Grandma Gamechangers cover slide "Exposing the truth about Grandmas" - Jan 2018
The Baby Boomer generation has broken many stereotypes about aging, but none is more evident than in the realm of grandparenting. Today’s grandparents feel younger, look younger, work longer, wear many hats and refuse to be called GRANDMA or GRANDPA.

Most have not toned down their lifestyles, but rather are engaged with life on all levels, from professional to community service. Some share active roles in raising grandchildren, and others make sure time is regularly scheduled to see and interact with their grandchildren, even if this happens over Skype or Facetime, which means they have learned and stayed current with technology.

We met with six dynamic grandmothers who are the epitome of today’s women. They love life and love making an impact on the world through their own contributions and through their family members. Let’s learn what makes them game changers when it comes to grandparenting.

By Pamela Lutrell (Gigi to three)

Photography by David Teran

(slide 1 of 7)

Tonya Penfield, Nonnie

(Two grandkids)

To remain young at heart, Tonya Penfield, 59, does not take herself too seriously and attempts to “squeeze every bit of life out of each and every day.” However, she has a serious career in management at USAA, where she has worked for almost 28 years and currently manages the entry-level hires for IT. Penfield is also a co-founder and CEO of a nonprofit company (Living In Victorious Expectation), and through this she speaks and travels to various events. She has been a runner for 40 years and still runs two half-marathons a year, and she sees a physician who manages her health holistically. Add in water skiing, reading, weekend retreats with friends and fun with her husband of 32 years, and she is one busy grandmother. However, Penfield believes one of the best gifts she gives her granddaughters is her time. “It pleases me when they get real excited about seeing their Nonnie, and I give them 100 percent of my full attention when we’re together. That’s the best gift I can give them — my time.”

(slide 2 of 7)

Lainey Berkus, MeMe

(Nine...four in San Antonio, five in Israel)

Lainey Berkus, 67, stays young at heart with a positive attitude and striving for joy in each moment of every day. Berkus is the co-founder of The CE Group: Communications and Events, and though she is officially retired, she still consults on community relationships and marketing for two sister restaurants. Through community involvement, freelance writing and volunteer work with the arts, Berkus works to keep her mind sharp and her body fit, which is the essence of staying healthy for her. Also, her life is all about her grandchildren. “I want them to remember I was always there to share their laughter and dry their tears,” she said. She reads bedtime stories to the ones in Israel over Skype and visits as often as possible. She is writing a book that is a collection of letters written to all of them. She has taught the San Antonio boys to ride scooters, bikes and skateboards. The boys spend every Friday night with Berkus and her husband (Zedie) learning to cook, set a table, play board games and think smart. The boys also win special MeMe dates out for learning and having fun. She even has a theme for 2018 for their time together … teach ways to show responsibility. She said, “I don’t take their visits for granted. I always thank my grandchildren and their parents for sharing their lives with us.”

(slide 3 of 7)

Suzie Barrows, Zu-Zu

(One grandchild)

Sixty-five-year-old Suzie Barrows believes rock and roll music is the best way to remain young at heart. “Listen to it, move to it, dance to it, sing/shout along with it, share it, and whenever possible, go hear it performed live. Do this every day, and I promise you will never feel old,” she said. She goes to several local bands once or twice a month but keeps a bucket list of active rock bands she has not seen yet. Along with this, Barrows works out on an elliptical three to four times a week and is a vegetarian, striving to eat 1,000 calories a day. She loves to read to her grandchild and take walks. “I hope my grandchildren will remember me smiling, laughing, singing and dancing,” she said. Perhaps they will know her as a bass guitar player … she is currently learning to play.

(slide 4 of 7)

Judith Schroeder, Nanny

(Four grandchildren)

Judith Schroeder, 76, remains young at heart in a variety of ways. “Put on your lipstick and get dressed every day. Make your bed because it is just better to come home to. Wear pretty clothes, bright scarves and fun jewelry. Laugh with friends, go to lunch and drink wine. Go dancing and listen to live music. Exercise in ways that make you happy, “she said. These are just a few of the ways she enjoys life. Schroeder can be found in her NIA classes and barefoot dance classes at least four times a week or dancing with her husband at JAZZ TX. She served as a docent at the McNay Art Museum for 26 years, but is now considered emeritus. However, Schroeder loves to browse art galleries with art-minded friends. She wants her grandsons to remember she loves and cherishes each one as a unique individual and will support them no matter what. Watching their sports and cheering them on is one way she shows that support.

(slide 5 of 7)

Julie Goudge, Goo

(Three with another on the way)

Julie Goudge, 59, believes the best way to be young at heart is not to think old. “Keep current with as much technology as possible without letting it run your life, and find things to do you have never done before,” she said. Goudge recently returned from her first trip to Europe with her husband. She has changed her eating habits over the last five years and now eats clean and creates her own recipes that are low in sugar, gluten-free and delicious. In fact, cooking with grandchildren is one of her favorite activities, along with riding the Brackenridge Eagle, going to the zoo and being outdoors. She hopes they will remember how she prayed for them and shared Jesus with them. She is a busy entrepreneur with her business, A Perfect Pair, which she co-owns with the next featured grandmother, Sally Vick. “I love it,” Goudge said.

(slide 6 of 7)

Sally Vick, MiMi

(Six plus two more on the way)

Sally Vick, 63, is partner to Julie Goudge with business ownership of The Perfect Pair. However, she also is a bookkeeper for the family business. She loves what she does and considers that to be the key to being young at heart. “Just keep doing what you love,” she said. Vick also walks four miles a day and attends a workout class and has a love of snow skiing. But on her big front porch, she can often be found with a grandchild. She likes to play outside with them, go on long walks, have fun at the DoSeum, and attend Bible study fellowship with them. “I want them to know I loved each one dearly,” she said.

(slide 7 of 7)
Grandma Gamechangers cover slide "Exposing the truth about Grandmas" - Jan 2018
(slide 1 of 7)

The Baby Boomer generation has broken many stereotypes about aging, but none is more evident than in the realm of grandparenting. Today’s grandparents feel younger, look younger, work longer, wear many hats and refuse to be called GRANDMA or GRANDPA.

Most have not toned down their lifestyles, but rather are engaged with life on all levels, from professional to community service. Some share active roles in raising grandchildren, and others make sure time is regularly scheduled to see and interact with their grandchildren, even if this happens over Skype or Facetime, which means they have learned and stayed current with technology.

We met with six dynamic grandmothers who are the epitome of today’s women. They love life and love making an impact on the world through their own contributions and through their family members. Let’s learn what makes them game changers when it comes to grandparenting.

By Pamela Lutrell (Gigi to three)

Photography by David Teran

(slide 2 of 7)

Tonya Penfield, Nonnie

(Two grandkids)

To remain young at heart, Tonya Penfield, 59, does not take herself too seriously and attempts to “squeeze every bit of life out of each and every day.” However, she has a serious career in management at USAA, where she has worked for almost 28 years and currently manages the entry-level hires for IT. Penfield is also a co-founder and CEO of a nonprofit company (Living In Victorious Expectation), and through this she speaks and travels to various events. She has been a runner for 40 years and still runs two half-marathons a year, and she sees a physician who manages her health holistically. Add in water skiing, reading, weekend retreats with friends and fun with her husband of 32 years, and she is one busy grandmother. However, Penfield believes one of the best gifts she gives her granddaughters is her time. “It pleases me when they get real excited about seeing their Nonnie, and I give them 100 percent of my full attention when we’re together. That’s the best gift I can give them — my time.”

(slide 3 of 7)

Lainey Berkus, MeMe

(Nine...four in San Antonio, five in Israel)

Lainey Berkus, 67, stays young at heart with a positive attitude and striving for joy in each moment of every day. Berkus is the co-founder of The CE Group: Communications and Events, and though she is officially retired, she still consults on community relationships and marketing for two sister restaurants. Through community involvement, freelance writing and volunteer work with the arts, Berkus works to keep her mind sharp and her body fit, which is the essence of staying healthy for her. Also, her life is all about her grandchildren. “I want them to remember I was always there to share their laughter and dry their tears,” she said. She reads bedtime stories to the ones in Israel over Skype and visits as often as possible. She is writing a book that is a collection of letters written to all of them. She has taught the San Antonio boys to ride scooters, bikes and skateboards. The boys spend every Friday night with Berkus and her husband (Zedie) learning to cook, set a table, play board games and think smart. The boys also win special MeMe dates out for learning and having fun. She even has a theme for 2018 for their time together … teach ways to show responsibility. She said, “I don’t take their visits for granted. I always thank my grandchildren and their parents for sharing their lives with us.”

(slide 4 of 7)

Suzie Barrows, Zu-Zu

(One grandchild)

Sixty-five-year-old Suzie Barrows believes rock and roll music is the best way to remain young at heart. “Listen to it, move to it, dance to it, sing/shout along with it, share it, and whenever possible, go hear it performed live. Do this every day, and I promise you will never feel old,” she said. She goes to several local bands once or twice a month but keeps a bucket list of active rock bands she has not seen yet. Along with this, Barrows works out on an elliptical three to four times a week and is a vegetarian, striving to eat 1,000 calories a day. She loves to read to her grandchild and take walks. “I hope my grandchildren will remember me smiling, laughing, singing and dancing,” she said. Perhaps they will know her as a bass guitar player … she is currently learning to play.

(slide 5 of 7)

Judith Schroeder, Nanny

(Four grandchildren)

Judith Schroeder, 76, remains young at heart in a variety of ways. “Put on your lipstick and get dressed every day. Make your bed because it is just better to come home to. Wear pretty clothes, bright scarves and fun jewelry. Laugh with friends, go to lunch and drink wine. Go dancing and listen to live music. Exercise in ways that make you happy, “she said. These are just a few of the ways she enjoys life. Schroeder can be found in her NIA classes and barefoot dance classes at least four times a week or dancing with her husband at JAZZ TX. She served as a docent at the McNay Art Museum for 26 years, but is now considered emeritus. However, Schroeder loves to browse art galleries with art-minded friends. She wants her grandsons to remember she loves and cherishes each one as a unique individual and will support them no matter what. Watching their sports and cheering them on is one way she shows that support.

(slide 6 of 7)

Julie Goudge, Goo

(Three with another on the way)

Julie Goudge, 59, believes the best way to be young at heart is not to think old. “Keep current with as much technology as possible without letting it run your life, and find things to do you have never done before,” she said. Goudge recently returned from her first trip to Europe with her husband. She has changed her eating habits over the last five years and now eats clean and creates her own recipes that are low in sugar, gluten-free and delicious. In fact, cooking with grandchildren is one of her favorite activities, along with riding the Brackenridge Eagle, going to the zoo and being outdoors. She hopes they will remember how she prayed for them and shared Jesus with them. She is a busy entrepreneur with her business, A Perfect Pair, which she co-owns with the next featured grandmother, Sally Vick. “I love it,” Goudge said.

(slide 7 of 7)

Sally Vick, MiMi

(Six plus two more on the way)

Sally Vick, 63, is partner to Julie Goudge with business ownership of The Perfect Pair. However, she also is a bookkeeper for the family business. She loves what she does and considers that to be the key to being young at heart. “Just keep doing what you love,” she said. Vick also walks four miles a day and attends a workout class and has a love of snow skiing. But on her big front porch, she can often be found with a grandchild. She likes to play outside with them, go on long walks, have fun at the DoSeum, and attend Bible study fellowship with them. “I want them to know I loved each one dearly,” she said.