‘Ageless’ St. Louisans add talents to the community

Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Patricia Kaspar, 80, has dedicated her life to improving the health and welfare of seniors across Missouri. She's a fixture in Jefferson City where she educates legislators on a wide range of senior health and Medicaid funding issues on behalf of LeadingAge Missouri.

Sister Antona Ebo, 92, a Franciscan Sister of Mary, is a pioneer in our nation's fight for civil rights. She travels the country spreading a message of love, compassion and respect for others.

The two Catholics are among 17 active and engaged older adults whose contributions were to be honored by St. Andrew's Resources for Seniors System Sunday, Nov. 5.

St. Andrew's points out that the honorees provide a fresh perspective on what it means to grow older by using their golden years to travel, continue careers, embark on new carers or lend their time and talents to charities.

In 25 years as an executive with Bethesda Health Group in St. Louis, Kaspar served as a compliance officer, trainer and consultant. Kaspar, a member of St. Catherine Laboure Parish in Sappington, is also a long-time board member of LeadingAge Missouri (formerly the Missouri Association of Homes for the Aging).

As one of the Sisters of Selma, Sister Ebo traveled along with five other Catholic sisters as part of the St. Louis delegation to Selma, Ala., on March 10, 1965. Appearing among the marchers in Selma that day, Sister Ebo became a symbol of the civil rights movement. Among presentations this year, she spoke at a Faith in Ferguson prayer service at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

Honorees also include St. Louis University professor emeritus of internal medicine Dr. Raymond Slavin and Nazi Germany escapee Ken Wilde. The others are: Carol Duhme, Jacqueline Dyer, Judith Hanses, Dr. Kent Kreh, Sally Lefler, Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Liggett, Sandra Murdock, Ray Potter, Jane Rand, Daniel and Violet Steinmeyer, James Weidman and Dorothy Willis.

The 2015 class of Ageless-Remarkable St. Louisans will join 300 older adults who have been recognized over the past decade and personify St. Andrew's vision of a society where older adults are respected, productive, secure and fulfilled.

"We continue to be amazed by the active and engaged spirits of our amazing honorees," said Mary Alice Ryan, president and CEO of the St. Andrew's Resources for Seniors System. "Our Ageless honorees are living proof that growing older doesn't have to be synonymous with slowing down, and their accomplishments rival those of people half their age."

With St. Andrew's serving more than 8,800 St. Louis seniors and caregivers annually, the Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans Gala is the primary fundraising event for St. Andrew's and its charitable foundation. The funds are used for programs and services and extend financial aid to residents who have exhausted their resources.

Created in 1961 as a nonprofit partnership of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri and the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy, St. Andrew's is a non-sectarian, faith-based agency serving both older adults and their caregivers. Among its efforts, St. Andrew's manages The Sarah Community, sponsored by five Catholic communities of women religious. For more information, including tips for caregivers, visit www.standrews1.com.

Much of the information for this article was provided by St. Andrew's. 

Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans Gala

WHEN: 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15

WHERE: Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch

DETAILS: Dinner will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dancing and a performance by St. Louis jazz and swing band Miss Jubilee.

TICKETS: $175 per person. Call (314) 726-0111. 

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