Tag Archives: 60PLUS

600 Dives and Counting

February 14, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Native North Dakotan Shirley Ortman was 19 before she learned to swim.

“I’m a pretty good swimmer, but I don’t enjoy it,” she says. “And I do not like to lie on the beach; I’m bored silly.”

Ortman isn’t happy next to the water or splashing around in it because the sweet spot for her is several meters beneath the surface, “where you see the most.” She’s a scuba diver with master diver certification and approximately 600 dives under her (weighted) belt since she took up the activity in 1995.

“I’ve been to a lot of places but my all-time favorite is the Galapagos,” she says. “It’s for advanced diving; it’s heavy currents and you have to drop down quickly and hang on to a rock to watch stuff go by.”

She’s seen an incredible variety of flora and fauna, including countless species of fish and hammerhead sharks, but she especially enjoys seeing sea turtles in their element. “I get goosebumps thinking about it,” she says.

Ortman was in her 40s when she tried scuba for the first time. At 68, she is still an active diver.

Shirley Ortman in full scuba gear

Shirley Ortman

“I’ve dove with people up to their mid-80s,” says Dean Hollis, who founded DiVentures, an aquatics and scuba center in Omaha (now with six locations in five states). “We offer a lot of aquatic activities suitable for older adults.”

Water exercise classes and lap swimming are low-impact with minimal pressure on the joints, Hollis says, and the DiVentures pool is a warm 88 degrees. The center also offers snorkeling and scuba instruction, and trial classes for the hesitant or curious.

“You can get in the pool and breathe underwater, and just see what it’s like to experience scuba,” he says.

“You can get your toe wet, so to speak,” Ortman adds.

Although scuba diving isn’t a practical regular fitness regimen, especially in the Midwest, it’s a great way to stay active and engaged at any age, Ortman says.

“The nice thing about diving is that it’s all about relaxing,” she says. “There’s not a lot of stress put on the body.”

And there’s always more to learn. Ortman recently took a stress-and-rescue course to sharpen up.

“You really need to hone your skills so you don’t get sloppy,” Ortman explains. “Now I feel that I have better ability to take care of myself. Or, if I see somebody else in distress, I could identify that and assist.”

The quarry in Iowa where stress-and-rescue instruction took place was one of the few times she has dived inland—outside of the 14-foot pool at DiVentures.

“The water at the quarry was murky and cold, but I’m a little bit of a snob,” she says. Most of her dives have taken place in warmer ocean waters, like Hawaii, Tahiti, or the Bahamas.

Ortman has booked group scuba excursions through DiVentures and companies like LiveAboard, where she can share stories with other scuba divers and enjoy the diving subculture.

Landlubbers often ask how deep she’s gone (close to 130 feet, about the size of a 12-story building and the maximum depth for recreational diving), she says, but other divers understand that it’s more about what you see.

“These are immersive trips,” Ortman says. “Everyone is always excited to talk about their experiences, and the trips are always fun.”


Visit diventures.com for more information.

This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Finding Hope in the New Year

January 3, 2019 by

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Thursday, Jan. 3: Start your new year on the right foot at the Omaha Magazine Launch Party for our January/February “Health” edition. The party is free, but please RSVP here. Free appetizers and adult beverages are compliments of Sol’s Jewelry and Loan. The new issue’s big story looks at organ donation and its effects on both the recipient and the donor/donor’s family. Houston Alexander of the Houston Alexander Foundation (who donated a kidney to his daughter) and Dr. Alan Langnas, the director of the Center of Transplantation at will share some words on organ donation. Continuing the health theme, there will be a performance by flautists with The Nebraska Medical Orchestra (a collaboration between UNMC and UNO School of Music). There will also be special opportunity to meet community influencers featured within 60Plus in Omaha Magazine’s “Prime Time” story, highlighting the fashion and wisdom of local seniors. To RSVP, please click here.

Friday, Jan. 4: The Transcendence Opening Reception kicks off the first exhibition of 2019 for The Little Gallery Benson. An invitation to delve into unsung stories more commonly shared behind closed doors, these works provide a glimpse through the cracks at these private stories. The exhibition was curated by Marie-Elena Schembri and will feature several of her pieces. Mark Andrew, Brandi Bentley, Mary Daley, Mary Ensz, Bekah Jerde, John David Munoz, and Nadia Shinkunas will also be exhibiting pieces. To learn more, please go here. Read about one of the artists showing by clicking here.

Saturday, Jan. 5: The new year doesn’t have to mean a new you—but it can mean an improved you. Help make those resolutions a reality by attending Setting Your Intentions 2019: A Vision Board Experience at the AIM Institute. Materials for your vision board will be provided, but feel free to bring any personal items or specific images you would like to use with you. Light refreshments and drinks are included in the cost. To purchase tickets, head here.

Saturday, Jan. 5: Afraid you missed out on all the New Year’s Eve fun this last weekend because you just couldn’t justify leaving the house in that cold? You’re in luck. You can still catch some NYE glitz this weekend by attending the rescheduled Downtown Omaha fireworks show at Gene Leahy Mall. The wind was just too much last week, but this week promises to bring better weather. Find out more here.

Sunday, Jan. 6: Did you know there’s a snow sculpting competition coming up in February? Well, you do now! And if you would like to participate, get over to the Snow Sculpture Workshops at Main Street Studios and Gallery in Elkhorn. They are offering these free workshops every Sunday in January. Learn more about the workshops here and more about the First Annual Nebraska Snow Sculpting Competition here.

Roger W. Sayers

December 27, 2018 by

Editor’s note: These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits. Click here for the full list of featured models. 


Roger W. Sayers, 76

I consider myself a true product of the Omaha community. I attended Howard Kennedy and Lothrop elementary schools, and Central High School. I received my bachelor’s degree from Omaha University and an MBA from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I spent many years as a volunteer or board member at numerous Omaha community and civic organizations. My entire working life has been in Omaha. I retired from Union Pacific Railroad after 26 years.

It goes without saying that I am very proud of my accomplishments in the field of athletics, especially being proclaimed the 33rd-greatest athlete in Nebraska history by the Omaha World-Herald, and as the most decorated amateur athlete of my generation. These accomplishments have culminated in being the recipient of eight hall of fame awards for track, football, and overall athletics.

My current focus and pride is my family. My two daughters, three sons, and 12 grandchildren are making a difference and contributing to society. My wife and I thoroughly enjoy their presence.

I frequently get asked about aging and living life. I believe it is very important that you stay active mentally and physically. If possible, volunteer your time and talents. One thing is for certain, you must be able to handle the stress that life will bring. The root of my comfort is the strength and joy that comes from my spirituality and faith.

I have been married to Annette Scott for 33 years. We are compatible on so many levels. We just enjoy being with each other. We love to travel, especially taking cruises and family vacations. Annette is truly my best friend.

Because of my athletic career, and as the older brother of Chicago Bears Hall of Fame great Gale Sayers, sports have always been a source of interest. I am an avid golfer and I am in my element when spending time on the golf course with my companions.


This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Roger W. Sayers

Myriel Böes

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

Editor’s note: These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits. Click here for the full list of featured models. 


Myriel “My” Böes

My bio in “Who’s Who” of Interior Designers reads: “Both an artist and an interior designer, My brings variety and drama to her design projects. Beginning her education with a B.A. in fine art and continuing with extensive study in art, art history, architecture, design, ancient history, and feng shui, she combines all with a common thread—creativity. She owns her own firms: My Designs, Art Böes/Boes Art, Celestial Properties & Management, and Parallel Properties. As designer of residential, commercial, and art projects around the country, she has traveled extensively, been published, quoted, and lectured on design and art.”

Being the youngest of five girls and raised by renaissance parents, I was never told that I couldn’t do something because I was a girl—the comparison just wasn’t there. This has served me well all my life.

I graduated from college right before my 21st birthday. After college, I worked for Bozell & Jacobs advertising in the art department (where I was also asked to model for print and TV commercials), Smith Kaplan as copywriter/media buyer, and Renstrom Advertising as creative director. I then went on to freelance work, and have been self-employed since. The evolving Old Market drew me to open an art, antiques, and gift shop called “The Small Pink Orange” (1968-1973).

Over the years, I have overlapped my businesses. Someone asking me to design their home became the start of My Design. An artist telling me I was selling more art than any museum or gallery and asking if I would represent them became the start of Art Böes/Boes Art. In 1990, I started buying rental property in Dundee, which has helped to support my creative habit. My current passion is developing 46 acres in the Loess Hills into a sustainable creative camp/art residency, sculpture gardens, and a camp to help build self-esteem in young girls. If you combine art and nature, that happens. I plan to spend time there and get back to painting, writing, and increased traveling. I have traveled extensively (45 countries to date) and find that expanding my knowledge of other people and cultures continues my desire to be open and aware.

As with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it is important to me to be well on my way to self-actualization. In other words, to be happy and fulfilled. I’m a healthy, happy person who loves to learn, grow, and give back some of the great talents and assets that I have been lucky to possess.

My family of two children and five grandchildren brings me happiness, as does nature and intellectual curiosity. I am a voracious reader.

As for aging gracefully, I am fortunate to have good genes, but I encourage anyone to stay active and passionate, and to see the humor in all things. To quote a sign in my office, “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like heaven is on earth.”


This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Marian Andersen

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

Editor’s note: These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits. Click here for the full list of featured models. 


Marian Andersen, 90

I grew up in Lincoln, and met and married Harold “Andy” Andersen there. We moved to Omaha in 1958, and I enjoyed a career as a homemaker and community volunteer.

I raised two children. My son David lives in Omaha with his wife, Leslie, and their three children; my daughter Nancy lives in Denver with her three sons.

I served on many local and national boards, including the Red Cross and PBS. Harold and I co-chaired the first Shakespeare on the Green Festival, and we served as chairs of that event for 20 years. We were also the first chairmen of the Tocqueville Society of the United Way and the University of Nebraska Campaign for Excellence.

I derive great pleasure being with family and friends, and I love sports.

I’ve been to every Major League stadium for baseball in the U.S. and have been attending Nebraska football games for 87 years. I was 3 years old when I went to my first game. I like to travel—I’ve been to all 50 states and 60 countries.

Two of my favorite pieces of advice are: “A professional plans her vacations around her work; a volunteer plans her work around her vacations,” and  “carpe diem; seize the day!”


This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Marian Andersen standing on step in garden

Cyndee Heedum

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

Editor’s note: These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits. Click here for the full list of featured models. 


Cyndee Heedum, 66

I grew up in Scotia, Nebraska, a town of 350 people. I attended the University of Nebraska and attained a degree in interior design; however, I had fallen in love with retail working in a family business growing up. That took me on my first retail management journey at Kmart. After working there for 10 years, I decided to use my degree and worked for several years in the commercial design industry. I then went back to retail and have worked for 19 years in the corporate office of J.C. Penney. I am a single professional who loves my job.

I am proud of the friends who have helped me along the way, and my brother, who is my best friend. I am a positive person and enjoy what every day offers. I have been successful in my career and would not change a thing. My favorite accomplishment was traveling to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and working on all their military dorms. Germany had great wine.

I enjoy being involved with the arts in Omaha, visiting wineries, and watching Husker football.  

My advice to others is to have a couple glasses of white wine every evening and toast to your friends. You need to keep moving, think young, and remove your makeup every night. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.


This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Camille Metoyer Moten

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

Editor’s note: These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits. Click here for the full list of featured models. 


Camille Metoyer Moten, 64

“A life well lived” is the phrase I hope will fall from the lips of anyone describing me long after I’m gone.

My parents instilled in me a love of people and sensitivity to what is important in this life. That, along with the strength that comes from my relationship with Jesus Christ, has allowed me to be grateful for all of my triumphs and challenges. Our home was filled with music, love, and activism; my parents were involved in fighting for civil rights. This gave us the opportunity to learn that fighting for what is right is important, and it often means educating others.

I have learned to balance marriage, children, and a singing career, and have made giving back a priority in my life. My husband and I worked at Boys Town for 16 years as family teachers, giving love and structure to over 100 children. My career outside of singing included coordinating programs at the YWCA [now known in Omaha as the Women’s Center for Advancement], management at CommScope, and writing grants at Youth Care and Beyond. I have performed at the Omaha Community Playhouse, served on several boards at the YWCA, am the board president of Arts for All, and am president-elect of the downtown Rotary Club.

In 2013, I discovered I had breast cancer, but with my faith and the support of family and friends, I sailed through that episode of my life without a hitch.

I am most proud of my two grown children, my grandson, and of being married for 42 years. I am so blessed.

Happiness is such a fleeting emotion; I focus on the underlying joy within my soul that comes from my relationship with Christ. I am happy when I am singing, and hopefully I impart happiness to my audiences.

My advice for living life is exactly that—live life. I continue to live, set new goals, and focus on doing good in the world.

I have released my third CD; all were recorded from age 54 to 64. If someone told me I was too old to do that, I didn’t hear them. It’s too late to go back now.


This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

 

Charlie Rossi

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

Editor’s note: These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits. Click here for the full list of featured models. 


Charlie Rossi, 74

Growing up in St. Louis during the 1950s and early 1960s, I lived in a neighborhood with friends whose major interests were sports and clothes. The area was barely middle-class, yet my friends and I aspired to own clothes with upscale labels, such as shirts from Gant and Hathaway, sweaters from Pringle of Scotland, and Weejuns (penny loafers) from G.H. Bass & Co. Little did I know my affinity for designer-name clothes would have such a profound impact on my life. 

My first significant retail position was on the sales staff of the St. Louis Neiman Marcus store, which opened in 1974. Some salient advice I received while working there was, “If you own a store, it should have a focus and not try to be all things to all people.” This philosophy has guided me during my entire career. 

I have always been a big fan of the old movie stars of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, such as Gary Cooper, Fred Astaire, and Clark Gable. They each had a personal yet timeless style. When Ralph Lauren reinterpreted this manner of dress for the modern man, I was inspired to adopt a classic aesthetic for my store. 

Marriage brought me to Omaha in 1977. I resumed my retail career here at Ben Simons at Westroads after seeking out stores that carried Polo by Ralph Lauren and discovering this was the only local store carrying the brand at that time. Not long after starting there, I was introduced to the gentleman who represented Polo Clothing Co. in this area. He suggested to the men’s clothing buyer that he take me to New York to assist in the selection of Polo merchandise for Ben Simons. I left Ben Simons in March 1978 to help open Suttons in Regency Fashion Court, placing primary emphasis on the Polo label. My association there lasted 12 ½ years. 

My dream of owning my own store came to fruition when I opened Rossi Clothiers in July 1991. I have no intention of retiring. As my son once said to a friend, “My pop has never had a job in his life, because he goes to his hobby every day.” I have been fortunate to have good health, which I mostly attribute to genetics, but doing something you have a passion for sure helps. Family and friends also give meaning to your life. I have close friends I have known for over 50 years. My customers are not just my customers, they are also my friends. After all, I have known some of them for close to 40 years. Finally, I am so proud of my three children and selfishly hope to live a long time so I can spend it with my five phenomenal grandchildren.


This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Gary F. and Iris J. Moore

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

Editor’s note: These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits. Click here for the full list of featured models. 


Gary F. Moore, M.D., FACS, 67

I thought I had everything figured out…until I met Iris.

I was valedictorian, a National Merit Scholar, and top of my dental school class. I knew exactly where I was going. She had been my organic chemistry lab partner, and because Mama didn’t raise no fool, I asked her to be my partner forever. When her green eyes and priceless tenacity left to pursue medical school in Omaha, I could not follow her fast enough. I switched from dentistry to medicine and let the cards fall where they may. That is why, for 45 years, I’ve introduced myself as “Iris’ husband.” I thought there was no greater title.

Until we had children. Being called “Papa” usurped any letters that might follow my name. As a father and a physician, I’ve learned people are willing to go much further when they feel they are being led and not pushed. I have trained 100-plus surgeons and raised three children, and I have tried to impress upon them two things: be your own boss, and first impressions matter. Which is why investing in yourself—not just in education and business, but in your appearance—is tantamount to success. In today’s culture of anything-means-business-casual, it is easy for performance to mirror attire. Dress like you give a damn.

As I have aged, I have discovered I enjoy the simple things in life. I want to spend as much time as possible with my family, drink good red wine, and be the best-dressed guy in the room. Because moderation is a wonderful thing…as long as you don’t overdo it.

Iris J. Moore, M.D., FACS, 67

I grew up on a cattle ranch in Colorado, then moved a world away to spend my teenage years helping my parents run an orphanage in equatorial Brazil. The last place I thought I’d end up was Omaha. But it’s worked out pretty well.

Before medical school, I didn’t even know what an ear, nose, and throat surgeon did—I just wanted to find solutions to problems. Not only was I the first person in my family to graduate college, I earned six degrees from the University of Nebraska and have made Omaha my home for nearly 40 years.

I fought gender politics in medicine while building a practice, raised three wonderful children despite working 80-hour weeks, and stayed married to my best friend and partner when it would have been easier to quit. I just don’t quit. That’s probably the best advice I can give—whether someone’s starting out or barely hanging on.

Even though no one thinks I will ever retire, I am actually looking forward to it. I’ll spend more time mentoring prospective physicians through the Nebraska Women’s Leadership Network, care for those the world has forgotten, and ride my horses at sunset. Maybe I will even slow down enough to enjoy some “coffee with my cream,” as friends say.

I will probably be late to my own funeral, but until that day, I am going to embrace my age, my wrinkles, and my failures. Because all of them tell the story of who I am and whom I have yet to become.


This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

John Mangiameli

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

Editor’s note: These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits. Click here for the full list of featured models. 


John Mangiameli, 63

I started my business (Creative Hair Design Salon & Spa) with three employees and have grown to over 95 employees. We just expanded and remodeled the whole company, which cost more than $500,000. We have over 850 years of combined experience within our staff, with some employees celebrating 30 years of employment.

I find happiness in being able to hire a young employee and help them develop into a successful designer. By doing so, the employee is able to buy a home and invest in the company’s 401K, often creating a sizeable fund. Love, support, faith, and family are the cornerstones to hiring an employee and helping them develop a successful career.

As for my personal life, I find great joy in my eldest daughter, who is a mechanical engineer, and my younger daughter who is a manager in my business. I love to go racing with my son and watch him drive a race car with precision and passion. He most recently placed second in the National Auto Sport Association Championships in Austin, Texas, at the world-famous Formula One track—Circuit of the Americas. Being married to my beautiful wife and business partner for 39 years has brought me constant support and happiness.

I stay young at heart by exercising on a regular basis, and I eat and drink everything in moderation. I also love to go skiing in Colorado every year.


This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 edition of 60PLUS in Omaha MagazineTo receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

John Mangiameli standing in front of Mazda racer with right foot propped up on front