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Community. Connection. Caring.
Dates to Remember
Souper Sunday Discussion
Sunday, January 10th
Featuring a discussion of the book “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande.
Executive House Apartments
4466 West Pine, St. Louis, MO
(314) 802-0275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advocacy Training Workshop
Saturday, January 23rd
In conjunction with Historic Lewis Place Neighborhood Association and Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) West Central Church of Christ.
4662 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO
Registration required. (314) 802-0275 or email@example.com.
Please RSVP for any of these activities to: firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 802-0275
STL Village welcomes New Members
|Spotlight on STL Village Volunteer Bob Powers By Tom Isbell|
"OK, then, we'll meet at Einstein's; I'll be the one carrying a basketball."
And so I met up with Bob Powers at Einstein's Bagelry in "The Hub" of the Central West End. But, instead of a basketball, he was holding a clear plastic ball containing a 3D maze for testing his skill at keeping a BB on it's complicated track.
Bob enjoys working problems: Coming out of DeKalb with a Math major in '68, he began solving problems with computers; first outside of Chicago, keeping track of railroad cars for US Steel. In those days computers required their own rooms with their own air conditioners. Computers worked off of punch cards and spun huge reels of tape. And, Bob says with a nostalgic smile, computers were noisy. For Bob, computers just aren't what they used to be.
But, through the years he stayed with computers even as they grew up and, in '74, he moved to St. Louis to do Information Technology for AT&T. Eventually he moved on to Lord and Taylor.
For over 20 years, now, Bob Powers and his wife, Mary Kellog, have lived across the street from the New City School in a building built in 1904 and that boasts an original bird cage elevator made by Otis. Bob knows "The Hub." He recognizes faces across the street. He remembers the old hardware store that used to be. He and Mary like it here. They're both retired now, and "life is good." Especially when they are working together. And work they both do. "We're able to give, now, and we enjoy it."
Twice a week Bob is running the computer lab at the Most Holy Trinity Catholic School and Academy where he works with kids from kindergarten through fifth grade. He's working with kids that don't usually have access to computers at home and he lights up as he talks about being able to help them with computer programs designed to build their reading and math skills. They're turning on to chess and backgammon, too.
From time to time, Bob serves as a docent at the St. Louis City Garden. For two years before he retired, from his office on the 14 th floor, he watched as the park was being built "down in the valley below." Now he gets to take groups on tours arranged through The Gateway Foundation. He tells the story of a reunion party of a World War II destroyer crew with their wives and children. The men were in their 80's and what they seemed to enjoy most was sitting in front of the large TV.
Two days a week, Mary works as a volunteer at The Kingdom House which has community programs ranging from infant child care and pre-school, through family services programs, and on to senior programs that keep old folks active and engaged. They also run a food pantry and Bob regularly joins in for "kitchen cleanup."
Bob and Mary are also involved with Micro-Financing Partners in Africa (MPA) which provides small loans and training to people in Kenya, or Uganda, for example, to pull them out of poverty. MPA's goal is to provide people with the skills and resources necessary to develop small income producing activities that can grow and spread on their own.
And Bob has also served the STL Village as a volunteer "driver." For a while, he enjoyed taking an elderly lady to the grocery store a couple of times a month. "It was fun. It was social. We talked:" She told Bob that she had applied to have her husband buried at Arlington Cemetery and would be going to Washington D.C. for his honor guard grave-side ceremony. But, during the application process she discovered that her first husband was also entitled to be buried at Arlington. She applied and, in fact, both burials were approved and scheduled, but scheduled for the same day. She needed Bob to be her sounding board: Did he think she could wear the same outfit to both services?
Bob enjoys such quirky things. Mary is Bob's second wife and upon marrying Bob, she acquired Bob's two sons and their children. Later, Mary's sister had children. So, Bob announces, with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, "My wife, Mary, became a grandmother before her own mother did."
Our time is up. It's time to say goodbye to Bob. But, before I leave the side-walk table outside of Einstein's, Bob wants me to notice the bird behind me on the sidewalk. The bird has broken it's leg and hobbles about gathering bagel crumbs as it can. Bob's heart goes out to the bird.
"Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless,
but because they're priceless."
- Sherry Anderson
|Interview with Village Member Beverly Berner By Jane Baker|
Beverly Berner and Boswell
Bev is a long time dog lover. She grew up with a dachshund name Susie. Susie was an important member of her family, and the only one who never went in a plane. And planes were everywhere—in family stories and everyday life.
During WW2, Bev's mother was a WASP and flew new planes from their manufacturing plants to military bases around the country." Planes were such an integral part of my early life, that for years, I thought that everyone had an airplane," says Bev.
When her parents divorced, her mother, equipped with limited education but lots of grit, took on a variety of jobs to make ends meet. Her mother's career was capped off with becoming the first woman Director of the Indiana State Aeronautics Commission.
Bev graduated from Ithaca College. As a communications major, she was involved in the on-campus radio and TV stations.
After college, she had a brief stint in Chicago, working in the Traffic Department of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. "I started at the bottom," she recalls. "Awhile later, I accepted a position as an Account Service rep for a small ad agency, but I lost that job when they lost a key account and were forced to lay off people. Me included."
As luck would have it, her old boss at J. Walter Thompson heard of a job opening at Gardner Advertising in St. Louis. To make a long story short, she moved to St. Louis in 1978 and started working with clients on the Purina Puppy Chow business. Like her mother, she proved to be a strong businesswoman and became the company's first woman Vice President. The only major downside was the prospect of living in the County where, in her words, "everything was the same." Then she found the Central West End. "When I first saw the small shops along Newstead and Euclid, I immediately knew I was home," she remembers. She bought her first condo at corner of McPherson and Taylor a year later.
In 1983, she moved over to Darcy Advertising but lost her job there in 1987. "It turns out that losing that job was a blessing in disguise. It gave me time to take a good look at myself, to evaluate my strengths and interests. One of my strengths is relationship-building, a skill that's really important in the world of banking. So while it was something of a surprise to be offered a job with Cass Bank—when I had no experience in the banking world—I
was attracted to the relationship component of the position. I worked with owners of small and mid-size companies."
That interest held for seven years. When the job changed, she began to reconsider her direction. Encouraged by her friends and career mentor, she started a 2-year training program at Coach University. In 1999, she created Act 2®. Under this organization, she juggles three programs: traditional career counseling, a mid-life coaching course, and a recruiting concept to put mid-life professionals into project work. "I like to have a lot of things going on at the same time," she explains. "And I especially like to work with Boomers. Getting older is such a fascinating time; it's so freeing because it allows people to pursue their real interests."
That preference for an active life shows in her social life as well. For years she was involved with the Central West End Association. Nowadays, she's a founding member of STL Village and co-editor for its newsletter. In addition, she's a member of the Women with Spine (pun intended) book club and other business networking groups.
She likes to swim laps and takes yoga year-round. On Sunday mornings during the summer you can spot her doing yoga under the shade of the tall oak trees near the Visitor's Center in Forest Park. If she's feeling especially frisky, she's the one standing on her head.
"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time;
they just have the heart."
- Elizabeth Andrew
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Contact us at:
or (314) 802-0275
We invite comments and suggestions: email@example.com
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.
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
Edmund O. Acosta, Ph.D.
Gail A. Brown
Robert 'Mac' Findeiss
Malaika Horne, Ph.D.
Tom Meuser, Ph. D.
Nancy Morrow-Howell, Ph.D.
Mary Alice Ryan
Gloria C. Gordon, Ph.D.,
Board Member Emeritus
Natalie Galucia, Ex Officio