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r/Seniors - Meet An “Amazing” Whose Comedic Gifts Are A Gift To Us All

Lily Tomlin, at 80, is enjoying a career that actors in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s–supposedly in their prime–would no doubt envy. She’s a lead in Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie” and has reprised her role as Professor Frizzle in “The Magic School Bus Rides Again,” having voiced the original Mrs. Frizzle in “The Magic School Bus” over 20 years ago. Lily started her career as a stand-up comedian off-Broadway. What set her apart from many other budding comedians was her ability to create unique, memorable, positively hilarious characters. From “Ernestine” the telephone operator, to 5½ year old “Edith Ann,” Lily’s characters are spell-binding. Lily’s talent had been rewarded not only with a flourishing career, but with many honors, including her 2017 Screen Actors Lifetime Achievement Award.



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Lorna Prendergast, at 90, received a Master’s Degree in Aging from the University of Melbourne, having pursued her studies online for the most part. Her accomplishment just goes to show that seniors, although not brought up in the age of technology, are every bit as capable as younger generations to use technology to accomplish their dreams.

For Lorna, her interest in music and aging began when she visited her husband in a nursing home the last few years before he passed. She always loved and had great appreciation for music, but only after observing residents in the nursing home and their reactions to music that Lorna became intrigued with the potential of music’s positive influence on Alzheimer’s and related disorders. With that, she decided to learn more about it, and here she is, a new graduate, ready to use her skills and training to benefit others.



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João Staganelli Jr., at 64, who had to slow down at 60 due to a heart condition, could simply have settled for an R&R existence. But no! João, who some 30 years ago developed vitiligo (a disease, which although painless, causes the skin to lose pigment and color), decided to put his must-slow-down time to good use. He first learned amigurumi, a crochet technique used to craft plush toys, Then, he began making dolls that mirrored the vitiligo condition in an effort to improve vitiligo-afflicted children’s self-esteem. Representing a child in a doll that they could relate to is a powerful way of enhancing self-perception. João then began making dolls representing other challenging conditions children experience such as being wheelchair bound or visually impaired. To date he has crocheted some 200 dolls!



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Judy Peterson, at 75, received the 2018 Outstanding Senior Award at the Minnesota State Fair, not just for one volunteering effort, not even for two or three. Oh, no – the list of Judy’s regular volunteering activities is far more impressive. Judy visits patients at Itasca Hospice, oversees the receptionist volunteers at Itasca County Tax Aide, directs ElderCircle’s free grocery shopping and delivery program, helps coordinate food distribution to families in need with Ruby’s Pantry, serves with Habitat for Humanity, Open Door Coat Rack and more. She’s hoping to add volunteering as an usher volunteer at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids. Judy says her ongoing commitment to volunteering gives her a sense of purpose and of belonging, as well as friendships. This after raising her three children, and a career in the medical support field; as a medical transcriptionist, medical secretary, and manager of a medical equipment company. The title “Outstanding” certainly fits!



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Sarah Yerkes, at 101, published her first book of poems, “Days of Blue and Flame,” (Passager Books, University of Baltimore), having begun her foray into the literary world at 90 years young! Sarah started out as an architect, became a landscape designer, and in her 50s, took up sculpting–all the while married and raising her 4 children (one of whom passed away from leukemia at age 5). A chance encounter led to her attending a poetry writing class, which so intrigued her that she stuck with it, and voila! Some 10 years later, her first published work. Congratulations, Sarah!

https://www.Facebook.com/MeetTheAmazings.



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