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Resident sitting at a table making paper cranes.

Gatesworth Stories —

Sugi Taylor
A Perfect Fit: The Gatesworth

For older adults and their families, it can be difficult to find a balance between maintaining independence and ensuring loved ones are safe. That was the exact struggle Sugi Taylor found herself facing with her children. Turning 94 this month, she wants to continue pursuing the hobbies and activities she enjoys, and her children want to ensure she is well cared for. The family found their solution in The Gatesworth. The senior living community offers residents innovative services and luxury amenities to ensure they remain active, happy and comfortable.

Born in New York City, Taylor grew up in Japan. After World War II, she got married and moved with her new husband to St. Louis, where they put down roots and raised a family on The Hill. Taylor worked various jobs, including serving as a translator for people visiting the city and working with the Missouri Botanical Garden. Since its inception in the 1960s, she has been involved with the garden’s annual Japanese Festival. “For 25 years, I worked in kimono sales, and then I moved on to making dolls,” she says. “Now, I mostly focus on creating pictures, greeting cards and origami for display during the festival.”

Sugi Taylor sitting outdoors.

Since retiring, Taylor has been able to focus on her creative pursuits. She began practicing origami as a child and continued pursuing it as a hobby into adulthood. She is currently in the process of folding 1,000 paper cranes in celebration of her grandson’s upcoming wedding. “The 1,000 cranes symbolize good luck and a long life,” she explains. “I previously made displays for my two granddaughter’s weddings, and it’s a lot of work. I’ve made about 250 for my grandson, and I have until December for the other 750. To make the cranes, I use special handmade washi paper that’s a little different from what you find in craft stores.”

While Taylor doesn’t let her age slow her down, her children were concerned about her continuing to live on her own, especially since none of them live locally. “St. Louis is my second home, and I didn’t want to leave the area,” she says. Taylor began a three-year search to find a local senior living community that could live up to her exacting standards and put her children’s minds at ease. “There was always something that didn’t work for me,” she notes. “While many of the communities were OK, there were issues like the rooms being too small or I didn’t like the dining options.”

The answer to Taylor’s dilemma was The Gatesworth. The senior living community was able to offer everything she wanted and more—from the quality of the apartments to amenities like dining and the salon. She has been at The Gatesworth for a few months, and for most of her stay, she’s been busy preparing for this year’s Japanese Festival, limiting how many activities she’s been able to engage in, but she’s looking forward to exploring all the community has to offer. “I do enjoy listening to the musical performances on the weekends,” she notes. “The service, the people, everything is wonderful here. I’m so glad I chose to live at The Gatesworth.”

Located at One McKnight Place, The Gatesworth offers residents a wide variety of innovative services and luxury amenities so they can live life to the fullest.For more information, call 314.993.0111.

Text based on an interview by Stephanie Wallace in Town&Style

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