Helen Easter reaches the century mark on Nov. 25 –
By Patricia Beech –
When Helen Easter was born, Woodrow Wilson was president and World War I was raging across the battlefields of Europe.
When she turned 100 years old on Saturday, Nov. 25, over 100 of her family members and friends gathered at the fire Station in Squirreltown to celebrate the date with a birthday party.
“It was a wonderful party,” said grand-daughter-in-law, Crystal Easter. “She’s such a great lady, we all wanted to be there for her.”
A remarkable centenarian, Easter still has a spring in her step and laughs easily as she recalls stories from her past.
Born Nov. 25, 1917 near Stout, Ohio, she is a life-long resident of Adams County. She married her husband, John Easter in 1935 and in the years that followed they had two children, Joe and Mary Anna.
In 1939 Easter and her husband purchased the 300-plus acre farm on West Fork Road where they raised their children, and where she still lives today.
“When we moved here it was the best place you’ve ever seen in your life,” she says. “We always farmed, and we always worked hard.”
In 1967 her husband passed away unexpectedly, leaving her to raise their 16 year-old son.
In the decades following her husband’s death, she continued to operate the farm – doing double the work of those half her age. But, at age 83, while working in her barn loft, Easter lost her footing and fell one story to the ground.
“That’s what ails my back today,” she says.
Asked what the secret of her long life is, she says she “doesn’t have one” but admits to having one weakness – candy.
“I never run out of candy,” she says. “When I see that I’m getting low, I have someone bring me more.”
An endless supply of candy isn’t the only perk Easter receives as matriarch of her close knit family – all of whom are devoted to her.
“She isn’t any old senile farm woman – she’s interesting,” says her niece Karen Monte, who traveled to Adams County from her home in Michigan for the birthday celebration. “She’s a great conversationalist and she’s had a most interesting life.”
For Easter – who has lost her husband, both of her children, and most of her friends – close family ties have become the anchor of her life.
“They’re all so good to me,” she says. “I have a great family.”