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Hometowners - Published June 10, 2016

The Wittichs

June 10, 2016
Long-time Kirkwood residents Don and Arlene (Forst) Wittich celebrated 70 years of marriage on June 1, 2016. They were married in 1946 at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Richmond Heights. They moved to Kirkwood in 1957 with their five children; Mary Ellen (Maender), St. Louis; Sue (Wohler), Prairie Village, Kan; Don, Jr., San Antonio, Texas; Mark, St Louis; Reenie (Thornton), St. Louis. Don owned his own business, Don Wittich Painting Co., for over 40 years. In the mid-1960s Arlene worked for Welek Fabrics and later at H&R Block until her retirement in 1995. Don still resides in Kirkwood, however, health issues forced Arlene to move to a health-care facility. The Wittichs have 21 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren and counting.

The Bosnicks

Craig and Tess Niehaus of Glendale announce the marriage of their daughter, Mary Niehaus, to Jim Bosnick of Fairmont, W.Va. Mary works at St. Louis Public Radio as a development officer and Jim is pursuing a PhD in accounting at Washington University. He is the son of Linda Henline and the late James "Buck" Bosnick, Jr., of Fairmont, W.Va. The couple, married on June 4, resides in Richmond Heights.

Kimberly Gorman from Shrewsbury was recently awarded the President's Award from St. Louis Children's Hospital for going above and beyond normal duties for her patients and their families. Gorman was a patient advocate for a terminally-ill girl whose Make-A Wish was to have her and her sister's room redecorated. Gorman advocated for a home visit and volunteered to be the nurse who accompanied the patient so she could go home for four hours to see her room.


Nipher Middle School eighth-grader Jabari Hamilton-Banks was among 20 students honored with Rosemary Zander Awards from the Special Education Foundation, in partnership with Special School District. SSD teacher Barb Brownell nominated Jabari for the Rosemary Zander Award: "Jabari has earned a level of respect and acceptance from his peers because of the consistency of his personal drive and exceptional character year after year. His spark and positive energy light up a room. He is the consummate optimist," she wrote.


Webster Groves High School graduate and Des Peres resident Sara Krenski has been named the founding head of MAP St. Louis, a new Montessori middle school opening this August in Grand Center.

Des Peres native Amy Kennedy, a lead child life specialist in radiation oncology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., was awarded the Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award in May. The award is presented to a child life specialist who has demonstrated exemplary child life care and a high level of clinical skill.


Webster Groves resident Tracy James has joined Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) as the new managing attorney for the Community Economic Development Program. James comes to Legal Services with more than 18 years of legal experience including most recently running her own law firm.

Shrewsbury resident Guillermo A. Rodr'guez was the recipient of the 2016 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis' Lifetime Achievement Award. Rodr'guez is director of International Projects and Study Abroad at Webster University. The award recognizes individuals who have significantly contributed to the development and advancement of the Hispanic community in the St. Louis area.

"Katrina" by Neukomm

William H. Neukomm, a Webster Groves artist and art instructor, has had a painting accepted for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of its 37th annual international portrait competition, the BP Portrait Award. Neukomm's portrait, "Katrina," was selected from a total of 2,557 entries from 80 countries and will be part of a traveling exhibition in the United Kingdom, June 2016-June 2017.

Webster Groves High School students Daphne and Arden Armstrong, two sisters, are finalists for the Paradigm Challenge, in which young people submit inventions in response to a current problem. They created a motion sensor and pressure mat that monitor activity in front of a stove to prevent house fires and will automatically shut off the gas if unattended for too long. Winners will be announced on July 23. Winners receive $100,000 and assistance in patenting and manufacturing their product. The public may also vote through Aug. 30. The team with the most votes wins an additional $5,000. To vote, visit www.projectparadigm.org and look for Motion Detector on Stovetop.

John Burroughs team with Williams third from left and Bartnett fourth from right. photo courtesy Shell International.

Kirkwood resident Matthew Williams (sophomore) and Webster Groves resident William Bartnett (sophomore) and the John Burroughs School Super Mileage Vehicle Club team, placed sixth in their category in the Shell Eco-Marathon Competition, April 21-24 with the high fuel mileage of 218 mpg. Williams and Bartnett were the head mechanics of the car. Burroughs was the only Missouri school selected to participate among 125 other high schools and engineering colleges from around the world.

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