International Women’s Day: 3 Remarkable Women Discuss Being 100 in 2020

By Danielle Woodruffe

As International Women’s Day approaches on March 8th, we caught up with three amazing women living at Parker who, in the year 2020, are proud to say they have lived a century.

Parker at Stonegate resident Olive Brannen turned 100 on September 8th. When asked how she feels being 100 in 2020, Olive replies: “Fantastic. I had a very good life – a very, very good life.”

That life includes different careers as a telephone operator at the NJ Rail Telephone Company and a Jury Commissioner in Middlesex County, raising two children and enjoying a very good retirement.

“She became even more active after retiring to the Jersey Shore at 65,” remarks Olive’s daughter Anne.
“She was always doing something – staying active and traveling.”

She’s still active at 100.

“There are many things I can do that some people my age can’t do,” says Olive. “I’m just sitting back and enjoying ‘old age’.”

No doubt much has changed over the span of her lifetime and some things have not. After a recent visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles waiting for a new I.D., Olive jokes, “in this day and age, with this technology, the wait at the DMV hasn’t changed.”

Much has changed for Stonegate resident, Edna Barndt. She remembers when her family first installed a landline in her childhood home. Being raised on a farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, she even remembers a time when she didn’t have electricity.

“I didn’t think I’d ever get this old,” says Edna.

Her son Richard credits his mom’s long life to keeping busy.

“She was always doing something with her hands all her life. When I think about that, my parents had their day jobs and their night jobs. They were always busy,“ adds Richard.

Adaline (Ada) Bloom lives at Parker at River Road. Like Olive and Edna, she feels blessed to be 100 in 2020.
“I’m the only survivor among my siblings and I think the reason why is because I never smoked. If I smoked, I figured I’d never be able to pay for college. So I chose college.”

The decision led her to a successful career in library science, working for companies such as Time Life, different newsrooms and government departments.

“I’ve had a good life. I worked very hard. I’m lucky. I had a lot of illnesses in my younger years, but I always had the best medical care and I came through everything.”

Ada’s survival skills also helped her to adapt to life after financial loss when the Great Depression hit her family. When asked, so what can you predict for the next 100 years?

 “I don’t know. I never thought about it,” laughs Ada. “I just take one day at a time.”

Like Edna and Olive, Ada credits keeping busy as her key to a long and successful life. The fact that they all happen to be 100 in 2020…that, they’re more modest about.

“It’s just another year,” says Olive. “I’m still here. Well taken care of. I don’t wish for anything, I have it all.”
Parker wishes these remarkable women a Happy International Women’s Day!

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