Emmaus Blog

Unofficial World Record Holder - Marvin

Steven Amrhein - Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Earlier this year, an article came through from the United Kingdom about a gentlemen named Joe. Joe turned 80 this past March and was believed to be the oldest person living with Down Syndrome. He was 4 years older than the official world record holder, 76 year-old Kenny Cridge, however Guinness Records officially stopped disability records in 2008. Their articles can be read here.

Emmaus Homes just celebrated a birthday. Marvin turned 81 this year, unofficially making him the oldest person living with Down Syndrome. 41 years ago, Marvin was introduced to Emmaus Homes and living in one of the first ISL’s that Emmaus had developed in Warrenton. Marvin shared his home with two other gentlemen, since deceased. While relishing being a part of his community, Marvin still loves visiting with longtime friends and currently resides in Marthasville.

Every other Sunday, Marvin attends church in Troy. He helps at the food pantry along with cleaning in the sanctuary, and looks forward to dusting the pews. When guests begin to arrive in the morning he’s known for greeting everyone with a smile and hello, and to children always includes a “Hi Baby!”.

Marvin has such a big heart and love for life. A smile that is never-ending and a laugh that is contagious. The thing Marvin does best with is his humor. Suddenly Marvin will break out with an enthusiastic giddy laugh that he shares with others, making it contagious to all who hear it.


Marvin has gone on vacations to places such as Branson and the Lake of the Ozarks. He enjoys the countryside by indulging in picnics and visiting scenic farmlands. Another hobby of his indoors is guessing the letters nightly during the Wheel of Fortune. Every bonus round he stands ups, says the letters he wants and then tries to solve the puzzle while clapping his hands. He always wins.

For years, Marvin attended a DDA camp at MO-Val. Brenda Cameron, A Cabin Counselor at the time, recalls feeling blessed to attend camp with him.

“He would visit at the table before meals and share his laugh. Many of the youth counselors would come over to his table and share his joy. Many times, the adult counselors returned year after year and voice how they appreciated having Marvin in their group and seeing his name on their roster.”


Marvin was able to clearly communicate with others, but sometimes is not understood well. You may hear a portion of a word and are able to make out what he is sharing. Marvin as well as his peers living in Warrenton had difficulty relating to Emmaus team members due to their speech several years ago. Yet, hearing the same individuals easily relating to each other is amazing. The speech contains obvious echoes of punctuation, as you can hear questions being asked, and exclamations after excited remarks. Everyone is continuously awed at the degree of communication taking place. On many occasions, the good natured comment or joke is made that Marvin and friends are planning to overtake the direct support working with them.

Joanne remembers how Marvin became an extended part of her family.

“He referred to myself as mom and to my husband Joe as dad. My three sons Joseph, Jeffrey and Justin were his best buddies. Marvin was part of the family. He loved going to the boy's sporting events, watching them play football, soccer, baseball, track and wrestling. He would sit in the stands and cheer on the team. Each time before leaving an event Marvin had to go and tell the kids good job and goodbye. The coaches were amazing and always let the kids on the side lines come to the fence to tell him goodbye. Marvin was famous for blowing kisses and loved chocolate cake. He was forever asking the ladies at church or staff to bake him a chocolate cake. Every time we had a fellowship dinner, party or get together that Marvin attended at least one person brought him his chocolate cake.”

Every day is a good day with a friend like Marvin.


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Part of Our Family

Steven Amrhein - Thursday, October 27, 2016

At Emmaus, you're more than "just an employee". You're part of our family. Read more

Visiting Wrigley

Steven Amrhein - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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Soul of the Mission - Harmon Foundation

Hailey Kintz - Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Ray and Grace Harmon grew up in Saint Charles. Their business, First Foto/Growing Family, was, and still is headquartered in Saint Charles. Giving back to the community that has supported their success is an extension of their commitment to Saint Charles.

The Raymond and Grace Harmon Charitable Foundation began providing grants to non-profits in Saint Charles in 2002, and Emmaus Homes, Inc. has received grants every year since 2004. The Board of Directors, most of whom are direct descendants of Ray and Grace, is charged with seeking out deserving non-profits that provide services in the areas of Health Care, Education, Social Services, and Religion. Emmaus Homes’ grants have fallen within most of those categories.

Unsolicited grant requests are not accepted by the Foundation for one very important reason. One of the objectives of creating the Foundation was to encourage and teach the trustees how to give money away so that it can do the most good in the community. That requires trustees to seek out, analyze, and truly get to know potential recipient organizations. Then it is the responsibility of each trustee to advocate for those organizations when it is time to vote on annual grants.

There are three generations of Harmon family members currently on the Board, along with several non-family members. Their interests in and devotion to organizations in Saint Charles ensures that the grants, large and small, go to a wide variety of non-profit efforts. Among the recipients are Lindenwood University, SSM Health, Family Advocacy and Community Training, New Hope Presbyterian Church, First Step Back Home, Youth in Need, and many others.

When considering potential grants, one of the objectives is to help the most people for the longest period of time. Emmaus Homes has received restricted grants to build a fully accessible kitchen, to modify homes as clients have transitioned from campus to community, for training of Emmaus employees, and for home furnishings and appliances. The trustees unanimously agree that Emmaus is an organization “that we can really wrap our hearts around”.

The Raymond and Grace Harmon Charitable Foundation makes a quiet effort in Saint Charles to give back to the community in which the family has grown and thrived.


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EmmausLink Fall Registration Opens

Steven Amrhein - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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Emmaus Launches YouEarnedIt Employee Engagement Platform

Hailey Kintz - Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Emmaus, a local non-profit providing around-the-clock services to adults with developmental disabilities, has launched its first-ever digital, employee engagement platform to motivate and connect its outstanding employees. Powered by YouEarnedIt, Emmaus’ engagement program rewards its employees on a consistent basis for their hard work and dedication to making a difference in the lives of others. Read more

Duckfest VIP Tickets NOW ON SALE!

Hailey Kintz - Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Duckfest, one of Emmaus' largest fundraisers, now has VIP tickets on sale!  Read more

Olu Oluyemi promoted to Residential Quality Manager

Hailey Kintz - Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Congratulations to Olu Oluyemi on her recent promotion to Residential Quality Manager. Olu has been with Emmaus for 8 years.  Read more

Washington Town & Country Fair

Hailey Kintz - Friday, August 12, 2016

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