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Celebrating National Centenarian’s Day With Our Remarkable 100-Year-Old Residents

Our Centenarian's

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020—Today marks the day that Traditions communities celebrate our remarkable Centenarians, residents who have reached the age of 100 or older. According to the U.S. Census, in 2019, there were approximately 72,000 centenarians in the United States.

We are thrilled to have so many of these special elders in our presence, and are grateful for their shared wisdom and life experiences. If you have a story and/or photos to share on social media, about a centenarian at one of our Traditions communities, please tag it with #TraditionsCentenarians.

It is with great joy that we introduce our Centenarians:

Pharaba Bell (102)  
Park Place Senior Living

Pharaba Bell was born on November 28, 1917 to Roscoe and Helen Rosenbarger  of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She married Melvin Bell on March 1, 1941 and had two children. Pharaba was a self-employed craftsperson for 30 years.

Betty Blage (99)
Park Place Senior Living

Betty was born on June 14, 1921 to Frank and Margaret Lauro of Staten Island, New York. Betty attended Pace College in New York and later became a secretary and personal assistant. She has two children. Betty is a member of National Audubon Society and has always loved to bowl.

Mattie Lou Brunner (100)
Park Place Senior Living

Mattie Lou Brunner was born September 23, 1919 to Fred and Nobella Coats of Shelbyville, Tennessee. She moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana when she started grade school where she learned and loved to play the violin. Mattie Lou married Norman Brunner, April 26, 1941, was a housewife on the farm and mother to two boys.

Mattie Lou loves gardening and word searches.

Louise Hoch (100)
Park Place Senior Living

Louise Hoch was born September 1, 1920 to Albert and Stella Derheimer of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She married her husband, Edward on December 4, 1940 and was a housewife and mother to six children. They loved spending time together at their lake house in Auburn, Indiana.

Pauline Rekeweg (99)
Park Place Senior Living

Pauline Rekeweg was born December 28, 1920 to Carl and Ida Brinncks of Woodburn, Indiana. She married her husband, Herbert on September 21, 1940 and was the mother of one boy and two girls and housewife on the farm.

Pauline enjoys spending time with her family, playing euchre and bingo.

Louise Spieth (99)
Park Place Senior Living

Louise Caroline Amanda Clara Spieth was born on July 20, 1921 to Herman and Barbara Kruckelberg of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was named after her baptismal sponsors. Louise married her husband, Buss on November 7, 1940 and they had four children together.

Louise loves to play euchre and bingo.

William Brint (102)
Traditions at Brookside

Warren grew up 70 miles from Memphis, TN on a cotton, corn and watermelon farm that has been in his family since the Civil War. He went to Memphis State University and majored in chemistry, math and history, married the love of his life and had two daughters, Marty and Phyllis. Warren completed his degree and became the chief chemist for manufacturing plants throughout the Midwest. He retired from DuPont in Fortville, Indiana in 1982.

When asked about his career, William said he realized early on that he could learn from others’ experiences, regardless of their backgrounds.

Jeanette Cohen (103)
Traditions at North Willow

Jeanette was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She graduated 8th grade at the age of 11 and high school at the age of 15. She is very proud that the same year she bought her first car, a Ford Rumble Seat for just $50. Jeanette went on to become a secretary, a job she absolutely loved and met her husband, a pharmacist shortly after. Together they opened a mom-and-pop pharmacy in Bridgeport.

Jeanette has a daughter, Marlene, four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. She spends her days playing Rummikub and relaxing.

Miriam Werner (99)
Traditions at North Willow

Miriam ‘Mimi’ Werner is 99 going on 25! She was born in Indianapolis along with her five siblings and has always been a practical joker. Growing up, Mimi loved to go to the movies and get lunch with her friends. After graduating from Magnolia High School, Mimi went on to be a secretary for ‘many, many’ years. She raised two daughters with her husband, and moved to Florida for seven years before returning to her stomping grounds.

Thank you for always making us laugh, Mimi.

Ray Hacker (99)
Traditions of Beavercreek

Ray was born in Manchester, Kentucky on February 21, 1921 and is the youngest of six children, three girls and three boys.  He served in Berlin during WWII as a PFC in the 8th Division, 28th Infantry. Ray married his wife Gertrude on October 1, 1947.

Ray attributes his longevity and good health to the winter of ’44, when he didn’t see the inside of a house out in the field and had to find his way across four rivers. The war had such an impact on him and was one of the most remarkable events in his lifetime. Ray has never been sick and doesn’t take medication, something he believes has been important to his long life.

Ray and Gertrude have lived with us since 2018.

Hazel Hatten (101)
Traditions of Beavercreek

Hazel was born on December 29, 1918 in Branchland, West Virginia and was the fifth of 10 children. She was married to her husband, James for 50 years and worked as a housekeeper during the Depression until her sister got her a job at a paper mill, where she worked for 40 years. She marvels at America’s prosperity and growth and said one of the most important inventions during her lifetime was the TV, the ‘picture show’ right in your own home.

Hazel and her baby sister, Lois, moved to Beavercreek in 2017. When asked about the secret to her longevity, she said “God’s grace. The Lord sees fit to keep me here.” Her advice to young people? “Live a respectable life and trust God for your welfare.”

Florence Hackman (101)
Traditions of Deerfield

Florence ‘Flo’ Hackman will be 102 years old December 16, 2020. She is of German heritage and has great will and determination to keep going and to stay active. Flo was married to her husband, Joe for 71 years and has two children, four grandchildren, five great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren.

Flo enjoys participating in activities and really enjoys playing organ music, bingo and taking part in exercise classes, craft activities and going on outings. She also enjoys good food and especially ‘pink’ wine!

Flo is the only one remaining of her siblings, but she and the rest of her family are very close. Her great grandson, Ryan is a nurse at our community.

William Hendey (101)
Middleton Senior Living

William was born on August 26, 1919 to William and Jane Hendey of Bloomfield, New Jersey. He was the youngest of three children and had two older sisters, Pearl and Ruth.  He grew up loving sports, watching Fordham, NYU and Manhattan college football, playing neighborhood baseball, lettering in track and field as a broad jumper and playing in the town recreation basketball league. William joined the Navy in 1942 after Pearl Harbor. His most impressive claim to fame? Bing Crosby picked William up while hitching a ride to Hollywood and chatted him up on his way to none other than Bob Hope’s place.

William was shipped out to the Philippines in 1945 where he copied code messages. After the war, he enrolled at Montclair State and got a job at Dumont. A few months after praying to the Blessed Mother to send him someone special, he met a girl named Margery Taylor. This year, they celebrated 73 years of marriage.

Their advice? Always have respect for one another.

Regina Kosmalski (102)
Traditions at Camargo

Regina Kosmalski was born on September 19, 1918 in Hamtramck, Michigan, to parents who immigrated from Poland. She cherishes memories of Christmas Eve Wigilia celebrations (a Polish tradition), when she and her sister Elsie would cook for weeks to prepare thousands of candies, cookies, pierogi and more for the party. She married Chester Kosmalski in 1940 and together they raised four children in the Detroit area. Regina retired at the age of 72 as President of the American Businesswomen’s Association. She has 12 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren.

“I never imagined I would live this long. I’m not just old, I’m really old. God doesn’t want me yet. I must still have work to do here.” Regina’s advice to others? Spend as much time as possible with the people you love, because you never know how much time you have left. “My life has not been easy. I’ve been through many hardships and losses. I always just keep going…what choice did I really have? I learned how strong I really was during my hardest times.”