Most Inspiring Seniors 2014

Today's seniors have embraced aging and take a forward-thinking approach to senior living, serving as an example of living life to the fullest regardless of age. We've rounded up the most inspiring seniors who have laughed in the face of aging and shown the world that age really is just a number.



The winner of Most Inspiring Seniors is awarded to the finalist that earns the highest rating during the Best Senior Living Awards. Congratulations to the winner of Most Inspiring Seniors!

  • Luella Shell

    Luella Shell

    584 Popular Vote

    Luella Shell, 99 year old resident at Merrill Gardens of Santa Maria (Santa Maria, CA), has inspired everyone at her senior living community. She loves to dance and create opportunities for Merrill Ga...



The following senior living resources were nominated for a chance to earn the title of Most Inspiring Seniors. All of our nominees deserve an honorable mention for the valuable resources they provide for the senior living community!

  • John Petrucci

    John Petrucci

    445 Popular Vote

    John Petrucci has been an inspiration to his Merrill Gardens at First Hill residents and staff because of his honorable and talented past. John is a World War Two Veteran and earned several medals for...

  • Kenneth Crooks

    Kenneth Crooks

    300 Popular Vote

    Kenneth Crooks, 83, was a Georgian civic leader who worked at the National Urban League. During his tenure at the Urban League in Atlanta, he worked in Economic Development and Employment, Education...

  • Trilma Leeman

    Trilma Leeman

    245 Popular Vote

    Merrill Gardens at Campbell opened only five months ago and in that short amount of time Trilma Leeman has made a significant impact. She has inspired over twenty residents to learn how to knit, croch...

  • Milton Stroll

    Milton Stroll

    201 Popular Vote

    Milton is 96 years young and full of energy, enthusiasm, and hospitality. He understands the importance of why seniors should choose to live in a retirement community and is always the first to step...

  • Ross Patterson

    Ross Patterson

    130 Popular Vote

    Ross Patterson loves to tell a story and he draws upon a wealth of experience to make the story interesting. Even though his active duty orders in the US Navy during WWII interrupted his completing...

  • Sonia Friedman

    Sonia Friedman

    85 Popular Vote

    Sonia Friedman, 82 years young from Heritage Greens. Before moving to Heritage Greens 7 years ago, Sonia considered herself to be overweight and unhealthy. One day she decided that she wanted to make...

  • Rabbi Harry Z. Sky

    Rabbi Harry Z. Sky

    62 Popular Vote

    Rabbi Harry Z. Sky, receiver of the prestigious Catalyst for Change award in 2007, has been called a giant in the American rabbinate. His vision and passion for Jewish and human change and for soci...

  • Mary Hiers

    Mary Hiers

    51 Popular Vote

    Mary Hiers, resident at Sunrise Senior Living at Webb Gin in Lawrenceville , GA, has inspired everyone she comes in contact with from children, family members, volunteers, and team members. As the for...

  • Alicia Chandler

    Alicia Chandler

    45 Popular Vote

    According to Mrs. Chandler's community, she is a quiet person with a contagious leadership style. Quiet people are often overlooked, but Alicia's leadership gets her fellow residents and staff enthuse...

  • Ron Cox

    Ron Cox

    44 Popular Vote

    Ron Cox is a resident at the Inn at Greenwood Village but you wouldn’t know it! He is so active and lives his life to the fullest every day. He loves to take pictures so he is at many events with...

  • Ayosea (Barbara) Morse

    Ayosea (Barbara) Morse

    37 Popular Vote

    “Ayosea” (Barbara) Morse started teaching Yoga in the 70’s and for quite some time was teaching 6 classes a week at Palomar Community College, in Escondido and Rancho Bernardo. Ayosea feels tha...

  • Jeanie Verlander

    Jeanie Verlander

    32 Popular Vote

    Cottonbloom Assisted Living and Memory Care Community nominated Jeanie because she is widely considered a community ambassador and is a dynamic, full of life person. Jeanie is very loving and caring t...

  • Mary Podgurski

    Mary Podgurski

    15 Popular Vote

    Mary Podgurski is the picture of inspiring! She has lived at Fountain Crest Retirement Community, an all-inclusive, independent living community in Lehigh Acres, Florida for 9 years. At 99 years young...

  • Edythe Kirchmaier

    Edythe Kirchmaier

    7 Popular Vote

    At age 106, Edythe is Facebook's oldest registered user, California's oldest licensed driver and the University of Chicago's oldest living former student.For over 40 years, Kirchmaier has been a volun...

  • Robert Fegley

    Robert Fegley

    7 Popular Vote

    At 89 years old Robert has a wonderful, positive attitude, always encouraging other residents at his community, Paramount House Senior Living in Vacaville, California. He especially loves to sit and v...

  • Abe Belinoff

    Abe Belinoff

    4 Popular Vote

    Abe Belinoff, 101, inspires his fellow residents and the staff at Casa de Santa Fe, in Rocklin, California everyday since 2003. Abe is the motivation and leader in the weekly poker game at the clubhou...

  • Betty White

    Betty White

    2 Popular Vote

    An award winning actress, singer, comedian, author and TV personality, Betty White has a career that spans more than seven decades. At the age of 90, she continues to act and perform, and is an inspir...

  • Buzz Aldrin

    Buzz Aldrin

    2 Popular Vote

    The second person to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin made history on July 20th, 1969 when he, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins were the first humans to land on the moon. Before becoming an astronaut...

  • Dame Judi Dench

    Dame Judi Dench

    2 Popular Vote

    Dame Judi Dench, 80, is inspiring for her amazing performance as M in the James Bond films including 2012's Skyfall and her recent Academy Award nominated role in Philomena. Dench is known for often p...

  • Maggie Smith

    Maggie Smith

    2 Popular Vote

    Few actors can boast a career as amazing as Maggie Smith’s. The 79-year-old actress has been working since 1955, earning accolades from her Oscar-winning role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to the...

  • Warren Buffett

    Warren Buffett

    2 Popular Vote

    Warren Buffett at the age of 83 has spent much of his wealthy life being a champion of philanthropy. After being named by Forbes the richest person in the world in 2008, he gave away half of his fortu...

  • Arlene Guthmann

    Arlene Guthmann

    1 Popular Vote

    Arlene Guthmann, a three year resident of Heritage Springs Assisted Living Community is 94 years old. In her three years at the community, Ms. Guthmann has become a very important part of the family...

  • Barbara Walters

    Barbara Walters

    1 Popular Vote

    One of the most well known faces on television, Barbara Walters first started off her career as a writer and researcher for The Today Show in 1961. Through the years, Walters would become the co-host...

  • Clint Eastwood

    Clint Eastwood

    1 Popular Vote

    American actor, director, composer, producer and politician, Clint Eastwood has led an active career, primarily in the film industry, for over 55 years. Starting off with minor roles in films that wer...

  • Fauja Singh

    Fauja Singh

    1 Popular Vote

    A world record holder for his age bracket, Fauja Singh became the first 100 year old to complete a marathon on October 16th, 2011. Born on the 1st of April, 1911 in Beas Pind, Jalandhar, Punjab, Brit...

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews

    1 Popular Vote

    Julie Andrews, 78, has been a beloved and much-honored star of stage, screen and television for more than half a century. Her career is an exciting blend of unique facets through which is woven a comm...

  • Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou

    1 Popular Vote

    "Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil...

  • Morgan Freeman

    Morgan Freeman

    1 Popular Vote

    Morgan Freeman is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. Even at the age of 75 he is still actively making movies currently filming two movies and five in post production. At a wealth level an...

  • Winifred Pristell

    Winifred Pristell

    1 Popular Vote

    At 75, Winifred Pristell is inspirational as the world, national, and Washington State record holder for single lift bench press for her age group and weight class. The amazing part is that she did...

  • Darlene Love

    Darlene Love

    0 Popular Vote

    Darlene Love, 72, was recently featured in the Academy Award winning documentary "20 Feet From Stardom." She is an inductee in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, lead singer for the 1962 #1 hit song "He's...

  • Helen Meyrowitz

    Helen Meyrowitz

    0 Popular Vote

    Helen Meyrowitz is a Needham Artist and North Hill resident who has turned to her passion both as a coping outlet when her late husband developed Alzheimer's disease and a means to raise awareness and...

  • Madeleine Albright

    Madeleine Albright

    0 Popular Vote

    Madeleine Albright was the very first woman to become the United States Secretary of State. Appointed this position on December 6th, 1996 by President Bill Clinton and given a unanimous confirmation b...

  • Regis Philbin

    Regis Philbin

    0 Popular Vote

    At 82 years old, Regis Philbin is one of the most recognizable faces to morning television. His long running series "Live! with Regis and Kelly" ended in 2011 when he was 80 years old. He continues to...

  • Tony Bennett

    Tony Bennett

    0 Popular Vote

    At the age of 87 Tony Bennett has no plans for retirement. In 2006, Bennett turned eighty years old and released the album "Duets: An American Classic" which reached the highest place ever on the alb...

  • Wilford Brimley

    Wilford Brimley

    0 Popular Vote

    Wilford Brimley, 79, is a long-time actor who has appeared in over 50 films, several television shows and is well known for his commercials for Quaker Oats and Liberty Medical. As a person with diabe...

  • William Shatner

    William Shatner

    0 Popular Vote

    There may not be a bigger pop culture icon or more recognizable celebrity name in the United States than William Shatner. After already having two hit television shows, Star Trek and TJ Hooker, and a...

Award Program Details

  • Includes people at least 70 years old or older and still alive as of 1/1/2014
  • Individuals from everyday life who have demonstrated how to live to the fullest regardless of age
  • Celebrities who have embraced aging
  • Well-known individuals who have gained popularity as they have entered their senior years.