Miralea “might be the best place in the country,” according to Art Raderer. Art, at 102 years old, should know. Living a full life for more than a century, he has experienced more than most. After the death of his second wife, Madelyn Johnson, Art’s sons encouraged him to move to Miralea Active Lifestyle Community at Masonic Homes Kentucky. He hasn’t looked back and says one of his favorite things is socializing at Miralea.
Along with making new friendships, Art is committed to giving back to Masonic Homes, particularly since Madelyn received care in Sally’s Garden at the Sam Swope Care Center for dementia.
“She got excellent care at Sally’s Garden with her memory,” he said.
Inspired, Art’s stepdaughter Rebecca Johnson worked with Masonic Homes after her passing to create the Madelyn Johnson Raderer Nurse Education Fund. The fund is dedicated to supporting college students pursuing a nursing degree. It’s a good legacy for someone who was once a nurse herself, and who “was always very compassionate and concerned about people,” Art said. Though Art points to his activity and civic involvement as part of the reason he has enjoyed such a long life, he also trusts that his two “wonderful, happy marriages have something to do with it.” Art says he “had a total of 75 years of great marriage and I miss both of them.” His first marriage lasted 38 years until she passed away; his second to Madelyn lasted 37.
“I maybe didn’t deserve either one of them, but God’s been good to me,” he said.
Art began his time as a Louisville native humbly. Born over his grandfather’s hardware store, Art’s life started in Louisville in 1918. When he was 7, his father passed away and Art quickly learned the value of hard work. He was one of three children and they all pitched in to help their widowed mother make ends meet. In high school, Art delivered the Courier-Journal in the mornings and the Louisville Times in the afternoons.
Art graduated from duPont Manual High School in 1935 and went to work at Kentucky Color & Chemical Co., first as a lab assistant then as a sales representative. He eventually moved into a career in banking, and in 1955 joined the Louisville Home Federal Savings and Loan Association as a loan officer.
Over the years, he worked his way up to become the company’s CEO and eventually, president and, finally, board chairman. During his tenure, the association merged with three other loan associations, changing its name to Future Federal Savings and Loan. He retired from the association in 1982.
In addition to his impressive professional career, Art served two years of active duty in the United States Army. He also served 19 years in the Kentucky Army National Guard, where he retired as a major.
Art is also a committed Mason, with 50 years as a member of the Buechel Lodge #896.
He has eight grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, many of whom visit with him at his house on Nolin Lake – a place where he once loved to fish. He celebrated his 99th birthday there last year with more than 50 family and friends in attendance. To celebrate his 100th, Art’s sons hosted a party at Louisville’s German-American Club.
Of his age, Art says, “I’m enjoying life and my health is good so I can’t expect anything else.” His advice to others hoping to see a century?
“Just take care of your health.”