Foundation and Donations
2015 Silver Stars Awards Gala - Honoring our area's outstanding seniors
Thursday, May 21, 6 p.m.
University Center Club
Tony Carvajal - Emcee
Anna Johnson - Presenter
Dinner & Entertainment
Tickets now on sale
Brought to you by the Tallahassee Senior Center & Foundation and our Silver Stars/Sponsors:
- Capital Health Plan
- Eye Associates of Tallahassee
- Capital Regional Medical Center
- Florida Blue Tallahassee
- Home Instead Senior Care
- Audiology Associates of North Florida
- Capital Home Health
- Carroll & Company, CPAs
- Millennium Nail and Day Spa
- Moose Lodge 1075
- Radiology Associates of Tallahassee
- Allegro Independent & Assisted Living
- Centre Pointe Health & Rehab
- E. Ann Cleare, Realtor, Premier Homes
- DQP Copy & Print
- HarborChase of Tallahassee
- Healing by Nature, LLC
- HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital
- Pacifica Senior Living Woodmont
- Seven Hills Health & Rehabilitation
- Sheila Salyer
- Tallahassee Memorial Lifeline
Let the Stars Shine
by Alexia Swanson and Andrea Palermo
Please join us in congratulating our 2015 Silver Star Award winners. Each recipient is nominated and selected as a Silver Star for his or her life service after turning age 60. The 2015 class, as others before them, exemplify positive living and community contributions that make a difference in the lives of others. Stars come from all walks of life and they continue to give selflessly of themselves no matter what their age or audience.
For Willie Gardner, 97, Practice Makes Perfect
Willie Gardner has been hard at work since he was just seven years old. For as long as he can remember, he's helped raise dairy and beef cattle on his family's farm in Tallahassee, and 90 years later he still tends to his cows two to three times each week. Despite this non-stop responsibility, Gardner somehow still managed to make room for a distinguished career as an educator, find time for military service, rearing a family with his wife, Juanita Gardner, and travel.
After serving in the Air Force during World War II, Gardner came home and earned bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Florida A&M University. He went on to lead one elementary and three high schools, and was recognized in 2010 as a FAMU dedicated scholar – an honor that included induction into the FAMU College of Education Gallery of Distinction.
Gardner always found time to mix his knack for agriculture with his passion for education. While serving as principal at Raney Elementary School, for example, he built a flourishing garden on the school campus. His leadership as a mentor also extended beyond the classroom, helping young males grow in other aspects of their lives through his leadership as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 161.
Now that his four children have grown into FAMU graduates and he is retired, Gardner keeps active as a class leader at Bethel AME Church, where he practices his faith, is a Steward, and keeps members informed about ministry events. In his free time Gardner enjoys exploring new places, and on a recent trip to San Francisco he discovered his favorite city! So far, his travel has taken him to 45 states.
Gardner's advice to younger people is to practice good habits: "Bad habits are not worth the time in your life," he says. "The best practices to have are studying hard and staying spiritual."
Hats Off to Thelma E. G. Lawrence, 95
Education has always been a priority for Thelma Lawrence. She never let anything stand in the way of her own education – not even the burden of walking 20 miles to school during the era of segregation, watching white children take the bus. After overcoming that challenge, she went on to spend 38 years teaching others to overcome the challenges of life.
The Lincoln High School graduate embarked on a lifetime as an educator after she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education from Florida A&M. Interestingly, her years at FAMU spanned a historic period as the school transitioned from a college into a full-fledged university.
Lawrence then dedicated nearly 40 years educating hundreds of students at several schools, teaching grades 1 – 8. It's no wonder she wholeheartedly believes everyone should obtain an education. Even after she retired, "Aunt Thelma" – as she is known by so many in the community – continued to nurturing college students by feeding them, taking them to church, and just being there for them.
Her passion for education was shared by her husband of 70 years, Freedman, who was a school principal. He passed away in 2013 and Lawrence fondly recalls that the foundation for their life-long love was "always trying to understand and serve each other's needs." For years, Thelma and Freedman spent time after work catching crabs and fish for cookouts with the community.
"Aunt Thelma" was considered such an outstanding cook that church groups competed to have her cook for their events…just ask folks at Bethel A. M. E. Church where Lawrence has been an active member for more than 80 years. Lawrence also chaired the church Hospitality and the Stewardess Board #3 committees.
Advice from this 2015 Silver Star to younger generations: "Respect elders and learn from their wisdom. Most importantly, always do whatever you can to help people." A wonderful cook, hostess, nurturer and exercise enthusiast, "Aunt Thelma" is truly an inspiration who proves the impact education can have on a person's life.
Country Roots and Army Suits, Ed Walters, 87
Ed Walters picked up the first postage stamp for his collection in 1956 while he was stationed in Alaska with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As the stamp collection grew Walters pasted his stories together, each stamp marking a new lifetime experiences over his 21 years of military service and beyond.
Before serving in the Army, Walters worked on his family's Kentucky farm. Later, he would document his young adult life in a book called "Kentucky Roots," in which he shared stories ranging from farm work and walking barefoot to grade school to serving his country across the globe—including combat zones in Korea and Vietnam.
Back in Kentucky he studied mechanical engineering, and later industrial engineering and management at New York University. With his degrees in hand, he spent 19 years teaching math to high school students. Walters' lessons weren't confined to public schools. He also led Sunday school classes, welcoming the opportunity to be a spiritual leader and help his students connect with God. Today, he serves as a deacon at Thomasville Road Baptist Church and ministers to patients during hospital visits.
Also a 15-year volunteer with One Blood, Tallahassee's blood center, Walters has been able influence numerous people to donate to the cause. This 2015 Silver Star says One Blood provides a way for him not only to help those in need, but also to keep his own body healthy and revitalized. And being a member of the TSC Stamp & Cover Club (27 years) keeps him involved with his passion of collecting.
Life is also about living the example. It's about loving and sharing with those closest to you. This past Easter was a particularly special day for Walters and his wife Anna as they celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. Walters beams with excitement when talking about celebration with Anna and their three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. "Nothing truly competes with the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones and watching our children nurture their families," he says thoughtfully.
It's All Colorful for Nancy Johnson, 87
This lady is an outstanding example of something you don't see much of these days: a life of blissful balance. Nancy Johnson maintains an ideal mix of family, activities, community organizations and the serenity of Tai Chi.
Johnson started building her "resume" three-quarters of a century ago, when she started her first job at age 12 and never looked back. She worked everywhere from departments stores to a munitions factory, with many years as a camp counselor with the Girl Scouts. She enjoys life with an exceptional sense of humor, and admits to sometimes feeling like an "encyclopedia of information that no one wants to read" – but her friends and family insist that she's indispensable.
These days, you can find Johnson giving voice to her artistic side at the Tallahassee Senior Center's drawing and watercolor class – and expressing her more tranquil side as a long-time volunteer for the Tai Chi Society, where she has served as "set leader" for more than 15 years.
Johnson's greatest adventure she says is "life with (husband) Craig. We married in 1952, with no limits on the future." She spent a few years as the wife of an Airman in Illinois, and then the pair started a less conventional quest: traveling with a carnival. No, they weren't really "carnies," but Craig helped assemble and pack up rides while Nancy sold tickets. By working together, they kept love in their hearts and food on the table.
Eventually finding her way to Leon County Schools, our 2015 Silver Star worked as a speech language pathologist for 30 years, helping countless capital city school children improve their verbal communication skills.
Now married for 62 happy years, Nancy and Craig Johnson enjoy their two children, four grandchildren and one great-grandson.
So what's her secret to a long and prosperous life? With characteristic humor, Johnson explains, "Keep healthy, keep busy, and – most importantly – don't die."
Hazel and D.W. Harris, 84 and 85, Serve with Amazing Grace
Some things in life just go together like the "fixings" of a fine recipe. Hazel and D.W. Harris are a shining example of two ingredients that when blended together, make a creation you just want to share! This amazing couple continues to make life fuller for others.
The duo "retired" this year from cooking for their church senior group. For more than two decades, D.W. and Hazel served warm meals and even warmer smiles at Generations Church (previously Oak City Church), where they have been members for 32 years. Over the last 24 years, this generous couple dished out almost 17,000 meals, cooking for seniors, youth groups and special gatherings or occasions. Hazel is known for adding her own special flair to each recipe, making every dish one of a kind. It seems that nothing can keep her out of the kitchen, where her commitment to service and passion for cooking are in charge.
This pair of 2015 Silver Stars still participate with "Keenagers" (Generations' senior group) and D.W. continues to usher, along with other activities, as he has for more than 20 years. His spirit of service began with the U.S. Army in Korea, and after returning home, he spent 30 years as a Tallahassee firefighter. That same selfless desire to serve others led him to serving meals, side by side, with the love of his life. The couple helped organize and distribute food through SHARE (Angel Network) and the church pantry. They continue to visit individuals in the community who are ill or in need of support.
Hazel and D. W. reared five daughters and now enjoy time with their 10 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren. Their large family is a testament to their successful and inspiring marriage, now spanning 68 blissful years. "It's amazing to think that it only cost $7 to get married back then," D.W. Harris said with a chuckle. "We were married by the same woman who married my parents."
Hazel's tip for a strong, happy marriage: "Take and give a lot, and don't go to bed mad at each other." D.W.'s advice is a little more straightforward: "When she says something, I say 'yes ma'am'!"
Another Slam Dunk for Edwina B. Martin, 84
In her college days, Edwina Martin's long black braided hair, swung back and forth, just as she swung from shooting hoops to hitting spikes across the volleyball net. In classrooms and with her teammates, the young athlete absorbed valuable health education skills, practices she would use and teach to others throughout her life.
Martin earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Florida A & M University, did additional studies at FSU and earned a professional degree in special health education from the University of Connecticut.
Her passion to inspire creativity in young people drove her to spend 48 years teaching in public schools and at her alma mater, FAMU. Perhaps the most enriching work during her career as a professor were during three summers at the Pentagon. "It was a beautiful experience," Martin says. "I researched women's activities and those of the 'special population' (today called disabled)."
She also earned a reputation as a tasteful chef and event planner through the many weddings she's planned and baked goods she's made from scratch – a successful business she managed from her own kitchen!
The 2015 Silver Star recalls that her grandmother noticed how diligently she cared for flowers and advised that "as long as I loved and treated people like I did those flowers, I'd be ok." Martin says, "between loving others and maintaining a good relationship with the Lord, I've been able to stay peaceful and happy."
Today, Martin teaches exercise classes three times a week at Jack L. McLean Community Center, and is actively involved in Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Red Hatters Society, and FAMU Ladies Art and Social Club. A lifelong member at Philadelphia Primitive Baptist Church, Martin finds herself involved in many ministries.
She shares with younger people, "don't let fear keep you from going after opportunities. If you take the chance, these experiences can deeply enrich your life – much as they have mine."
Ed Duffee, Jr., 77 – He's First on the List
From legal work to community involvement to crossword puzzles, Ed Duffee, Jr., always looks for solutions. Duffee's friends and family know they'll always find a crossword within reach, part of his daily practice to help keep his mind sharp. His determination to find solutions isn't limited to challenging puzzles, but stands evident in his accomplishments.
After graduating from Florida A & M University, Duffee enlisted in the U.S. Army, spending three years traveling both domestically and abroad. While stationed in Germany, he realized his desire was to become a lawyer.
In 1965, Duffee graduated first in his class from Florida A&M's law school and landed a job with Florida's then-Secretary of State, Tom Adams. Duffee proudly claims the distinction of being the first African-American since Reconstruction to work in a professional position in the Capitol. He was also the first African-American to hold an instructor position at the Florida State University College of Law.
Duffee's sense of justice is evident from his career choices. He established his own law firm, was a founding member of the Tallahassee Urban League, and served as member of a Judicial Nominating Commission, an administrative judge and an unemployment fraud prosecutor.
Even after his retirement in 2004, Duffee remains active in the community. He serves on the board for Miracle Hill Nursing Home, stays busy with Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Tallahassee Senior Foundation, which he served as president for two terms.
In his free time he enjoys fishing, farming vegetables and spending time with his family, and he is a deacon at St. Mary's Primitive Baptist Church. He and his wife Alberta have a son and a daughter.
Duffee has established a strong legacy for young minority professionals to follow. He encourages younger individuals to never take shortcuts. "Be diligent and see it through," he says.
Dottie Daniels, 78, Searching to Serve
Dottie Daniels knows that if you want to help others, you can't always wait for them to come to you. Sometimes you have to go out and bring your generous spirit to them. Almost three decades ago, Daniels turned tragedy into inspired commitment to others. As a result, she is now widely known as "the bread lady," helping our community's neediest residents make it to another day.
Daniels left the mountains of North Carolina for Tampa back in the '50's. There she met her husband and together they moved to Tallahassee. They each had two children, and this expanded Daniels family became her whole world. Sadly, in 1986 she lost one of her beloved children. But instead of letting her heart be filled with despair, she filled it with people.
On her journey to turn sadness into something positive, Daniels began volunteering at a homeless center. Noticing that the pantry was stocked only with PB&J, she became determined to fill the void by founding Agape Food Ministry. For the past 20 years, she has provided food to those in low-income neighborhoods. Together as a partnership with Publix, she picks up bread and delivers it to numerous apartment complexes and neighborhoods four times a week. She serves others through affiliations with the Big Bend Homeless Coalition, Lighthouse Children's Home, Westgate, CARE Ministry and Good Samaritan Ministry.
Daniels actively seeks people to help. With the support of an outstanding team, she goes into the woods and visits tent communities populated with those less fortunate, bringing food and clothing and sometimes even taking them to the doctor for check-ups. She similarly extends a helping hand to the elderly, ensuring that even the simplest tasks receive the attention they need.
Each relationship Daniels forms is unique and special, and she is working to pass her philosophy to the next generation. She tells others, "Always make yourself available to minister to the less fortunate. Because each circumstance is different, be careful not to judge."
Thank you for being a key to active aging! Send your contribution to: Tallahassee Senior Center,1400 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee FL 32303.
Gold Key Holders
Roy C. Young
Silver Key Holders
Virginia K. Craig; Dr. Mike Francis; Myron & Judy Hayden; Phillip Welsh
Bronze Key Holders
Doug & Melanie Carlson; Barbara Judd; Dr. Clifford K. & Mary Madsen; Jay McGlon; Andrew J. McMullian, III; Edna Owens
Friend Key Holders
Steve & Yvonne Brown; Jennifer Clinard; Dr. Marie E. Cowart; Enid Davey; Charlene DeMarco; Dollie Doty; Charles W. & Judith A. Ehrhardt; Cynthia Hall; Candace G. Hundley; Willma Johnson; Ronald A. Kanen; Audrey J. Kuehl; Earl & Beth Lines; Elda Martinko; Mary Ann Mathers; Drs. Bill & Alice Pomidor; Dana Preu; Jane Quinton; Dr. & Mrs. Terry & Marilyn Reisman; Kermit & Kathleen Rose; Jo Ann Sewell; Josephine G. Smyly; Betty Soderholm; John D. & Frances Stiles; Beverly & Adrian Wells; William Wertman & William Fontaine; John L. & Linda M. Williams; Edward Wynn
New and Returning Members:
Jeanne C. Alderson; Joseph Allaire; Maureen R. Antworth; Dick & Gayle Arbes; Linda Ard; Efren & Emerlinda Baltazar; Ellen Baxter; Bruce & Susan Bechard; Andrea Billings; Gerald Blaisdell & Onez O'Neal; Mary Blasini; Ron & Genny Blazek; Norman & Ann Booth; Mary Bowers; Anna L. Brandt; Richard Brittingham; Ken & Sharon Brock; Carol Lynch Brown; Ben & Carolyn Brown; Clarice Byrd; Rubia Byrd; Jacqueline Chiricos; Collier & Jan Clark
Dr. Simone Clemhout; Lillie K. Cloud; Claudia Coaker; Martha S. Cook; Maria Lessie Correa; Mary Lou Corriveau; Lloyd W. Cory; Julie Costas; Eva Curry; Janice Daly; Booker & Faye Daniels; June Davis; Irene Dearden; Jim & Noel DeLong; Nancy Dodson; Margaret Dowdy; Gail Downing; Ed & Alberta Duffee; M. J. Eibeck; Rashel Ellsmore; Ruth English; Deanna Epley; Janet B. Erwin; Dan Evans & Brenda Blackburn; Mary H. Falls; John T. Falls, Jr.; John Felton; Viva Forman; Susanne Fortune; Wynberne George; Nancy O'Pry Gentry; Susan Gilson; Ben Girtman; Beverly Glover; Lois Green; Sue Hall; Patsy Hammitt; Elizabeth Hammond; Timothy & Julianne Hare; Richard & Ouida Harmon; Judy Harris; Mary Harvey; Carolyn D. Hawkins; Dan Hendrickson & Susie Caplowe; Jean M. Hewitt; Dale & Marge Hiedeman; Ralph & Barbara Hook; Virginia Horak; Mary Howard; Paula Hubbard; Billie Lee Hubble; Betty Ann Huber; Mabel Huffman; Rudy & Jeanne Hurst; Linda Husbands; Mary Frances Hutchens; John & Susan Hutchison; John Kirk Jackson & Christiana T. Moore; Barbara S. James; Mary Jefferson; Jerry L. & Rauha Jessup; Polly S. Johnson; Wendy Johnston; Shirley Joyce; Dottie Katz; Mary A. Kidd; Herbert Klepper; Hazel Lee Kleppey; Tommy & Tadako Knight; Patricia H. Kraft; Mark & Shirley Krause; Paul Lacarelli & June Coleman; Ms. Dean C. LaFleur; Mr. John Laney; Linda S. Larsen; Michael A. & Harriett Lawrence; Sandra Lawson; Dennis & Carol Lee; Kathy M. Lee; Chuck & Muriel Lee; Marcus Little; Patty Lollis; Steven Lovasz; Edward & Frances Mack; Charles & Ricki Maddox; Monheim & Grace Manassa; Fernita E. Martin; Jim & Susan Mau; Celine Melton; Joe & Christine Mills; Billie Milner; Doris Mims; Jim Moore; DeVoe & Shirley McEwan Moore; Merton E. Munson; Robert & Janet Newburg; Mary Ann Nita; Ed & Linda Oaksford; Anna L. Ohlson; Hazel M. Oliver; Betty Osmondson; Gayle Paulie Pease; Jennie Petrovski; Friedrich & Zina Peuckert; Ida Pippin & Norma Smith; Dr. & Mrs. Ira B. & Roie Price; Jane M. Quinton; Sandy Randolph; Lee Rayner; Rick Rice & Christine Koontz; William & Patricia Riedell; Rae Roeder; Martha Rodeseike; Dorothy Ryan; William & Jeanne Ryder; Sheryl Salit; Peggy Sanford; Bette Scaringe; Craig Shaw & Lynn Griffin; Richard & Dawn Shelton; Dr. Shankar A. Shetty; Harold & Shirley Showalter; Les Sipos; Gloria Jean Sleeman; Cornelia A. Smith; Maralyn Smith; Margaret Smyly; Jimmie & Nancy Spagnola; Gwendolyn J. Spencer; Elisabeth Spencer; Patricia Stanley; Barbara D. Stebbins; James E. Stephens; Cookie Stevens; Kathy G. Strubble; Etsuko Sudano; Loyce Farr Sulkes; Chyrs Sullivan; Gloria Swanson; George Sweat; Susanne Taranto; Mario L. Taylor & Margie McInnes; Robert L. Taylor; Viola Taylor; Jack & Flo Taylor; Gail Tedder; Juanita E. Thomas; Fred & Gena Varn; The Honorable Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda; Sylvia Walford; Kelvin & Patti Wallace; Bernice Walters; Norma J. Washington; Charlotte P. Watkins; Rachel Webb; Dr. & Mrs. John M. & Ada Wells, Jr.; Karen Wensing; Deborah Williams; Cynthia G. Williams; Jerry & Janice Wise; Bob & Elaine Woodward; Marthine V. Woodward
Mother's Day Donations
In honor of
- Linda L. Meyer
by: Ms. Lisa Meyer
- Mary Salyer
by: Ms. Sheila Salyer
In memory of
- Marge Potter
by: Mr. Phil Potter
- Ruby E. Rivers
by: Mr. & Mrs. Tom Rivers
Father's Day Donations
In Memory of
- Ray Dean Meyer
by: Ms. Lisa Meyer
- Thomas Howell Rivers
by: Mr. & Mrs. Tom Rivers
- Herb "Jack" Salyer
by: Ms. Sheila Salyer
In honor of
- Hella Spellman – 25 Women You Need To Know
by:Janice Daly, Lisa Meyer
- Pamela E. Flory & Chuck Lee
by: Kermit & Kathleen Rose
In memory of
- Theora Frisbee
by:Janice Daly, Lisa Meyer
- Pamela E. Flory & Chuck Lee
by: Rose Blackburn, Lelia Doolittle, Karen Inman, Sheila Salyer
In Appreciation of
- AARP Tax Aide
by: Donie Ann Henderson, Lisa Meyer, Barbara Pottschmidt
- Capital City Senior Games
by: Judge & Mrs. Harry Anstead
- TALL Class 8
by: Steve & Yvonne Brown
by: Hazel M. Oliver
- Favorite Activities
by: Charles W. & Judith A. Ehrhardt; Timothy & Julianne Hare; Carolyn D. Hawkins; Virginia Horak; Ronald A. Kanen; Darlene Wilke
- Portrait Art
by: John Felton
- Leon County Senior Outreach
by: : Jo Ann Sewell
- Swimming and Art
by: Enid Davey
Be A Key Holder
Please join the Tallahassee Senior Citizens Foundation today. Your contribution pays for programs and enhances services. Mail or drop off at the Senior Center your annual membership contribution at the Senior Center.
- $25 Senior (55 +)
- $35 Supporter (under 55)
- $40 Senior Couple
- $50 Non-profit organization
- $5,000 Diamond Key
- $2,000 Platinum Key
- $1,000 Gold Key
- $500 Silver Key
- $250 Bronze Key
- $100 Friend's Key
Thank you for being a key to active aging! Please send your contribution to:
Tallahassee Senior Center
1400 N. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, Florida 32303
TSC Foundation Board Members
- Linda Roberts, President
- Donna Wells, Vice President
- Gwendolyn Spencer, Treasurer
- Edna Owens, Secretary
- Ken-Brummel-Smith, M.D.
- Doug Carlson
- Mary Carroll
- Ajay Chada
- Jim Davis, CPA
- Sandy DeLopez
- Shirley Gooding-Butler
- Scott Harrell
- Elda Martinko
- Lew Wilson
- Bryan Desloge - Emeritus
- A.J. (Andy) McMullian - Emeritus
- Sarah Neeley- Emeritus
Senior Services Advisory Council
- Emily Millett, Chairperson
- Jill Sandler, Vice Chair
- Peter Piper, Secretary
- Nancy Daws
- Pamela Flory
- Harry Fordham
- Dr. Mike Francis
- Patricia Parkhurst
- Annie Rolle
- Andrea Rosser
- Dr. Antonio Terracciano
- Freida Travis
- Ed Vertuno
- Mae Williams
A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll free 800-435-7352 within Florida. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. Registration #CH8035.