IMG_3797Greg and Don Fosselman have an inseparable bond. Numbers five and six, respectively, of seven children, the two live next door to each other here at Plymouth Harbor. Of their seven siblings, they had only one sister — the oldest. While Greg and Don seem to be the closest of their siblings, they led two very different lives after leaving their hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, years ago.

After finishing high school, Greg attended the University of Iowa. As he always had a keen interest in newsprint growing up, it came as no surprise that he decided to study journalism. After graduation, however, he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany from 1950 IMG_3802until 1952. While there, he handled logistics for field engineer units in Frankfurt, and later held an administrative position in Kaiserslautern. Soon after he returned to the United States, Greg was offered a position at United Press International (UPI), a leading newswire service. Greg was at UPI for over 15 years, serving as a newspaper and broadcast editor in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, and eventually Chicago. In 1968, he was offered a job at the Chicago Tribune as a headline writer and news editor, where he remained until he retired in 1989.

Don also joined the U.S. Army after he graduated from Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa). Like his older brother, he was stationed in Germany from 1953 until 1955. After Don returned to the United States, he accepted a teaching position in Montour, Iowa, for two years before he went on to attend Teacher’s College at Columbia University to earn his master’s degree. “I went to New York and never moved back,” Don says. He held teaching positions for several years in New York and Connecticut before he transitioned into a guidance counselor position, retiring in 1992. “I enjoyed my years as an educator,” he says. “But, as a guidance counselor, I felt that my day-to-day interactions were much more varied and meaningful.”

While Greg and Don lived states away from each other, their lives often overlapped. The two kept in touch as most siblings do and visited each other frequently. On occasion, even their professional lives overlapped, which is exemplified by the summer of 1958 when Don was working for a charity in New York City. The organization operated a barge called “The Floating Hospital,” which cruised around the New York Harbor, providing healthcare facilities and summer activities for underprivileged families.

The charity was in need of some publicity, so Don reached out to Greg, who was still at UPI at the time. Greg set to work on the story, sent it out over the wire, and it was picked up in no time by several media outlets in New York City. It received so much traction that the local outlets sent their reporters out to cover the story in person. Needless to say, the organization was quite impressed with Don Fosselman.

Don was the first to move to Sarasota. After retiring in Westchester County in New York, he spent his winters traveling to many different areas in Florida. A neighbor in New York owned a home on Longboat Key and ended up sharing the Longboat Observer with him. He answered an advertisement for a two-month Lido Key rental and the rest was history when he moved here in 2000. In 2011, he moved into Plymouth Harbor.

In contrast, Greg spent his winters on the West Coast, namely in California and Arizona, but a visit to Don convinced him to move to Plymouth Harbor in 2013. Today, the two are located on the fourteenth floor, with only a short walk down the hallway between them.

At Plymouth Harbor, the brothers enjoy dining together and exercising in the Wellness Center. Greg attends the Sit Fit class every Monday and Wednesday, while Don participates in Tap class on Wednesdays. Outside of Plymouth Harbor, Don spends his time volunteering as an usher at various venues around Sarasota. The Van Wezel, Sarasota Opera House, Historic Asolo Theater, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and the Players Theater are among the many places you might find him.

In addition to his appreciation for theater, Don has a passion for traveling. “I’ve been to almost every place I ever dreamed of going. I’ve never left Earth though,” he jokes. “Maybe if I were younger.” This year, Don went on a tour of the American National Parks, and in a few short weeks he’ll be on a Danube River Cruise through Europe. When Greg was asked about traveling, he laughed and said, “I’ve never been much of a traveler — I let Don do it for me.”

While the Fosselman brothers certainly have a  mix of fascinating interests, you’ll be sure to find these two enjoying dinner together almost every night in the Plymouth Harbor restaurant.


By: Celia Catlett

phillipsMarjorie and Bernard “Bernie” are a dynamic couple, and they parlayed their energy and intelligence into useful and interesting careers. Both born in New York City, they met at Cornell University when she was an undergraduate and he was working toward his doctorate in sociology.

Marjorie went on to get her master’s in education from Boston University. Hired at Middlesex Community College, she initiated a course to teach parents how to choose a preschool. The class went from eight to 35 students and then developed into a two-year Early Childhood Teachers’ Training Program. She founded a second similar program at the Minuteman Vocational Technical School in Lexington, Massachusetts. When asked to teach a trilingual first grade (French, Spanish, and English) in Lowell, she discovered that most of the pupils were Cambodian! After that adventure, she enjoyed teaching science from kindergarten to fourth grade for a number of years.

During this time, she was also busy with two sons, David who is now a professor of humanities at Wake Forest, and Michael who works in Atlanta’s City Planning Department using computer applications for geographic information systems. Looking back on it, Marjorie says that she wonders how she managed it all.

Bernie also has brought a creative force to his work in academia. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Colombia University, crossed the country to get his master’s from Washington State University (where he enjoyed riding a motorcycle through the rolling hills of the area) and then it was back to the East Coast to pursue his Ph.D. in sociology from Cornell University. He has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, at the University of Illinois (Champaign/Urbana), and, for the greater part of his career, at Boston University. He has written a number of books, from textbooks like Social Research: Strategies and Tactics to a book entitled Worlds of the Future, which combined fiction and nonfiction.

He founded and directed the Sociological Imagination Group in 2000 and has just finished collaborating with three co-authors on Invisible Crisis: Toward an Interdisciplinary Scientific Method, a book that they will use for a textbook for their Academy for Individual Evolution ( Its focus is on how each individual can evolve. Interaction versus isolation is the key concept in their approach.

But life has not been all work for the Phillips. They enjoy classical music and jazz, art and travel, the latter two well combined in some Japanese art in their apartment. In the seventeen years they were on Longboat Key, they became involved in the local arts culture. They are readers and film lovers, and, by the way, Bernie would like to find a ping-pong partner. As I said, they are a dynamic duo.


By: Lee Yousri

GaylordWhen I invited Dee Gaylord to my apartment for her “bio” interview, she immediately said, “Why don’t you come to mine and you can see my artwork?” That was my first clue: I was dealing with a genuine, gracious person—dedicated to her home and her art. Welcome, Dee.

Life for Dee started in Peoria, Illinois. It really started when she attended Bradley College there and met her husband-to-be. Welcome, Jim. In the early years of their marriage, Dee taught first grade and Jim was a real estate developer. In 1969, they moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Jim had purchased a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. It was a magical progression after that as Jim developed a chain of restaurants in Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska. Dee took advantage of their domicile, a university town, by continuing her education. She took classes in art, clinical psychology, and gerontology, and received a post-graduate degree.

But Dee’s first and all-consuming love was painting. She dedicated considerable time to it, participating in many shows. Photos of her paintings were included in books on watercolor. Their first exposure to this area was at a meeting held in Sarasota where Jim was appointed as the Upper Midwest Franchise President. They stayed at The Colony on Longboat Key, now defunct, but at that time reputedly the top tennis resort in the country—and as tennis buffs, they enjoyed it so much they actually purchased a condo on this very first visit. It was a “had to rent” deal that permitted them to spend only one month yearly there. They sold it a few years later and purchased a condo that allowed them to stay as long as they chose. For 25 years, they were snowbirds. Dee had the pleasure of owning a gallery in downtown Sarasota and she studied with many great artists who came here to conduct workshops.

Upon retirement in 1995, Jim served on many boards and enjoyed being a lecturer at the University of Nebraska’s business school. He lectured on entrepreneurship, and in 1997, was selected by the university as Entrepreneur of the Year. While all this was going on, they raised three children: Tim, John, and Missy. This of course progressed into grandchildren—four to be exact. In 2008, the Gaylords bought a home in Lakewood Ranch and subsequently became Florida residents.

Through friends they heard about Plymouth Harbor and they find it ideal. They love their beautiful Tower apartment where they are surrounded by Dee’s art, and at the same time, Jim deals with his health issues as a resident of the Smith Care Center.


By: Isabel Pedersen

NimickGeorge “Gus” Nimick is one of five Pittsburgh brothers who, each in his turn, marched off to study at Princeton University. His father had gone there, too.

It is no surprise that Gus, when they moved to Sarasota 30 years ago, looked for the Princeton Club. And, for 30 years, he has been the glue which kept that club alive: doing the boring stuff; maintaining lists, collecting dues, sending out notices, and making sure that someone besides Gus Nimick would be president. He did serve as president of the Ivy League Club but not “his” club.

Meanwhile, Deborah “Debbe” was cutting her own swath. Her presidency of the Child Protection Center and her private practice as the “teacher of last resort” for trouble
d and learning disabled children are the latest manifestations of a lifetime commitment to children. Her first child-centered job came at eleven, teaching swimming.

After finishing her classics major at Brown University, she added a master’s degree in Educational Psychology. Debbe started two pre-schools, in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and in Houston, as they moved back and forth. Then she added some more courses in Houston and spent several years as a psychologist in the Houston schools. While in Pittsburgh, she had developed a fifth-grade curriculum for the gifted, all of this while raising three children.

The Nimick’s 59-year-old marriage involved moving from Gus’ native Pittsburgh where,  as a chemical engineer, he worked on product quality at Gulf Oil to managing Information Technology for Gulf’s trading branch in Houston. Then Pittsburgh, then Houston again. Gus’ early adoption of the computer to industry’s uses made him early in the IT work. He also served as Secretary to the Industry Advisory Board to the International Energy Agency.

Now, after studying economics at the University of South Florida and being elected to their honorary society, he does a bit of work as a Certified Financial Planner and tax preparer.

Between tap dancing classes, painting (which has become Debbe’s passion), Gus’ club work, their three children, three grandchildren, and their other volunteer activities, let us hope they can find time to relax here, just a bit, so we can enjoy this energetic pair.


MotepicMote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium (Mote) is not only an icon of Sarasota, but also a world-class marine research institution. An independent, not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans, Mote brings the local community together, educating and reminding us of the vital importance of protecting our local marine habitat and beyond.

Plymouth Harbor residents have always been strong supporters of Mote — committing years of service and acting as volunteers, board members, and patrons. Resident Ted Rehl and his late wife, Fran, were volunteers for almost two decades, where he served as “head volunteer cashier,” responsible for filling all volunteer slots each week. Similar to the Rehls, many residents, including Larry Coffey, BJ Peters, Gerda Maceikonis, Molly Moffatt, Hank Gieseler, and many more, spent numerous years at Mote as loyal and devoted volunteers.

Resident Nancy Lyon is currently a 19-year volunteer of the organization. “My late husband, Bob, and I got involved when we were new to Sarasota,” she says. “He always liked fish, and we thought it would be a nice way to meet people.” It has turned into so much more for Nancy, who volunteers at Mote every Wednesday. Over the years, she has helped take care of mammals, assisted researchers, and helped guests in the gift shop.

Today, Nancy sells admission tickets. Her favorite part of volunteering there? Giving back to the sea and to the community. “What I always find so interesting is that a lot of people don’t realize that Mote is only 25 percent aquarium — the other 75 percent is devoted to science,” she says.

Resident Bobi Sanderson has volunteered as an aquarium guide at Mote for 22 years. Now volunteering on an as-needed basis, she works about three hours per week. Bobi was always passionate about ecology and marine life, so getting involved with Mote was a given. When asked what she enjoys most about her volunteer work, she almost immediately responded with “education.” She went on to say that she respects the staff, who consistently keep volunteers informed while collaborating with other laboratories and working on new discoveries. “You can’t help but be enthusiastic when you’re working there,” Bobi says. “You’re not only teaching, but you’re learning.”

Resident Dr. Lou Newman, a retired veterinarian with a Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology, has also worked with Mote since he moved to the area years ago. Because of his professional background, Dr. Newman’s role is different than your average volunteer. Over the years, he has participated in training programs in order to aid in the rescue of marine animals, and later he assisted in the rehabilitation of these animals. He has also assisted in the cataloging of microscopic specimens and consulted with researchers on several projects. Today, Dr. Newman is consulting with researchers on biomarkers (substances indicative of disease or infection) related to fertility in several species of animals and fish.

There is no doubt that Mote is an organization unlike any other, and our residents are extremely dedicated to their service. To learn more about Mote’s efforts, visit


new-york-city-828776_1920On June 30, 2016, Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay live-streamed its first-ever Broadway musical. Thanks to resident Arthur Ancowitz, M.D., She Loves Me – a romantic comedy with “a soaring score” – was presented onscreen in our newly upgraded Club Room through an online streaming service provided by BroadwayHD.

Dr. Ancowitz first saw the play live in New York City, where his great nephew, Nicholas Barasch, plays the part of Arpad in the show. Inspired by the performance, he wanted to share the experience with friends and family down in Florida. Suffice it to say that the 52 residents and friends of Plymouth Harbor who attended the event are certainly glad he did.


If you have passed by Pilgrim Hall recently, you may have noticed a little different look to the perimeter. Veiled with plastic partitions and a zippered door, the rejuvenation has begun!

You will see on the floorplan (below) that several new items have been added:

  1. On the north wall we have added a ramp for easy access for those with mobility challenges.
  2. The stage has been widened and deepened on both sides.
  3. Steps up to the stage have been added on both sides of the stage front.
  4. The backstage has been improved and storage has been increased.
  5. The sound booth has been moved to the back of the Hall, with portability and remote capabilities from anywhere in the room.
  6. Acoustical panels were added to all corners, the north and south walls, and the ceiling (which is not shown this in the floor plan).
  7. Both doors on the south corridor were widened for easier ingress and egress.
  8. A walled area at the west end of the Hall was designated for walker and other storage.
  9. A quick service area has been added to the northwest corner, adding symmetry and additional service area for the dining staff.
  10. The area between the walker storage and quick service area on the west (back) wall is a removable wall, intended for increased seating when needed. Capacity in the new hall is 100, increased to 130 when the wall is opened.

We are still hopeful for a December grand opening, when the complete new design will be  revealed! Stay tuned!




By: James Ahstom

Don and Barbara MacLean_5-2016 (4)Barbara was born in Rome, New York. Don was born in Northampton, Massachusetts. Each had a father who was a doctor. Barbara’s father had her drive him to his house calls so that he could evaluate her driving skills and acclimatize her to cold winter weather by waiting in the car. She attended Rome Academy and Green Mountain College. Don attended the University of Massachusetts.

From 1953 to 1956, Don was a test pilot at The Air Development Center, Rome, New York. He was called back into service with the Massachusetts Air National Guard from 1957 to 1962, and flew F86 Sabre jets at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1961. He was stationed outside Strasbourg, France, and later Libya. He received a commendation for flying the photo plane used in atomic bomb studies.

Since Barbara and Don were married on May 5, 1956, they recently celebrated their sixtieth anniversary. They have two daughters and a son. Susan lives in Canandaigua Lake, New York. Martha lives in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. David lives in Wayland, Massachusetts. They have nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

They have lived in South Glastonbury, Connecticut (three years), Long Meadow, Massachusetts (six years), North Tonawanda, New York, Canandaigua, New York, and Longboat Key, Florida.

Don was a member of Rotary, serving as President of the Tonawanda Rotary Club and Co-Chairman of the District Youth Exchange Program. They shared their home with five Rotary youth exchange students. Two were from Mexico, one from Australia, one from Norway, and one from Japan. In honor of this activity, Barbara was awarded a Paul Harris fellowship, which provides a $1,000 donation to the Rotary Foundation in her honor.

After his military service, Don worked with Travelers Insurance Company as an agency and branch manager in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York. He also was CEO and President of Humphrey and Vandervoort, Inc., an all lines commercial and industrial insurance company.

Barbara has volunteered at the Woman’s Exchange in Sarasota, and is interested in the Fund Shop. She writes a daily “joy” journal to record all things on a daily basis which give her joy. Don has an interest in woodworking, has a commercial pilot rating, and also is a Coast Guard captain for ships up to 100 tons.



The Education Foundation of Sarasota County is a leading advocate for exceptional public education for all students in Sarasota County. The Foundation raises nearly $1 million each year, most of which is disbursed through grants in the amount of $500-$1,000 (and in some cases more) that allows elementary, middle, and high school teachers to offer programs that school budgets are unable to cover. Additionally, the Foundation offers individual scholarships to high school seniors.

Teachers in Sarasota County submit proposals for these grants, describing in detail what programs and projects the funds would support. From there, proposals are read by numerous people within the community, gathering input from a number of varied sources, and searching for the most unique, creative, and motivating ideas.

Resident Jerry Kaplan has been involved with the Education Foundation for nearly 20 years. Six of which he spent on the board, where he served alongside Jon F. Swift, a current member of the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Board of Trustees. Susan Scott, former executive director of the Education Foundation, previously served on the Plymouth Harbor board as well.

Today, Jerry spends much of his time evaluating programs and grant proposals. Not only does he himself evaluate grant proposals, but he also asks fellow residents for input. “This is a great way to bring in the entire community,” Jerry says. “We take a lot of opinions on these proposals, and use them to help identify the best programs for our kids.”

In addition to grants, the Education Foundation financially supports the PALS School Volunteer Program, the annual science fair, and the Teacher of the Year program for each individual school and Sarasota County. Another unique program the Foundation supports is the collection and repair of used electronics. Banks, insurance companies, individuals, and even our very own residents of Plymouth Harbor have donated old or unused computers, which are then repaired and given to families in need, at no cost. With an educational system that continually relies on smart technology and internet-related studies, this is a huge gift for many families.

The Education Foundation operates solely off donations from members of the community and relies on special events to raise these funds. One such event, the Evening of Excellence, is an innovative art program and an established Sarasota social event, combining an elegant dinner with an auction showcasing the talents of high school artists. The event raises over $300,000 each year, benefiting more than 40,000 students through the work of the Education Foundation.

To learn more about the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, visit the following website:


Capture+53Over the years, research has shown that people are not only living longer, but embracing new and varied activities as they age. It’s a no-brainer that proper nutrition, physical activity, and regular check ups go hand-in-hand with healthy aging. Now, however, there is a new outlet that is important to consider: art.

Participating in artistic endeavors can have a positive effect on health by keeping the mind busy and creating a sense of purpose. While many of us don’t consider ourselves to be “creative,” it has been shown that these benefits are obtained even when individuals are not necessarily creatively inclined.

Gene Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., the Director of the Center for Aging, Health & Humanities at George Washington University, was the first researcher to conduct a national longitudinal study on quality of life, which found that the arts do in fact have a positive effect on health and illness as we age. Such benefits include:

Helping individuals relax                                                                                                                 Offering sensory stimulation

Providing a sense of control                                                                                                          Fostering a stronger sense of identity

Reducing depression and anxiety                                                                                              Increasing self-esteem

Assisting in socialization                                                                                                                 Nurturing spirituality

Encouraging playfulness and sense of humor                                                                    Reducing boredom and isolation

Improving cognition

With a vibrant community like Sarasota as its backdrop, the arts have been incorporated into Plymouth Harbor’s culture since its inception. This tradition has continued over the years, from featured resident artists to local art exhibits and resident outings. In recent years, an increased emphasis has been placed on arts and creativity, in part due to our whole-person wellness approach.

Permanent work stations are available in the Wellness Center Art Studio for resident artists, and open stations are available for art classes that are offered throughout the year. Artists like Beverley Vernon, Sallie Luebbe, Fran Nikolich, Weta Cannon, and Harriet Eisner spend time in their creative workspace each week, designing, sketching, painting, and more.

Picture1Also found in the Wellness Center is a display space where resident artists are featured. This month, you can find handmade quilts (pictured right) by
Cynda Grenfell.

Outside of the Wellness Center, Resident Services works closely with the Art Committee to schedule regular classes, programs, and exhibit outings. Recent outings include the Chihuly Art Exhibit, several exhibits at the Ringling Museum, and the M.C. Escher Exhibit at the Dali Museum.

Arts and creativity are also integrated into the daily lives of our residents in the Smith Care Center (SCC). According to Judy Sarnowski, SCC Activity Director, this is done in a number of ways. Once each month, an art therapist, Amy Kaiser, works with residents using a technique known as MnemeTherapy™ — one-on-one, whole-brain therapy that uses everyday pleasurable experiences, such as painting, in a unique combination to stimulate sustained attentive focus.

Additionally, regular arts and crafts classes are incorporated in SCC by both the SCC Activity Team and resident artist Beverly Vernon, who volunteers her time monthly, and is often accompanied by fellow resident Ann Williams. These classes not only provide a calming outlet, but also an opportunity for small group socialization.

There are no doubt countless other art advocates roaming the halls of Plymouth Harbor, but one group in particular that keeps art at the forefront of our minds is the Plymouth Harbor Art Council. This resident-led council plans and manages the Mezzanine Art Gallery — recruiting local and resident artists and helping to set up exhibits.

Whether realized or not, art is ingrained in the everyday lives of residents here at Plymouth Harbor, from structured classes in the Wellness Center to simply passing through the Mezzanine Art Gallery, and the benefits can be seen firsthand.