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April 2015
A Quarterly Publication
 stl village news

Community.  Connection.  Caring.

Letter from Board Member Gail Brown

A little over two years ago, a close friend of mine, Yodit Teklu, suggested I attend a meeting of a new group being organized called STL Village. I was very pleased to discover their goal was to create an intentional community for people 50 and older to stay and thrive in their homes and community through the offerings of a full range of activities and support services. As I turn 50 this year and have two 80+ parents this concept of enriching the lives an aging population through a caring, supportive, and socially interactive network sounded very beneficial. Of particular interest to me was their desire and commitment to ensure that the village was inclusive of people from various ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

Arthur Culbert and Gloria Gordon, two of the founding members, later contacted me and further enlightened me on the national Village to Village Network and their desires for the local organization. They asked me to serve on the board. I was convinced this was something I wanted to be a part of and contribute to in a tangible way, so I agreed.

After the STL Village’s grand opening in June 2014, I agreed to also serve on the Outreach Committee which recruits members throughout our footprint with the mindset that diversity in membership enriches life experiences.

St. Louis is a great city and can be further enhanced by the example demonstrated by the Village Movement, creating a “Community that is Connected, Caring and inclusive.” I am so proud to a part of this organization and invite others to join as members or become volunteers.

Best Regards,
Gail Brown
Member, Board of Directors
Gail Brown,,Member, Board of Directors

Gail Brown is the president of Brown-Kortkamp Realty, a full service real estate brokerage firm in the Central West End, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Business from Macalester College and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from St. Louis University.
Dates to Remember

April Happy Hour
Thursday, April 23th
Tavern of the Fine Arts
Featuring photos by Elmer Burns
313 Belt Avenue
5 pm
(Free. No RSVP needed )

STL Village First Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, June 13th
Schlafly Library
225 North Euclid
10:00 am to Noon

STL Village Old Fashioned Picnic
Sunday, June 28th
Tower Grove Park
Turkish Pavilion
3:00 pm

Please RSVP for any of these activities to: or (314) 802-0275

New Members
since March 2015
  • Ann Rowe
  • Dixie Buford
  • Tom and JoAn Isbell

Page 2     STL Village News       April 2015
Spotlight on STL Village Volunteer Jon Case        By Larry Skinner
Jon Case, STL Village Volunteer
I like reinventing myself says STL village member and volunteer Jon Case. In fact, Jon has moved many times to places completely new to him and changed careers almost as often. His sleek, uncluttered condo in a modern Central West End high rise reflects this life style. The well organized, spare interior makes it clear that he travels light.

He grew up in Lambertville, New Jersey, a small town of 5000 where his early educational experiences were "not inspiring." The era was the 1950's when teachers and schools divided students into "college material" and those suited for vocational training. However, a theater in his small town inspired him as his education had not.

Luckily, Lambertville had one of the first summer stock tent theaters in the United States. At 16 Jon got a job there and found his vocation. The artists who came to Lambertville were New York theater folk. Since Jon had just turned 16 and obtained his driver's license, the visiting artists often asked him to take them back to New York for errands and appointments. They introduced him to an incredible world of diversity, acceptance, and glamour where he knew he was at home.

Upon graduating from high school, he was awarded a scholarship
to study Theatre at Pace University in Manhattan. He packed and left for NYC the day after he finished high school. His mother thought he'd move back to Lambertville and said to him much later, "You never came back."

He switched from the Theatre major to English after he learned about the insecurity of life in the theater. This was the first of his career changes. Then, lured by the excitement of air travel, he dropped out of college to take a job at Pan Am.

After seven years, he grew weary of New York,” missed seeing green,” and at the same time learned firsthand about the insecurity of the business world when his boss was abruptly fired at Pan Am. He moved to New Hope, PA where he mastered furniture design and managed the showroom of a furniture factory there. He lived in New Hope for twenty five years, eventually establishing an architectural design/ build business focusing on residential and commercial renovations.

When business for his small firm began to dry up because of larger competitors moving to town, he had to find a new career. He had become bored with New Hope, but to move he needed a job that could be performed anywhere. He studied graphic design and moved to Key West, FL. There he became a web site developer and after several moves to three different towns in Florida and to Franklin, NC, he ended up in Ashville, NC in 2010.

He soon yearned for the more cosmopolitan life he had experienced in New York City, but most of these cities had become unaffordable. A friend told him about life in the Central
West End of St. Louis, which had quite a few similarities to neighborhoods in New York: walkability, great restaurants, and nearby cultural attractions like the symphony and the art museum. He visited, fell in love with the neighborhood and its people, and bought a condo in a high rise on Lindell Blvd in 2013.

The only thing missing was a social life. A resident of his building, Gloria Gordon, one of the founders of the STL Village, introduced him to the organization. Jon had heard about the Village Movement started in Boston but didn't know there was one locally.

"It provides a safe and comfortable way to meet interesting people."

He initially joined because of the concept of aging in place but found the Village "much more valuable as a social venue." He appreciates the intelligence and the wit of the people he has met through the organization.

The Village can also provide a structure for those who are retired or about to retire and who may miss the routine and challenge of work. He is "easing out" of his web site business, and his volunteer work for the marketing committee is helping to replace the challenges of a job. He currently maintains and updates the Village website.

Jon says this move will be his last one since the Village meets the changing needs of a diverse group of people. Each person can take from it whatever he or she needs, and give back whatever he or she wishes.
"If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone."
- John Maxwell

Page 3     STL Village News       April 2015
Interview with Village Member Elmer Burns    By Mary Jo Blackwood
STL Village Member Elmer Burns
Elmer Burns was a dedicated maintenance supervisor for the United States Postal Service until about 20 years ago.
Since retiring, he's been able to devote more time to his passion, photography. Elmer's comfort with being a part of the Village has to do with his way of looking at life as a photographer. A photographer has to put people at ease to get the best picture. That's what the village does. The services are there if I need them, and that's nice to know." Looking forward to his next year in the Village, Elmer hopes to have a showing of his photography and maybe teach a class on photography for other Village members.
Coming up on his first year anniversary as a member of the village, he says he has yet to fully explore all the activities the Village offers, but he's happy to be in the village and living in his house of 30 years in the Central West End, puttering around taking care of its upkeep. His son, a restaurant chef, lives there too and is gone most evenings, so Elmer is happy to have contacts with the village. His daughter is nearby in University City.

At 83, he's decided to stop driving and likes the ease with which he can walk around his neighborhood to do

Photograph by Elmer Burns
Photographer: Elmer Burns
errands and for exercise. When the weather gets better, he may join the Village's slow walking group. He has shared a couple of his favorite pictures with us here.
Photograph by Elmer Burns
Photographer: Elmer Burns
St. Louis Trivia Questions:
Q: What is the oldest university west of the Mississippi?
Q: Which hotel amenity originated in St. Louis?
(Answers on next page at lower left.)

STL Village News       April 2015     Page 4
New Board Member
  • Annelise Stoever

Sign up and get involved!
Contact us at: or (314) 802-0275

We invite comments and suggestions:

St. Louis Trivia Answers:

A: St. Louis University is the oldest university west of the Mississippi, founded in 1818.

A: According to the Mayfair Hotel, the custom of placing a chocolate on your pillow was started when actor Cary Grant used chocolate to woo a lady friend into his bed.

Strategic Partners
We wish to acknowledge and thank our Strategic Partners for their generous support.

St. Andrew's Resources for Seniors
A faith-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving seniors in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

Kuhlmann Leavitt, Inc.
A nationally known and certified woman-owned, multidisciplinary design firm located in St. Louis that creates fresh, intelligent, appropriate design solutions.

STL Village Leadership:
Madeline Franklin, Executive Director

Board of Directors:
Jennifer S. Kovar, JD,Co-Chair
Sally Nikolajevich, Co-Chair
Arthur J. Culbert, Ph.D., Vice Chair
David S. Weber, Secretary & Treasurer
Gail A. Brown
Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt
Mary Alice Ryan
Ron H. Smith
Anneliese Stoever
Gloria C. Gordon, Ph.D., Board member emeritus
Natalie Galucia, Ex Officio

STL Village News
A quarterly publication of STL Village
6633 Delmar Blvd. 2nd Floor,
St. Louis, MO 63130
Copyright ©2015 All rights reserved.

STL Village does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, marital status, familial status, disability/ handicap, or sexual orientation.