I met 75-year-old Louise Stefani Muth in her corner unit of the Winwood Apartment complex. The mother of five, grandmother of 16 and great-grandmother of one (with one more on the way) leads an active life.
A former nurse, Muth now works as a seed tech in the germination lab at DuPont Pioneer. She has been there for 16 years and has met some of her best friends in the lab. In fact, Muth moved into her Winwood apartment because it is close to her job and makes it easier for her friends to pick her up on their way to work every day.
Muth is unable to drive. She was diagnosed with macular degeneration in 1993, but that doesn’t slow her down. When I asked her if she had any tools she used to help her navigate her cozy one-bedroom apartment, she laughed and said, “My mother always taught me everything has a place. When you pick something up, you put it back where you found it. So it’s second nature to me and makes navigating my apartment very easy for me.”
Who knew a lesson learned as a small child would be such an important part of her adult life?
Although she is now legally blind, Muth does retain some of her vision. She described what she sees like this, “If you were to try and look through a piece of wax paper… that is what the world looks like to me every day now.” Muth uses a CCTV to view photos, read her mail and other printed materials. A zoom application on her computer helps her to see email messages, photos and Web pages. She even enjoys watching television by sitting very close to the screen.
And there is so much more to this interesting woman. She trick or treated at Al Capon’s house as a small child, lived on the island of Guam for 12 years and has a beautiful young granddaughter who is pursuing an acting and singing career in Los Angeles.
It’s so much more than you would ever anticipate from a small corner apartment in Johnston.