Group shot resizedHow to Live to 100
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and chatting with a most unique group of Lehigh Valley residents. They are a hardy group of men and women who have reached, and in several cases surpassed, the 100 year old mark.

The Northampton County Area Agency on Aging hosted a splendid lunch at the Green Pond Country Club in October. They gathered more than 20 centenarians and there was a brief biography on each of them. The honorees, accompanied by family members or friends, were not only treated to lunch but received certificates from PA Representative Steve Samuelson who is also the Democratic Chair of the State Aging and Older Adult Services Committee. Honorees were welcomed by Fran Greene, Chair of the NCAAA Advisory Council; John Mehler, Administrator of NCAAA; Robert Werner and Hayden Phillips, County Councilmen; an invocation before lunch was offered by Rev. Floyd Ritz, Chaplain at Gracedale.

I spoke with a few of them and they were all quite spry and conversational. Memories might have been spotty at times, but they all could recall events from their childhood and spoke of the many changes they have seen during their lifetimes.

In the biographies several attendees offered reasons for their longevity. Here is what they said:
“Not smoking or drinking”
“Balanced meals and the love of family”
“Live a clean life, stop smoking and have one glass of wine daily”
Attributes longevity to drinking milk daily
“Take care of your eyes, have children who will help you, and help others whenever you can”
“No smoking or drinking”
“Have sense of humor”
“Hard work and do not sleep life away”
“Good night’s sleep, eat three meals a day and keep active”
“Strong faith, dedications her life to serving God and living a good life”
“Good food with no sweet candy and fattening snacks”
“No secret, just a good healthy diet and keeping my mind active with puzzles, reading and talking with Jesus every day”
- and my favorite:
“Chocolate and a Bailey’s Irish Creme as a nightcap”

The Celebrants
Front Row (L-R): Ruth Schaeffer, Elizabeth Wuchter, Muriel Hartline, Clara Uhler Schweitzer, Mary (Simon) Tony, Mary Ogden, Grace DeMarco, Catherine Weidner and Rosalie Anderson.
Back Row (L-R): Alois Himsl, Mildred Lieberman, Alverta Reddinger, Harold Brunell, Joe Koch, Mae Trexler, Naomi Smith, Margaret Firuta and Lucille Whitmer.
Also honored: Mary Bach, Pauline Hunsicker, Miriam Mabus, Marion Miller, Mildred Ronco, Virginia Sutton and Hilda Transue.

Photo credit: Ann Terres

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