Welcoming Seventy

One of the purest joys for me in 2014 was having the opportunity to meet and sit down to speak with many impressive older women, who have inspired me immeasurably. I created this WOW Factor blog last May, when I turned 69, because I was searching for role models. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my mother died at the age of 69 after a long battle with brain cancer thirty years ago, so I felt I had no one close to me to emulate in the aging-purposefully department. My friend Brigid, who is my age, insists, “We all need role models!” But I felt the need acutely enough to track them down. So I donned my journalist’s cap, grabbed my ancient tape recorder, asked some important (to me) questions (such as, “What sustains you?”), and got some meaningful interviews.

The eighteen women featured in this blog since last May – all between the ages of 71 and 91 — may not consider themselves “wise” in the solemn King Solomon sense of the word. But I’ve gained an immense amount of wisdom from them, and I trust that WOW Factor readers have as well. I’ve learned the importance of resilience, humor, creativity, and positivity in the process of purposeful aging. I’ve learned the true meaning of ageless beauty. Thanks to them, the prospect for me of turning 70 in mid-May 2015 is not something I fear. In fact, I’m welcoming it.

To date, this WOW Factor blog has received a total of 5,649 views. I’m hoping that in the new year, as I continue my quest to celebrate and spotlight women over 70 who can inspire us with their “can (still) do” spirit, more people will follow their lead. My list of more amazing women to interview remains long, but if you’d care to help me add to it, please e-mail me at bonnieleeblack@yahoo.com with the contact information of any woman you feel deserves recognition and inclusion in WOW, and I’ll do my best to follow through.

Here, in alphabetical order, are the names and ages of the women featured in 2014. If you missed any of their stories, just scroll down to the “Search the Archives” slot and type in their name. THANK YOU to all of them. And Happy New Year to all of us!

Sandra Affleck, 71

Joyce Appleby, 85

Delma Barron, 78

Anita Bauer, 76

Sallie Bingham, 77

Grace Fichtelberg, 90

Sara Jean Gray, 83

Madeleine Herrmann, 84

Phyllis Hotch, 86

Judith Kendall, 72

Laura Kruskal, 91

Sibyl Saam, 86

Heidi Smith, 72

Susanna Starr, 79

Stephanie Sydoriak, 87

Wendy Tyson, 72

Karen Young, 73

Dorothy Zopf, 86


A Note to Readers: If you received this post in WordPress and you are not already a WOW Factor subscriber, please go to: www.blog.bonnieleeblack.com/ and click on the “Subscribe” button, insert your e-mail address, then approve the confirmation e-mail that will follow. We’re all overwhelmed by too many e-mails in our in-boxes, it’s true; but you can count on the fact that WOW Factor blog posts will always be short (and sweet!) and no more frequent than once a week. Please join the conversation in celebration of inspiring older women by subscribing to the WOW Factor and telling your friends about it. Thank you so much. — Bonnie