selling plants for charitable causes.  Ann has a beautiful family that is a terrific reflection of her; kind, funny and full of life."  "As I age, I dare to speak up and try to improve the world around me. During my life, I have lived a life of peaceful co-existence.  I have conducted presentations during the last 30-40 years to emphasize peace, harmony and understanding.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where hate has currently become more acceptable and I decided long ago that I could not be a part of that world.  I remain active today by: working as a Wedding Coordinator at the All Peoples Unitarian Church, welcoming all couples and their officiants (as applicable) to our congregation, including members of the LGBTQ community; researching history and discovering family interconnections (Genealogy); conducting presentations about my emigration from Germany prior to World War II; sharing life lessons learned and how to overcome adversity and challenges in life; growing and selling pussy willow plants annually to raise funds for charitable and non-profit causes."


Frances Dowell | AGE: 91

For nearly 30 years, Frances has called Louisville home. She has been a faithful member of Walnut Street Baptist Church during that time and a resident of Christian Care Communities for 19 years.  During her many years as a resident of Christian Care Communities, Frances has became an essential volunteer by continuing a life-long passion of leading bible studies and prayer groups within the community.  Frances also volunteers in service to our residents through our many food related programs.  When not giving her time in service to others, Frances likes to relax by working jigsaw puzzles, oil painting, and taking her daily walks.  Even at 91 years young, Frances reaches her daily goal of walking 2 miles each day!  "As I age, I dare to not give up on my family."


Doreen Dowell AGE: 95

Native of Lynch, KY located in Harlan County, Doreen grew up in Will Wright, KY.  Doreen enjoys spending time with people and sharing in conversation.  Doreen appreciates all aspects and forms of art.  She is a firm believer in education and continues to be of service through her volunteerism.  She lives her life in a constant state of positivity and is a very spiritual person. She often says she needs nothing more than faith, country, and friends.  She enjoys being an active member of her community such as visiting the Louisville Zoo and many of our wonderful museums!  "As I age, I dare to not give up".


Deloris Fuch | AGE: 91

Deloris is a Louisville native, born and raised.  She is one of six children.  She and her twin sister are the last of the family to still be living.  Deloris is an active volunteer at her community of Christian Care Communities.  One of her favorite programs to assist with is the monthly birthday parties where she delivers balloons and a smile to those celebrating their big day!  You can find Deloris daily in our community gym.  She is constantly looking to stay fit through walking and Wii bowling.  She is one of the best bowlers at Christian Care Communities, even with her failing eyesight!  Deloris enjoys spending time with her sister and nieces.  They often venture out into the community for lunch.  When relaxing in her apartment, Deloris enjoys watching classic games shows on the TV.  She has worked at the Louisville based, American Printing House for the Blind.  In 1993, she was awarded the Jefferson County Volunteer of the Year.  We are thankful each and everyday to have Deloris as a member of our Christian Care family!  "As I age, I dare to continue living a healthy and meaningful life!"


William "Bill" Greenwell | AGE: 90

Mr. Greenwell is an active resident at the Rose Anna Hughes sector of Presbyterian Homes.  He attends almost every event the facility offers and is a friendly face to everyone he comes into contact with.  He is also extremely willing to work with all Presbyterian and Trager staff and U of L students.  He is patient and kind and loves to serve those around him.  "As I age, I dare to continue to be my very best self!  I'd love to make it to 100."


Frank Head | AGE: 88

Frank retired three years ago from his retirement job with NAPA.  While working with NAPA he delivered automotive parts to various locations throughout the city.  Having worked in the field much of his life, his expertise was often called on during these deliveries.  Frank's love for the automobile has led him to restore numerous antique cars.  His latest restoration was a 1931 Ford Model A Special Delivery.  There are thought to be only twelve such vehicles still in existence.  As Vice President of the Falls City Model A Club in Louisville, he helps the community remember the history of the automobile.  He has helped promote old car parades, outings for the club, and arranged for antique cars to be displayed at various nursing homes.  He loves to talk about his antique automobiles.  Frank is very involved with his family. Again bringing his experiences in life to help his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  His yearly vegetable garden that he maintains brings fresh food to the homes of his family and friends, while he shares his gardening expertise with family members.  Frank is very involved in his church.  Most Sundays you will see him serving at Saint Frances of Rome Church, as an usher and other tasks.  Even during COVID, he was helping ensure the safety of the congregation by helping ensure social distancing while serving.  He loves life and is always ready for the next thing.


Corneleus Hubbuch | AGE: 85

Brother Cornie, as he is called by his religious community and friends, is 85, an Xavierian Brother for 67 years, and has served his community as a high school teacher, principal, Provincial/Vicar General, and formation director of the 13 United States high school sponsored by the Xavierian Brothers.  He has served on the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology as a Director of Spirituality and Worship for 10 years. Brother Cornie has taught throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines,  Japan, Congo, Kenya, Belgium, and Bolivia.  He volunteers with the Global Game Changer Program for advancement of young children from the west end, is co-coordinator of a Compassion Group at Nazareth Home, gives workshops and retreats on aging for seniors, and assists, with fundraising for the Brothers' mission in Kenya and Congo.  "As I age, I dare to remain passionate about being a loving person and assisting others in realizing they are loved by God and called to spread the love to others.  I continue to be a passionate searcher who delights in learning based on reading and reflecting on my experiences through the years."


Sister Martha Jacob | AGE: 86

Sr. Martha Jacob, OSU, PhD, a member of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, a Catholic religious community, is a friend and an inspiration to me.  In her mid 80s she zestfully continues to “answer the call” to serve the Ursulines and the larger community.  Her first and second calls involved persons of service within her community – as an archivist and as vice-president of the community for six years.  In 2008, she took on the sole responsibility and care of a family member – a preschool child, enabling the boy to be adopted in 2015.  Currently Sr. Martha engages her talents in a variety of ways.  As a writer and editor, she authored chapters for historical books; she serves as a member of the Ursuline Sisters’ Ministry Fund Committee, the Joint Sacred Heart Schools and Ursuline Sisters’ Heritage Room Committee, co-facilitates one of three groups making plans for the Ursuline Sisters’ future and acts as a resource for Ursuline Administration in the areas of communications and archives.  She is a lector/reader at religious services, volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul Open Hand Kitchen, and is a member of a “Care of the Earth” book discussion group.  Her hobby is indoor and outdoor gardening.  Sr. Martha’s life is full, but she always takes time for those who need to talk with her, to discuss their cares and concerns.  She is gifted with the ability to listen carefully and thoughtfully and offer perspectives of great – and creative – wisdom.  She is a treasure to my life.  As I age, I dare to…  “Answer the call”.


Hannelore Kapfhammer | AGE: 86

My mother has always had a passion for life and helping others.  Her life mission was always taking care of her loved ones. Despite multiple health crisis hitting her in the past several years, she always pushes through, brushes off the crisis, and bounces back with such strength and poise.  Even during the pandemic with no in-person visits from family for a year due to living in an assisted living facility, she still maintained a positive attitude.  She got up every morning, and got dolled up to sit and eat solo in her room.  She never complained, and still always had a cheerful disposition.  "As I age, I dare to make the best of every day."


Jerry Kincaid | AGE: 96

Jerry is 96 years young and loving life.  After attending Marshall University, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in 1943.  He graduate as a B-24 Bombardier before joining the 8th Air Force’s 34th Bomb Group (7th Squadron) in Europe and completing training as a B-17 Bombardier.  He participated in 14 bombing missions  over Nazi Germany. He received an air medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster and an EAME Medal with 3 Bronze Stars.  After his service, he earned an engineering degree from the University of Kentucky and returned to the US Air Force as an engineer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.   Kincaid returned to active duty during the Korean War and remained at Wright Patterson until his retirement in 1980.  When he's not learning the guitar or spending time with his friends, he is playing a round of golf and is well-known for making long putts.  He enjoys spending time with his 3 daughters, 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.    "As I age, I dare to dream bigger and live fearlessly."


Alice Gardner Marshall | AGE: 85

Alice Lee Gardner Marshall is one of the most active, energetic, independent and inquisitive people I know.  Last summer, during COVID, her adventurous nature and spry physique was never more evident than when camping in Michigan with our family.  The road trip entailed 1,513 miles over 7 days as well as sleeping on a cot inside a tent, for 5 of the 6 nights.  She is active in her church and is enjoying gathering in person once again.  She taught herself to use Facebook and Instagram so that she can keep up with family and friends.  She coordinates a weekly Zoom gathering with friends in different states, some of whom date as far back as elementary school. In 2020 she learned to play Mahjongg, in person and online.  She reads two newspapers and various financial reports daily and continues to very successfully make her own investment decisions.  Even after losing her husband of 61 years in 2019, William Walter Marshall, the love of her life, she has persevered and continues to display a zest for living life to the fullest.  She is currently in the process of scanning handwritten diaries, sermons and writings for her children and future generations to enjoy.  Most recently she has agreed to serve as the presiding minister for her eldest grandson's wedding and has already received her certificate after completing the online application herself.  She is a loving and encouraging mother and grandmother and is the most amazing person I know. She is my hero.  "As I age, I dare to have gratitude for each new day, learn new skills, try new things, spend time with family, make new friends, seek ways to serve my alma mater and community and make the most of each new day."


Lucille McDonald | AGE: 92

Lucille has a long and beloved history as a foster mother to many children!  Her compassion and love for others has only grown stronger as she has aged.  These days, Lucille brings comfort and joy to others by sharing her original poems and RAPS!  These are most often chants for social justice that people are always excite to hear.  Her talents do not end there though, Lucille is an avid photographer and is able to find the beauty in all things!  She loves to share her talents, humor, and faith with everyone that she meets.  Lucille says that she studies her bible daily and is always praying for the world!  "As I age, I dare to not give up on living!"


Allene McKinney | AGE: 94

Ms. McKinney is a very social woman who is, unfortunately, been touched by the COVID pandemic in more ways than one. Ms. McKinney is hearing impaired and often communicates by reading lips, which has been stopped due to the mask mandate.  Since the start of the pandemic, Ms. McKinney has felt the need to keep to herself these last few months.  Now that restrictions have been lifted, I see her going to dinner and talking with others more often. She inspires me everyday!  "As I age, I dare to take care of myself so I can live to watch my grandchildren grow and learn!"


Mary Miller | AGE: 89

Mary has been a resident of Christian Care Communities for 13 years.  Mary enjoys assisting residents in many different aspects of daily living.  She continues to get her daily walk in.  She eats a healthy diet and is a social butterfly among neighbors.  As I age, I dare to always be helpful!"


Margaret Pederson | AGE: 99

Ms. Pederson is an amazing example of setting the Gold Standard for aging. She has been the volunteer leader of the "Be Kind" group in Pope County, MN. This project has engaged her community on many levels to encourage kindness.  "As I age, I dare to be bold and engaged."  


Betty Savage | AGE: 89

Betty is an active and essential volunteer at Christian Care Communities.  She leads a popular resistance band and fitness class multiple times a week that helps to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among the seniors we serve.  Continuing her healthy habits, Betty is a strong advocate for our community walking club.  When she is not walking alongside her neighbors you can often find her walking in nearby parks as she reaches her goal of walking 2 miles each day.  Faith is very important to Betty.  She continues to be an active member of Hill Street Missionary Baptist Church.  When she decides to rest and relax, she enjoys reading and playing board games.  She is most fond of Scrabble!  As a mother of 7 children, Betty stays constantly connected to family.  "As I age, I dare to not venture too far off of my path!"


Milton & Helen Schmitt | AGE: 90 & 90

Milton and Helen Schmitt are members of St. Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley, Kentucky and celebrated their 70th anniversary of marriage on October 7, 2020.  Ms. Schmitt is a home maker and volunteer with Louisville Metro Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for over 30 years as a sewing member volunteer with the St. Joseph Children's Home Sewing Society making blankets for the 175 Year Old orphanage.  Mr. Schmitt co-owned Andy's TV and retired in 1986.  He is a WWII Veteran and active in the VFW Post 1170.  They have two children, four grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.  "As I age, I dare to never stop being in love with my soul mate now and always!" 


Betsy Settles | AGE: 91

Betsy Settles is and has always been a woman on the move with an excellent, positive mental attitude.  For 35 years, Betsy was science teacher at Collegiate and Kentucky Day schools.  For 10 years she was the head of Collegiate Middle school.  She has shared with others that she loved teaching and rarely saw it as work.  She and her late husband had 3 children, with 4 grandchildren and she continues to be a big part of their lives.  She and her late husband travelled frequently, creating many fond memories for Betsy who uses the travel memories when she draws and watercolors extraordinary scenic art. In the early 80's, Betsy began her watercolor art lessons and she continues to create seasonal scenery for note cards.  Friends and family use these cards to keep in touch with others.  During the pandemic, many in her Sunday school class have used her cards to reach out to others in the class when there was a reluctance to personally attend meetings in person.  She helped in the development of contact resources so classmates could better stay connected. She actively participated in her Sunday School Zoom meetings and volunteered as their teacher several times.  Each teaching was creatively titled, making the attendees even more eager to attend and hear her lessons.  With her lessons, the class size continues to grow.  While not water coloring, she plays bridge, participates in a theoretical gardening group (precursor to the Botanical Gardens Downtown).  She is a UofL Sports fan and enjoy men's and women's tennis.  As I age, I dare to I hope to continue to be flexible, energetic and learn something new every day.  Life is far too brief to hold grudges and be divided on issues that will change as the seasons; I hope I can grow by listening, understanding and forgiving and seek to be forgiven.  One issue, dear to me is protecting our planet and all its inhabitants; I pledge to do that in any way I can for as long as I can."


Jean Trager | AGE: 88

Jean Trager is an iconic Louisvillian who has provided so much support to the Louisville community.  With her husband, Bernard Trager, they built one of the most preeminent financial institutions in the region with 43 banking centers in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee and Ohio.  She has been a central supporter to the entire community and especially to the Jewish Community Federation. In 1999, Bernard and Jean Trager received the Weisberg Brotherhood Award from NCCJ (the National Conference of Community and Justice); they also were named the 2003 Caritas Foundation Community Leaders of the Year.  In 2004, they were honored with the University of Louisville Hickman-Camp Award, recognizing their support for the Athletic Department; and in 2006, they received the Jewish Community Center's Blanche B. Ottenheimer Award in recognition of the difference they made in Louisville. Jean and Bernard gave generous gifts to U of L to build the Trager Field Hockey Stadium at Cardinal Park and the Trager Center, an indoor football practice facility.  The family's support for U of L continued over the years, and the Trager Plaza on the Belknap Campus is a testament to their generosity.  Through a generous gift of the Trager Family Foundation Jean is helping promote wellness and health at the Trager Institute. 


Laura Truitt | AGE: 93

Ms. Truitt is a volunteer with the Louisville Metro Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) and in particularly at St. Benedict Center for 16 years.  She has always been a popular nurturing figure for children. She has a way of providing that extra care and compassion to those who need it the most.  She often has been referred to as the Godmother of FGP and certainly at St. Benedict Center.  "As I age, I dare to never quit being Godmother to those children who need me the most!"


Annette Turner | AGE: 92

Ms. Turner is a volunteer with the Louisville Metro Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for nearly 10 and spends her time helping at the Information & Greeter Desk at University of Louisville Southwest Medical Center off of Stonestreet in Valley Station/Pleasure Ridge Park area.  She enjoys welcoming people and helping them find where they need to go.  Often times Annette Turner is the first person that patients and visitors see and talk to when they arrive at this hospital/medical center and reassuring comfort to them is critical.  "As I age, I dare to never stop saying Hello and Welcome!"


Marie Vessels | AGE: 95

At 95 years of age Marie Vessels is determined to keep knitting hats and scarves to keep people warm for years to come!  Since her youngest daughter died of cancer, Marie has knitted 500+ hats per year – in memory of Carolyn. She does not sell or take any money for what she does. Instead, she gives the handmade items to charitable organizations, faith based groups and homeless populations. To Marie, giving back to society and helping others stay warm, is  ‘the best pain pill’. She was featured in a May 2021 article in the Courier Journal.  You can read the article by clicking  HERE.  "As I age, I dare to never stop knitting items for our community and those in need!"


Patricia Walker | AGE: 87

Ms. Walker is a volunteer with the Louisville Metro Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for 21 years and in particularly with the St. Joseph Children's Home Sewing Society Group.  She has been knitting blankets, quilts and comforters for over two decades with some nearly 50 other retired and older women.  The handmade items are used for annual auction event that takes place each year in August for Louisville's oldest and largest picnic called St. Joseph Orphan Picnic where proceeds benefit therapeutic programs for both foster children and residential kids that St. Joseph Children's Home provides services for.  The sewing group meets once or twice a week and brings a special project of compassion while also resulting in socialization and companionship between these older women as they work to do caring things for others in need.  "As I age, I dare to never stop sewing as I bring compassion to those who really need it!"


Virginia Wallace AGE: 87

Ms. Wallace is a volunteer with the Louisville Metro Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for 25 years and spends her time helping in the Gift Shop at University of Louisville Southwest Medical Center off of Stonestreet in Valley Station/Pleasure Ridge Park area.  She enjoys brightening spirits in helping those find the right card, floral arrangement or token gift as they are healing or recovering from medical procedure or celebrating the birth of a new baby.  Making others more comfortable during an uncertain time period or simply boosting their spirits are why she continues to volunteer and be active.  "As I age, I dare to never stop making people happy and finding joy in this life!"


George Wheeler | AGE: 95

Mr. Wheeler is a young 95 year old.  He was born in Tulsa, OK and moved to the Nyack at age 3.  He worked in management development and enjoyed traveling internationally for work. His favorite place to work was Hong Kong.  He was a devoted husband for over 65 years. He has 2 daughters and grandchildren he is very proud of.  He moved to KY to be closer to his daughters and grandchildren.  Mr. Wheeler has a strong Christian faith that gives him strength every day.  Mr. Wheeler believes his good health is a direct relation to his genetics, keeping with a low fat diet, daily exercise and spending time with friends and family multiple times a week.  He arranges  a lunch date schedule every Sunday, this outlines what friends and family he will have lunch with throughout the week.  He feels his social like has kept him the strong healthy man he is today. He exercises daily including completing push ups and swimming when the weather is appropriate.  His love for his church family and friends is what make him a strong 95 year old man.  "As I age, I dare to keep going."


John & Inez White | AGE: 88 & 88

John and Inez White are both 88 years of age and as happy couple enjoying volunteering as Meals on Wheels drivers for Louisville Metro Government Senior Nutrition Program in the Fern Creek area of Louisville as well as being a mobile meal deliver for Senior Care Experts (SCE) as Louisville Metro Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).  The two of them been doing this for nearly 5 years and as older persons they know those like them and even older and whom are alone and have health conditions need food and socialization.  They enjoy this and hope to continue doing it into their 90s.  "As we age, we dare to keep doing things together that help others and brings joy and comfort to them too."


Mary White | AGE: 85

Mary White is mother of 4 kids and although she has been widow for nearly 15 years she remains active at her parish, St. Martha Church.  She attends mass daily and helps in the school cafeteria as well as serves on the Bereavement Committee.  Prior to this, she was a teacher and school aide for over 30 years especially those who were autistic.  She has always had a touching heart and soul for those who had special circumstances and other things that made their lives challenging.  She continues to volunteer when she can and loves being with and around her family.  She is also the nominator's aunt in law (or my wife's aunt).  "As I age, I dare to keep doing what I love and caring about others."


Mary Jean White | AGE: 89

Ms. White is a volunteer with the Louisville Metro Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and SilverNotes musical group volunteer for nearly 18 years.  She enjoys singing with other members at various nursing homes, assisted living facilities and retirement homes.  Her favorite moment is singing at annual Kentucky State Fair to large groups on what is called Senior Day at the Fair. It brings joy to her in sharing her voice and making people happy.  "As I age, I dare to keep singing and bringing joy to others."


Ralph Wilson | AGE: 86

Ralph is an extraordinary individual, continuing to work in numerous ways, giving back to others.  Ralph continues to give back because in his words, "I am working to payback all those that helped me."  Indeed, he does.  While he lives in a nearby assisted living facility where he volunteers and supports the various activities at that Facility, he continues to ride or walk to his nearby church where he volunteers for yard and maintenance work, every week.  At that church, he serves as elder emeritus, serves on the finance committee, weekly Sunday School and is in attendance for all services greeting others to the services with his bright smile and shining eyes. Every Week. Ralph was a rock during the time of the pandemic, assisting with volunteer activities at his home/facility, church and community. Many times, you didn't need to finish saying what was needed before he volunteered to help in yet another cause.  Ralph married the only girl he dated, together they had 2 sons, 6 grandchildren and 7 greatgrandchildren. Since her passing, he continues to be active in their lives,  He likes to travel, is said to have driven 2.1 million miles without a ticket.  He likes the outdoors and has visited all 50 states, all Presidential Libraries and all National Parks over the years. He's travelled the world, Australia and New Zealand recently when he was 80.  He has taken over 4000 slides of his travels and has converted them into digital format.  He enjoys creating handmade furniture made of native grown cherry or walnut woods, he has made upwards of 50 pieces and given them to family.  "As I age, I dare to... I have been blessed with good health so far.  Never know when the other shoe will fall and is probably due to having inherited good genes and that I was married to a nurse who watched over me for 55 1/2 years.  Many persons have gone out of their way to help me and provide advice both in personal life and in business in the past years.  None of these persons ever received any pay for their help and at this stage in life I have an obligation to pay them back by doing as much volunteer work as I can.  Also, I have always been a handyman and I have an obligation to share this knowledge by doing as much volunteer work as I can."


Zak Vladimir | AGE: 85

Vladimir Zak has been an active and dedicated volunteer with Louisville Metro Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) for 21 years.  Even at the age of 85, he is committed more than ever to mentor and empower young people. His ability to tutor and enlighten children is a gift he does not take for granted. He feels compelled to do so in both his heart and soul. While currently (2021) he is with MiniVersity Early Childhood Learning Center, he has also volunteered at Presbyterian Child Development Center for a dozen years. He hopes to continue witnessing young people blossom into future leaders and hope for our community for as long as he can.  "As I age, I dare to keep living life to its fullest and not losing my Jewish identity.  It's embedded in me now and forever!"


 

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