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Shepherd's Spotlight: A few fathers who've made a difference

As Father’s Day approaches, we at KC Shepherd’s Center want to recognize fathers for how they’ve impacted their families, as well as their communities. Nominating a father in your life for the 2021 70 Over 70 Awards is a fantastic way to honor the accomplishments and contributions of your loved ones. Nominees can be anyone over 70 in the greater Kansas City community that you’d like to celebrate for their contributions and achievements.

We’ve shared eight fantastic fathers below who have been named Honorees in the last few years. Read on to learn more about our inspiring Honorees. We hope it inspires you to take a moment and nominate someone who has made a difference in your life.

Greg Lear, 71, 2018 Honoree – Amazing

Greg Lear has been a volunteer for the Shepherd’s Center for many years. He’s served on the board of directors and on the community advisory council, volunteered as a CLAIM-certified Medicare counselor, and has been a driver for weekly deliveries of Meals on Wheels. He is also active in his church and in other organizations around Kansas City.

Greg is inspiring in all regards, finding time for others and his volunteer commitments while enjoying his retirement in many ways, from traveling and family involvement to connecting with those in his community. He’s a great example of purposeful living in retirement, juggling his family’s needs and desires with his community responsibility in helping make the lives of others better.

David Ross, 81, 2020 Honoree – Credibility

A lifelong Missourian, David Ross was born in the town of La Belle, Mo. He attended Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and earned a law degree from the University of Missouri. Serving as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1966, he returned to Kansas City and joined the First National Bank, which became Bank of America. David was with the bank for 38 years, most recently with the Trust Department and Foundation as a key community contact and funder.

He retired in 2004 when he was advised by medical experts that he didn’t have long to live. In the 17 years since, he’s been consulting in the community as an “outsourced fund development committee,” mostly because, as he jokes, “My wife makes me leave home in the morning and not come back until evening.”

Despite David’s self-deprecating sense of humor, he is widely recognized as a dean of philanthropy in Greater Kansas City. Thanks to him, millions of dollars have been directed to support health-related, religious, educational and other charitable causes in the Kansas City area. As one admirer said of him, “David absolutely changed the world of philanthropy in Kansas City. He was a champion of those he worked with and encouraged people to continually push their nonprofit thinking.” David and his wife Connie have a daughter, Maggie, who lives in the Brookside neighborhood.

Dr. Alan D. Forker, 82, 2020 Honoree – Dedicated

After a stellar 40-year career in cardiology, Dr. Alan Forker retired in 2016. At the mid-point of his career, he moved from Lincoln, Neb. to Kansas City to pursue a life-long dream of teaching medicine. Alan served as Professor of Medicine and Chief of Cardiology for the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Truman Medical Centers. His professional path led him to leadership positions with both the MO American College of Physicians (ACP) and the MO American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Retirement opened a wide door to Alan's "next chapter"—community service. He’s volunteered as a member (including past board chair) of the Retired Physician's Organization; advisory board member, KC Communities for All Ages; board member, Shepherd's Center of America and presenter extraordinaire on health issues to multiple organizations.

Alan has always been dedicated to the profession of medicine and to his family. As a caregiver for his late wife who suffered from Alzheimer's, he’s acutely aware of the challenges facing those who care for loved ones. He and his wife Anne are proud parents of four adult children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandson.

John W. Walker, 74, 2020 Honoree – Mentor

John Walker was the executive vice president at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City for 10 years. He then founded Perfect Output, which provides state-of-the-art office imaging and document management technology. Since 1998, revenue for Perfect Output has grown from $600,000 to an estimated $43 Million.

John’s commitment to diversity and the community includes a philosophy of sharing knowledge. He makes himself available to other minority business entrepreneurs and assists with their ongoing development in terms of networking, relationship building, guidance and mentoring, and helping to grow their business.