FORT MYERS, Fla. ( June 11 , 2013)

Shell Point residents Bill Reiff, Ken Treiber, Fuzz Farrell, Pete Bickett, and George Decelles share both a love of woodworking and a love of helping children. They have teamed up with three Vi at Bentley Village residents, Charles Rue, Peter Mattimore, and Frank Harrigan, to make wooden toy cars for children in need as part of the Toys for God’s Kids program. Last year, they produced more than 300 cars and sent them to hospitalized children in Mali, West Africa and to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Over the holiday season, they also supplied cars to the Toys for Tots and Operation Christmas Child programs.

The Vi at Bentley Village volunteers visited the Shell Point resident woodworkers to tour the community’s woodshop with and meet with Craig Schneider of Suncoast Contractors Supply. As part of Builders Without Borders, Schneider is preparing for a September trip to Rwanda to continue work on the Kigali Christian School. The woodworkers are giving Schneider toy cars to load into the container the Builders Without Borders group is shipping to Kigali, Rwanda in June in preparation for their trip. In turn, Schneider is donating scrap lumber from Suncoast Contractors Supply to the gentlemen to make more cars for needy children. Continue reading “SHELL POINT RESIDENT WOODWORKERS’ PHILANTHROPIC NATURE DEEPLY INGRAINED”

“DING” DARLING PRESENTS “GREAT BLUES IN LOVE” EXHIBIT Shell Point Resident Sallie Rich Captures Blue Heron Courtship

FORT MYERS, Fla. ( December 19, 2012 )

Wildlife photographs by Sallie Rich, a resident of Shell Point Retirement Community, will be featured in an exhibit at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge Center FREE Education Center from 9am to 5pm starting on January 2, 2013 through February 28, 2013. The exhibit, Great Blues in Love, captures the mating habits of Great Blue Herons. This display will feature 27 photographs, and will be located in the free exhibit area of the auditorium for visitors.

“I found a spot on Captiva and positioned myself there every day for three weeks,” said Rich. “I’ve never worked so hard but was ecstatic the whole time about what I was seeing.”

“Nearly every bird seen at “Ding” Darling is also present at Shell Point. I have the best view from my home every day. I see the sun rise over the river where I watch dolphins playing in my front yard. Every hour there is a new painting and a new sound!”

Continue reading ““DING” DARLING PRESENTS “GREAT BLUES IN LOVE” EXHIBIT Shell Point Resident Sallie Rich Captures Blue Heron Courtship”


FORT MYERS, Fla. (October 3, 2011) – Shell Point Retirement Community resident, Frankie Rad, was featured on the cover of the bi-annual Seniors Blue Book for Southwest Florida. The current publication, which covers September 2011 through to February 2012, offers great stories and information to seniors looking for housing and resources in Lee and Collier Counties.

Rad, who is 92 years young and has lived at Shell Point for 18 years, is just one of the more than 2,000 very active individuals at Shell Point. She is an amazing wife and mother, and for decades always hoped that she would one day learn how to fly. The article in the current Senior Blue book goes into great detail on how she worked towards and accomplished her dream of flying.


Marching On – Alfred du Moulin’s Toy Soldier Creations Continue to Amaze


FORT MYERS – When Alfred du Moulin was first given a toy soldier by his grandmother, no one could have predicted that this toy would one day multiply into a toy army of nearly 1,000 figures, all hand-molded and painted by Mr. du Moulin.

The late Mr. du Moulin’s wife, Martha, now lives in Oakmont, where the one-of-a-kind collection is showcased.

“Al just hit on something that is very historical,” Martha said. The soldiers come from many different countries and time periods. Mr. du Moulin himself spent a great deal of time in Europe and the Middle East, so many of their soldiers are represented. He even created horses, camels, artillery, and flags.

“Dating back, as many of these do, to the 17th and 18th century, countries back then vied with each other and were distinguished by their uniforms. Uniforms were very important.” That is why du Moulin researched the crests and colors of each regiment – painting them accurately, right down to the tiny buttons on their jackets. “Al was an artist,” said Martha. “He could make a very fine line.”

For now, this miniature army is encamped for all to see in Mrs. du Moulin’s Oakmont apartment. Someday, she plans to donate them to a toy and miniature museum in Kansas City. “It’s going to be a hard thing to pack up,” she said.

Fighting For His New Homeland

The remarkable story of Fred Rosenstrauch  by Eric Kurfess

FORT MYERS – Alfred Rosenstrauch has walked a unique road to notoriety. First a German Jew living under the Nazi regime, then an American soldier fighting on the front lines for his new homeland, then an interrogator during the Nuremberg trials, Rosenstrauch has lived a remarkable American life in the face of adversity.

Alfred Rosenstrauch escaped the persecution of Jews in his native Bopfingen, Germany, by emigrating to America on Christmas Eve, 1939, at the age of 14. By age 18, Fred wanted to join the U.S. Army, but couldn’t due to the fact he was not yet a U.S. citizen. He asked the draft board to bump his number up. Soon after, he became a United States citizen and joined the Army, in the infantry. Fred was going to war.

Into Combat

Twenty-three weeks later he was shipped off to Fort Mead and from there to England, where he was attached to the 2nd infantry division. When asked if he was scared, Rosenstrauch replied, “I wasn’t at the time because at the time you couldn’t think too much; you just took your orders and went ahead and did the things you had to do.”

Fred saw his first combat in WW II on June 6 – D-Day. After D-Day his company traveled through France, arriving at Brest. Their orders were to take the town in one week; however, the enemy would not fall easily. Three weeks later the brave young Americans captured the town, after days of hand-to-hand combat. They were tired and in desperate need of rest. Fred remembers after the battle, finally being able to sleep in a bed for the first time since he had arrived in Europe. However, German troops had been sleeping there and the next morning when the soldiers awoke, they were surprised to find themselves covered in fleas! The officers took the young men out into a field, burned their uniforms, and sprayed them down with DDT.

Fred’s girlfriend, Lore – a German Jew who also escaped to America – recalls writing him many letters, half of which he never received. She would also send him packages of hard salami. “In those days any meat product was rationed by a point system,” said Lore. “So I sent my portion of the sausage over to him and told my parents I wouldn’t eat my portion.” When he received the sausage, he would hang it off his belt and also share it with the other members of the squad, who appreciated the meat greatly. One day Fred looked down and saw a piece of shrapnel stuck in the meat and was relieved his girlfriend had sent him the present. “It was better for the shrapnel to be in the sausage then in me. It was worth the points!”

Being from Germany, Fred still had a strong German accent. Some nights his company went out on patrol, and upon return, they had to utter a password to gain admittance back into camp. Fred as patrol sergeant, was the person to speak the password, and when he did the American guards opened fire on their squad. He remembers, with a smile on his face, “My fellow soldiers told me to keep my mouth shut from then on.”

A New Direction

Fred was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge, which marked the end of his fighting. After receiving medical care in a small village outside Paris, he was called up to go to the Allied HQ, where he was given another assignment. He was to attend Officer Training School and, because of his German background and his knowledge of the language, he was to be trained as an interpreter and interrogator. Fred was a remarkable young interpreter and inspired by the people around him to do the best he could. Even today, much of what he participated in as an interrogator is still classified. When asked about the details of his assignment in Nuremberg, he replied, “I cannot give you any details on who we interrogated or anything like that. You will find out in years to come.”

In 1946 Fred returned to America to marry his love, Lore, and they have been together happily ever since. Fred started his own air conditioning and heating company in St. Louis, where it is still prospering and being operated by his son. Fred and Lore Rosenstrauch have four children, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Never will Fred, his fellow soldiers, and thousands of brave young men that gave their lives be forgotten for their bravery and courage that kept America and the world free.

Crabtacular – Resident Owns Two 29-Year-Old Hermit Crabs

by Eric Kurfess

FORT MYERS – If you wake up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning, you may feel a little crabby. Well, here at Shell Point, we were lucky enough to find someone who wakes up on the right side of the bed with the same feeling. Carol Ann Ormes (Parkwood) is the loving caretaker of her two pet crabs. Carol has what may be the two oldest living land hermit crabs in the world. Jonathan Livingston Crab and Crab Kate will turn 29 years old in August, far surpassing the lifespan of your average land hermit crab. And Carol should know- her online photo gallery is one of the top links from the unofficial crab website,

Land hermit crabs in captivity typically have a life span of one or two years, depending on how well they are taken care of. After nearly three decades, Carol clearly takes every possible precaution to ensure her tiny friends’ safety and good health. When asked about her secret to the crabs’ longevity, she said, “Since the crabs came from a humid climate, I figured I should create a tank that was humid for them.” Other enthusiasts are known to keep their crabs in a dry, sandy environment, but according to Carol, this results in a shorter life span, as the crab will dry out and their exoskeleton will become brittle and crack.

Each crab has his own distinct personality. Jonathan, for instance, is an adventurer and war veteran. Carol explains: “Jonathan is an explorer and he wants to get out and run around. He once climbed up the bathroom wall. When I wasn’t looking he fell off and he broke about a nickel-sized hole in his shell. That was the first time it had happened in 29 years, so I had to give him a quick bath. Then I concocted a patch with a purple heart for him and he just loved it.”

Institute Carries on Resident’s Work

Dr. Lillian Runnerstrom Taught Hundreds of Nurse-Midwives

FORT MYERS – You may not have met Dr. Lillian Runnerstrom, but her name is very well known at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. That’s where she was recently honored with the establishment and dedication of the Lillian Runnerstrom Institute of Excellence in the Study of Women, Children, and Family Health.

Dr. Runnerstrom, who has been a resident of our community since December of 1990, was a professor and head of the department of Maternal/Child Nursing at UIC from 1969 through 1980, and founded the Nurse Midwifery Program there in 1972. This program was the first and only program of its kind at the University, as well as the first graduate program for the department. In fact, the Midwifery Program was the only one of its kind in the entire state of Illinois.  Her program’s vision was – and continues to be – a vision to make nursing a viable career option and promote creative, innovative nursing research.

Dr. Runnerstrom is no stranger to universities. After accepting the opportunity to go into a Midwife program, Dr. Runnerstrom became an R.N. at St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, received her Bachelors and Masters from Columbia, her C.N.M. from Maternity Center Associates, and her Ph. D. from New York University. She also has done numerous studies inside and outside of midwifery. The Midwifery program at UIC is currently ranked the number three top program in the U.S. and was the first program in the U.S. to receive the “Midwifing Midwives, for a Lifetime” award from the American College of Nurse Midwives in 2002.

To honor Dr. Runnerstrom and continue her legacy of excellence in nursing education, nursing practice, and research, the Institute will provide scholarships to undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the fields of women’s health, midwifery, pediatrics, and family health. “The Institute is dedicated to Dr. Runnerstrom because of her significant contribution to improving the health of women and children in the United States and globally, through her work at the World Health Organization, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the American College of Nurse Midwives, and the University of Illinois at Chicago,” said Rosemary C. White-Traut, UIC Associate Professor and Department Head.

The Institute’s goal is to continue Dr. Runnerstrom’s work through the accomplishments of its students and faculty and will provide resources for those persons by the endowment of professorships that will support creative teaching and innovative research. Current Institute studies also include the study of life support decisions for extremely premature infants, how families make decisions regarding genetic testing, as well as research on the process of lactation in mothers of premature and full-term infants. Over the years, more than 400 nurse-midwives have graduated from the UIC program, which has attracted both students and parents-to-be to having safe, natural birthing choices. Numerous studies over the past 20 to 30 years have documented the ability of nurse-midwives to independently manage about 80 percent of all perinatal – including prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care – and up to 85 percent of the family planning and gynecological needs of women of all ages. Nurse-midwives work in a collaborative role with OB/GYN physicians and either consult with or refer to other health care providers on cases outside their scope of practice (for example, high-risk pregnancies, women with concurrent chronic disease).

Couple Donates Gift in Honor of Immigrant Parents

Two Million Dollar Gift Brings Campaign Goal in Closer Reach

FORT MYERS – In 1915 Andrew Larsen, a young man in his early twenties, left his home in Norway to start a new life in America. Andrew signed on as a ship’s cabin boy to work his way across the Atlantic Ocean. He passed through Ellis Island, along with thousands of other immigrants seeking a new life. Little did he know that his life would have an enormous impact on future generations of Americans.

Last month, Ralph S. Larsen and his wife, Dorothy, made a contribution of two million dollars for The Pavilion’s Heart of it All campaign, in honor of Ralph’s parents, Andrew and Gurine Larsen.

The Larsen story is an inspiring reminder of the American Dream and the opportunities that exist in this country to achieve great things, no matter who you are or where you come from. When Andrew Larsen arrived in America, he settled in Brooklyn, New York, and went to school where he learned to be an electrician. A few years later he met a young Norwegian woman named Gurine, who was visiting her sister in New York. The couple married and raised five children in Brooklyn, where they lived most of their lives. Ralph Larsen was their youngest child. Ralph served in the Navy for two years after high school and then attended Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he received a degree in business administration.

Following graduation in 1962, he joined the manufacturing training program at Johnson and Johnson in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He started on the third shift as a manufacturing trainee and, during the course of the next 38 years, moved up the ranks to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

This is a true American success story; however, if you ask him about it today, he modestly downplays it. “My parents instilled in all of us a tremendous work ethic,” said Ralph. “They were very hardworking, committed Christians, and they set wonderful examples for their children. Most importantly, they encouraged us to live a life of faith and integrity.”

Ralph’s personal commitment to living a life of integrity blended well with Johnson and Johnson’s corporate credo, which outlined the values of the company. “Essentially it laid out the principles by which the company ran its business,” said Ralph. “J&J required that we serve our customers as well as we know how, that we treat our employees with dignity and respect, and that we be good citizens. If we did those three things well, then the shareholders would earn a fair return.”

Ralph Larsen retired from Johnson and Johnson in 2000, but he and his wife continue to stay active. Ralph works on a variety of major boards including General Electric, Xerox, AT&T Wireless, and as a Trustee with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dorothy serves on the board of trustees for Messiah College. Ralph and Dorothy have three children and five grandchildren. They currently reside part-time in Naples and have a residence at Shell Point. The Larsens came to know about Shell Point through Ralph’s sister, Mildred Braaten, who lives at Shell Point.

It was this personal connection to The Pavilion that made the Larsens aware of the opportunity to make a gift that would help so many people. “We were very impressed with the loving care of the staff at The Pavilion and wanted to support that effort,” said Ralph.

The Larsen gift will be an important addition to the Heart of it All campaign, which will contribute to the well-being of hundreds of people in years to come. “We have been wonderfully blessed over the years,” said Ralph. “Now it is important to give back some of what we have been blessed with, in ways that will help other people.”

Making a Difference: Dr. Natalie Stephens Turner

Female Physician Broke Through Barriersby Fran Thomas

FORT MYERS – Those who know Natalie Turner, a Shell Point resident for 23 years, would not be surprised to learn what a positive impact she has had on the lives of thousands women during her lifetime. In the days when women were encouraged to stay home and have babies, she was actually delivering them. Practicing under her maiden name, Dr. Natalie Stephens, she was an obstetrician and gynecologist in Chicago before moving to Florida.

Dr. Turner grew up in South Orange, New Jersey. By age five and a half, she knew she wanted to be a doctor after fracturing the epiphysis of her elbow while see-sawing with a cousin. She became fascinated by subsequent medical procedures.

“I wasn’t afraid. I thought everything was wonderful, even when they gave me ether,” she recounts. “I never changed my mind.”

It was that sense of single-mindedness that propelled her through the then “men’s club” of medical school. When it came time to go to college, she headed to Syracuse University.

“There were no medical schools in New Jersey at the time. The New Jersey constitution forbade vivisection.”

Continue reading “Making a Difference: Dr. Natalie Stephens Turner”

Noise: My 62 Years of It!

by Anita DeWeese

FORT MYERS – Shell Point resident Laymon Miller was recently asked by the Acoustical Society of America to give a Distinguished Lecture speech to commemorate their 75th anniversary. The invitation to give the speech – aptly entitled, “Noise: My 62 Years of It” – was just one of the honors that have been bestowed on Miller, who has been a member of the Society since 1943.

For 62 years, sound has been Laymon Miller’s area of expertise. (Photo by Paul Schmidt, courtesy of Charlotte Sun-Herald.)
Born and raised in Texas, Laymon has been challenged by a variety of jobs relating to his beloved profession as an acoustician. An acoustician is a salesman who sells acoustic ceiling tile, right? Wrong! An acoustician is an acoustic engineer. Acoustics is the branch of physics that deals with sound and sound waves, while sound control is control of the sound you want to hear; and noise control is control of the sound you don’t want to hear.
In his forty-one years on the job, Laymon has dealt with noise control in relation to torpedoes, heating, ventilating and air conditioning acoustics; noise and vibrations in auditoriums, railroads and subways; and industrial noise in power plants, aircraft and airports.

Continue reading “Noise: My 62 Years of It!”