Elizabeth Kuehnoel – 105 years

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May 17th, 1905 – August 10, 2010


Elizabeth sent me an especially poignant letter.  I feel that the letter is so ‘stand on its own’ beautiful that further commentary/ speculation is not necessary.

June 19 – ’09

Dear Heather,

Yes, I am 104 – Today I sold my car – it broke my heart.  It was a 1990 Honda Accord.  I turned in my license to drive.  My family will be happier.  The car was spotless –

The strongest character trait I possess is a fine sense of humor.  It makes life livable.  Also, once I set a goal for myself – I don’t ever look back.  I had a hard life but it never occurred to me to quit!  I never had a mother – she, bless her heart died from childbirth.  Nobody really wanted me – the paternal grandparents took me.  My grandmother loved male children and detested little girls.  I tried so hard to excel – to get a word of approval – school was a refuge – so I was a super student still in quest for acclaim.  She never picked me up.  She never allowed me to cry so, to this day – I don’t cry.  I can’t.  College was a nightmare – but it never occurred to me to quit.

The point I am trying to make is a soft life does not ensure a long life.

I worked hard all my life.  I had a bachelor’s degree.  I had been a secondary teacher until by age I had to quit.  My grade point as a H.S. Grad was 94.4.

Adversary is not a deterrent, unless you want to whine.

I always believed I was here for a purpose.   I taught all ages, many subjects, always devoted classes.

At 104 I teach college level classes on alternate Weds.  I teach without notes.  I credit a superb liberal arts education which I received at Juniata College – Incidentally I have seven years of Latin to bolster up my vocabulary.  I have this peculiar ability to attract super people – I draw them to me like a magnet.  My guardian angel guides me.  I think a lot – usually I come to a reliable conclusion.  I have taught on all levels – I supplied for a couple of months in an all Spanish third grade – It was a joy –

Does this give you an idea of what makes me tick?

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