Botetourt County retirement community celebrates seniors who have lived past 100 years old

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The Glebe Retirement Community celebrated seniors who are over the age of 100 on Tuesday afternoon. The home hosted an afternoon tea for Millie Tompkins, Evelyn Blake, Horst Lonitz and Barbara Koch.

The seniors remember their childhood like it was yesterday. As they sat down for tea and sandwiches, they talked a lot about their parents and what it was like to grow up 100 years ago.

Blake, Tompkins and Lonitz got pampered at the home’s beauty parlor before the celebration. 102-year old Blake was among the first generation of women to vote.

“There were a whole lot of things girls weren’t allowed to do,” Blake said. “If you had a little brother, he was allowed to do things that you were not allowed to do. And that bothered me.”

106-year old Millie Tompkins recalled what it was like to live during The Great Depression.

“I did whatever my grandmother taught me to do,” Tompkins said. “She was a wonderful teacher.”

103-year old Lonitz could still remember precise details of living in Germany during World War II.

“It was a rather hard life because Germany lost the war,” Lonitz said. “As a child you were happy with such simple and primitive toys.”

With more experience than most, the seniors gave advice for the younger generations.

“Like what you’re doing and you’ll never work another day. It can all be fun,” Blake said. “You can make something of it and make something good out of things you don’t think any good can come of.”

“Be happy, and make your happiness important,” Lonitz said. “Work hard and work your way up.”

102-year old Koch did not attend Tuesday afternoon’s lunch, but included a statement to The Glebe staff on her behalf.

“It is important to look ahead, more important than it is to look behind,” Koch said. “If you keep looking behind, you may find you are looking at unhappy things more than happy things.”