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Stories from our resident centenarians - Part 1: celebrating 102 years young

02-Jun-2016

Having just celebrated her 102 birthday this week, Ann Emerson still loves to sing, dance, take part in exercise programs and listen to stories.

Anne Emerson, Resident at Golden Prairie Home
Ann Emerson with her family celebrating her 100th birthday. This week, Emerson turned 102.

“Ann loves jokes and will sit, listen and laugh when we have our joke telling sessions,” said Karen Souchotte, Recreation Coordinator at the Golden Prairie Home in Indian Head, where Ann now lives. “I feel blessed for the time I spend with Ann and look forward to making more memories with her.” 

Born in 1914 in Cambridge Illinois, Ann’s mother and father, who owned a lumber camp, worked hard to raise Ann, her four sisters and one brother. Growing up in the U.S., Ann later went on to build a family of her own.

“My mother and father, Norman Emerson, met at the University of Chicago. Norman was on a scholarship and working as a janitor for his room and board,” said Ann’s daughter, Lynn Emerson. “My mom was a Personnel Director, and my father swept her office one night while she worked and swept her off her feet.”

The two married in 1946 and raised their two sons and one daughter on a privately owned lake 20 miles north of Toronto. As an adult, Ann was an avid gardener. She washed, carded and dyed wool with natural products to spin on her spinning wheel. She knit and made clothes for the kids and taught children how to swim.

 

Anne Emerson, Resident at Golden Prairie Home.
Anne in her home at Golden Prairie Home

“One year when my father was on an expedition in the Arctic, my mother built a tree house for us kids,” Lynn said. “My mother was quite the adventurer.”

When Norman died in 1978, Ann took two 12,000-mile camper trips around the U.S. and Canada, alone. “I did lots of wild and crazy things,” Ann said of her younger years.

“Once when I was young, I sat on a flag pole. It was called flagpole sitting. A boy and I sat on a 32-inch round platform for 60 hours. Everything we needed, like food, came up in a bucket. We peed in the bucket and sent it down a rope,” she remembers. 
 
A poet from a very young age, Ann published 82 years of her poetry through desktop publishing.

As she grew older, Lynn recognized Ann needed care assistance, so they relocated to Regina. After her third stroke, Ann moved into long-term care.

 

Anne Emerson, Resident at Golden Prairie Home.
Anne in her home at Golden Prairie Home

“Staff at Golden Prairie take wonderful care of my mother. She loves them all and they have really restored her quality of life. I am very grateful,” said Lynn.

Ann still loves music and dancing in her chair, and at 102, she has wisdom to share.

“I am proud of everything I have done in my life,” Ann said. “My advice to people would be to be yourself and be happy.”