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Active mind keeps Lincolnville centenarian going

Has an 85-year-old caregiver

Staff writer

Esther Groneman of rural Lincolnville will celebrate her 108th birthday Saturday. She is the last surviving sibling in a family of 10 children.

Esther has a sound mind and continues to take an interest in the world around her. She is a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lincolnville. Pastor Alan Stahlecker visits her every month.

“She wants to know what is going on at the church,” her daughter, Lois, said. “She also reads the Marion County Record and another newspaper every week.”

Her hearing has failed, but her eyesight is good. After falling last summer and ending up in a hospital for a day and a half, she doesn’t get out much, but she continues to get around with a walker in her home, where she has lived for 86 years. Other than a blood pressure pill, she takes no medication.

Lois has been her caregiver ever since Esther’s husband, Art Sr., died in 1989.

“People might say, gee, how can an 85-year-old take care of a 108-year-old,” Lois said, smiling.

Esther has three other children who also help her. Son Art Jr., who lives nearby, manages her farm. Nancy Hite, who also lives in rural Lincolnville, helps Lois with yard work.

“Nancy is 83 years old,” Lois said. “She came and roto-tilled the garden this fall.”

Daughter Vida Gianakon lives in Hutchinson.

“Some people might think I’ve lived so long because I never had to work,” Esther said just before she turned 100. “But that’s not it. I worked hard my whole life, and I got a lot of exercise.”

One of her favorite activities is going through recipe books and picking out recipes for Lois to make.

“She keeps me busy,” Lois said. “She loves pies, cinnamon rolls, and desserts.”

Lois said her mother was stimulated by having things to look forward to. She anticipates a family celebration with her children and their families at the farm on her birthday. After that comes Christmas and another chance to be with family.

“I think that’s what keeps her going,” Lois said. “She is happy for her family and to be living in her own home.”

Last modified Dec. 16, 2021

 

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