1998 Senior Hall of Fame
To read detailed biographies of all the 1998 senior hall of fame award winners scroll down the page
Mary Helen Gottwald
Mary Helen has done extraordinary work in the South Shore Area of Milwaukee County for decades. Even though Mary retired from her position as social services manager, she continues to volunteer her social work expertise and service on numerous committees for the South Milwaukee/Oak Creek (SM/OC) Interfaith as well as Interfaith's Central Board.
Her competence continues to be actively sought by medical professionals and local citizens who know her. Her knowledge and dedication to helping people is unsurpassed. For example, Mary often helps organize Interfaith clients' moves from homes or apartments to nursing homes, using her own personal resources at times to help these older adults. The personal involvement she has provided is in excess of 1,000 volunteer hours at SM/OC Interfaith in 1997, as well as another 1,000 hours in the South Shore area through the Lakeshore Clinic.
At the age of 73, Mary Helen has touched many lives and continues to actively seek more from herself to help others.
There are some people who exemplify the spirit of the Christmas season all year 'round, by giving selflessly of their time and energy to those in need. Susie Yvonne Harrington of Peace Interfaith is one such person. For more than 20 years, she has worked with many community based organizations, providing everything from spiritual guidance and counseling to writing proposals and helping the homebound file taxes.
A founder of Peace Interfaith, Susie has spent many years as an advocate for the community. Susie is also the founder of the Daughters of Luke, Ltd. (DOLL) program which provides in-home services to older adults. Susie says, "Over the years a lot of people got to know me, so when they have questions, they usually call me first. I help whenever I can."
At the age of 79, Susie, still gives freely of her time to many people, even to the point of exhaustion. Susie is a cheerful, generous volunteer.
Gwen Jackson's life is a testament to the impact an extraordinary person can have on a community. Her interests range from health care and social services to community advocacy and promotion of the arts. The sheer volume of her activities is all the more remarkable because she is more than just a participant-she inevitable takes on leadership roles with nearly every organization she is part of.
Gwen's effectiveness as a leader stems from the respect she earns for her hard work, her in-depth knowledge, and serious commitment with which she approaches every undertaking. At 70 years of age, she still has a gift for unparalleled eloquence. In acknowledging the many honors she has received over the years, Gwen characteristically downplays her own contribution and users the occasion to give credit to others.
Milwaukee is a healthier, more humane place to live because of Gwen's wisdom, energy and dedication to the principles of volunteerism.
Bernice Noble is clearly an inspiration to others, facing many obstacles in her life. As a widow with three children to raise, she worked third shift to juggle the roles of single parent and provider. Yet, in addition to raising her own family, Bernice also found time to foster parent two children.
Suffering the first of three strokes at the age of 47, Bernice was instrumental in the start-up of four support groups for stroke victims in Milwaukee County, and she is still a facilitator for two of those groups. At the age of 73, Bernice is still committed to the organizations for which she volunteers. As she has often said, "My purpose is to reach as many people in my lifetime as possible and share the life and hope that God has given me."
In her leisure time, Bernice enjoys attending church, poetry, playing billiards, and spending time with her family.
Brahm (Bob) Schapiro
At 71 years of age, Bob is an excellent volunteer whose efforts have greatly improved the lives of the people for whom he has worked. In 1990, Bob began working as a volunteer for Interfaith. He has since given 1,400 hours of volunteer service to older adults on Milwaukee's north side with 200 hours in 1997 alone.
Bob has provided transportation services with a ready sense of humor. Compared to other volunteers, who refuse difficult assignments or trips, Bob enthusiastically serves everyone. He has also attended all offered trainings in order to do his best in the type of service and information that he provides. Bob also provides volunteer help through the tax assistance program and the benefit specialists program, gaining the trust and friendship of those he helps.
In addition to his work with Interfaith, Bob also is a member of different Masonic groups. He is an officer for Mature Singles and volunteers at the Milwaukee Health Department.