Local woman turning 105

SEBRING –Virginia Althouse will 105 on Saturday at Copeland Oaks, her home for nearly 30 years.

She was born at home in Salem on June 12, 1916. For perspective, the Titanic had gone down just four short years earlier; the United States under President Woodrow Wilson was immersed in World War I; and a young Babe Ruth was with the Red Sox and still four years away from becoming a Yankee.

Through all the years, Virginia feels she has been very lucky because she has been surrounded by love.

She most fondly recalled her marriage to her late husband, Donald J. Althouse. They were childhood sweethearts.

“He and my brother used to play in our yard,” she said. “They would go out in the early morning and look for their traps. He was my close neighbor and they played together in our yard and I was an early riser. I always got up early in morning as a kid, so I would get up and go with them.”

Virginia enjoyed a 66-year long marriage with her husband. Donald passed away in 1998.

Virgina recalled a trip north when her husband missed a turn. Virgina had thrust a map in her lap. An argument ended quickly.

“Almost immediately he stopped the car and said he was so worried and he wondered if I could forgive him,” she said. “So, that was the end of that. I said of course and he stopped the car and hugged me.”

Virginia didn’t keep the love she received to herself. She adopted a son in August 1951. “I love him dearly,” Virginia said when pointing to a photo of her son, Edward Althouse, and his late wife. Edward lives in Smethport, Pa.

“He was just shy of five years old,” Virginia’s niece Linda Borrelli said of Edward’s adoption.

Virginia held the position of a housewife, seamstress assistant, nursery school helper and bookstore clerk. She grew up in a musical family and loves to sing.

Borrelli said her fondest memories with Virginia include baling hay, helping in the garden and riding ponies.

“They would take us swimming at Lake Milton after we got out chores done,” she said.

Borrelli said family and friends easily grew close to Virginia.

“She always puts other people first; she is the most kind and generous and a wonderful Christian,” she said.

Borrelli said Virginia is known throughout Copeland Oaks as one who will attend the funeral services of those who no longer had loved ones left.

“I think the most important thing is the Lord,” she said. “That’s the most important thing that anybody could have. At least that’s the way I feel.”

She finds comfort in reading material that communicates faith and observes her beliefs. Borrelli said Virginia still makes it a priority to attend religious services.

She also has two siblings, Juanita Starbuck and Nelson Conrad.


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