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April 2016
A Quarterly Publication
 stl village news

Community.  Connection.  Caring.

Letter from Board Member
Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt

Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt, STL Village Board Member
Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt
Three years ago I first learned of the Village movement. It was 2013 when Sally Nikolajevich told me about a group of dedicated Central West Enders who were committed to bringing a Village to St. Louis. At that point they had a solid plan for what they wanted to build but they needed a brand for all to rally around. My colleagues and I at Kuhlmann Leavitt developed several different logo options but the house and tree symbol that you are probably familiar with - at least by now we hope you are - prevailed! The logo work was just the beginning of building the STL Village brand. Today, it is expressed through the website, banners, an array of printed materials, tote bags, an awesome calendar and more.

While brand building, Sally and Arthur invited me to join the board. Into my second year of board service, I mostly contribute to Village marketing and fundraising efforts. Raising awareness and non-member monetary support are both critical to sustaining and growing our wonderful Village. Each of us can and must play a part in spreading the word. We welcome your ideas and collaboration!

This past fall, we embarked upon a major awareness and fundraising effort in the form of Village Aglow. With the help of Madeline, Sally and Arthur, Gina Wischmeyer and I co-chaired Village Aglow held at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Hopefully you were there! It was a fantastic night thanks in large part to a wonderfully designed venue, a super planning committee, willing volunteers, generous sponsors, talented entertainers and most of all, nearly 200 fun-loving attendees. We exceeded our financial goal three-fold and received overwhelmingly, positive feedback. Many have asked if we plan to do it again this year and the answer is YES! Talks are under way for a sequel, fall event, details to come!

Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt
STL Village Board Member

STL Village welcomes New Members
  • Mary LePage
  • Carolyn Roedell
Dates to Remember

“A Matter of Balance”
April 9th - June 17th
Join STL Village, OASIS, and St. Louis Public Library for “A Matter of Balance” training Participants will learn how to reduce their fear of falling and increase their strength and balance.
Schlafly Library, 225 North Euclid
Free of charge.
Registration required.
(314) 802-0275 or

“Age of Love”
May 4th, Wednesday, 6pm
STL Village presents a screening of the film “Age of Love” This award winning film follows the humorous and poignant adventures of thirty seniors who sign up for a first-of-its-kind speed dating event exclusively for 70 to 90 year olds. A discussion with Steve Loring, producer and director of the film will follow.
Schlafly Library, 225 North Euclid
Free of charge, open to the public

“Life After Retirement”
May 18th, Wednesday, 6pm
“Life After Retirement: What’s Next?” (Older Adults Month Lecture) a discussion of the many opportunities available to older adults after retirement.
Schlafly Library, 225 North Euclid
Free of charge, open to the public

“STL Village Old Fashioned Picnic”
June 26th, Sunday, 3pm
Turkish Pavilion
Tower Grove Park
Contact (314) 802-0275 or for more information.

Page 2     STL Village News       April 2016
Spotlight on STL Village Member Joe Koerner     By Jane Baker
Joe Koerner, STL Village Member
Joe Koerner
While I've never met the actor Patrick Stewart, it strikes me that Joe Koerner is a kindred spirit; an independent and intelligent thinker. He's a guy who appreciates a sense of community; a good-looking man with upright posture and built-in qualities of leadership and thoughtful action.

Born in western Kansas, Joe was the oldest son of 4 boys. He grew up in a small community largely made up of German and Russian stock. While he was an all-around student involved in music, high-school plays, and football,

Joe always had an academic bent. So it comes as no surprise that he attended St. Louis University and studied to be a Jesuit priest. And no surprise that he got his Master's Degree in Philosophy and focused on ancient languages.

After eight years of study, Joe decided to change gears. He hired on with Maritz in their Market Research department, and then went on to form his own company, Qualis. At Qualis, he continued to do market research as an independent contractor. His clients included Anheuser Busch, 3M, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Among his favorite projects was a gig with 3M when they were exploring how to position today's ubiquitous handy helpers, Post-it Notes. He closed his company in 2001.

Since then, he's been an Adjunct Professor at SLU where he teaches Latin. He steers his students towards classical readings and enjoys making what could be a stodgy Latin class into a vibrant discussion of classical ideas.

On the side, he's a singer, coffee drinker, crossword player, and traveler. He used to sing baritone in the Symphony Chorus and has an amusing story about serenading a complete
stranger with a Mills Brothers love song. That spontaneous encounter took place in Galway, Ireland with his wife, Maria, watching the whole scene. He and Maria begin each day with their early morning coffee group. Later, he completes a daily crossword puzzle. In addition, he's an animal rescue person, opera-theatre subscriber, father and grandfather, huge fan of his wife's artistic talents, and community member.

Perhaps it's the community aspect of STL Village that appeals most to Joe. “It's wonderful,” he says, “to be at a point in my life where I can just be myself. Maria and I love being part of an inclusive and diverse community. We've received some help with minor repairs around the house and we've attended a number of social and social action events. I truly appreciate the village concept where we can be together and be ourselves. It's an affirmation of who we are and what we are.”

Our conversation ends with a lesson. Joe the teacher and former Jesuit student introduces me to philosopher Rainer Rilke. “It's all pretty simple,” Joe reports. “It's about saying yes to existence and being.” You can't beat that.
“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”
- Vincent Van Gogh, Painter
“It's never too late to be what you might have been.”
- George Elliot, Author

Page 3     STL Village News       April 2016
Interview with Village Volunteer Hazel Forster    By Larry Skinner
Hazel Forster
Hazel Forster
Hazel Forster is passionate about volunteering. Right now, she focuses her passion on her volunteer position as co-chair of the STL Village Activities Committee, but she has volunteered all her life, from the time she first went to work as a teacher of Spanish in her native country of England.

Born in northern England to a family of linguists, she majored in Spanish at Leeds University, choosing Spanish because it was the only language not already claimed by a family member. She did not enjoy teaching Spanish as much as she thought she would, so she found time to volunteer for opportunities that motivated her more.

When she moved to St Louis fifty years ago with her scientist husband, she went to work in corporate education at Maryville University. She began volunteering with the United Way teaching board members of non-profit organizations about running the
organizations successfully. While volunteering at United Way, she learned about the broader volunteer community and began helping with organizations large and small. One of her favorite posts was with the St. Louis Chamber Chorus where she was able to employ her singing talents.

In her work life, she became secretary to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Washington University and later Executive Director of the Edison Theatre. After her husband died nine years ago, she moved to the Central West End to be near her Church, Second Presbyterian. She lives in a beautifully renovated townhouse with a two-story great room and an oasis-like garden.

Some years after her move, she read an article in the Post-Dispatch about the formation of the STL Village. Since new challenges spark her passion, she decided to volunteer. She joined the Activities Committee of which she is now the co-chair. Her energy and passion for this post are clear at every event she attends, and she attends most of them.

Her eyes sparkle when she talks about these activities. The Happy Hours are a particular success. One reason for their productivity may be that the Committee always meets just before the monthly Happy Hour.

The Activities Committee selects its events based on Village members' suggestions and desires. Hazel has found Villagers don't show much interest in physical activities, perhaps

because they already lead such active lives. Members prefer bus tours and lectures. They also enjoy a regular event called Souper Sunday. It combines enjoying soup with discussions and socializing. A recent one with Chef Manfred Zettl of Famous-Barr fame served and discussed the store's famous Onion soup. Other well attended events have been tours of the renovated central library building and the new wing of the art museum.

Chef Zettl greets guests
Chef Manfred Zettl greets guests who are enjoying his renown onion soup.
Hazel points to the sense of the community these activities help develop with two examples: Hazel herself was hit and knocked down by a car while crossing the street, and a passing Village member stopped to help her. Another member had dropped her walking stick in a pond in Forest Park and called another Village member who rushed to help her retrieve it.

This sense of community and the constant challenge of coming up with new activities keep Hazel happily involved in the Village. Her parting words to me were, “Read Your Activities Calendar.”
“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.”
- Arianna Huffington, President & Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post

STL Village News       April 2016     Page 4
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STL Village News
A quarterly publication of STL Village
6633 Delmar Blvd. 2nd Floor,
St. Louis, MO 63130
Copyright ©2016 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.
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
Melody Walker, Secretary
Gail Brown, Treasurer
Edmund O. Acosta, Ph.D.
Robert 'Mac' Findeiss
Malaika Horne, Ph.D.
Deanna Kuhlmann-Leavitt
Tom Meuser, Ph. D.
Nancy Morrow-Howell, Ph.D.
Mary Alice Ryan
Anneliese Stoever
Gloria C. Gordon, Ph.D.,
    Board Member Emeritus
Natalie Galucia, Ex Officio