100 Years of Loving Life—Bess

In 1913, Woodrow Wilson became our nation’s 28th president, the average annual income was $585, and the Great Dayton Flood put the city under 20 feet of water. And on June 6, in Dayton, Tennessee, Widows Home resident Bess Kassner was born. Much has changed over the past 100 years, but one constant has been Bess’s positive outlook on life. As her centennial birthday approaches, Bess says that she has enjoyed a “very good life” and that she is “satisfied with every bit of it.”

Bess and her family moved to the Dayton area in 1951; moving north to take advantage of opportunities at her uncle’s factory in Tipp City. Before she moved to Ohio, Bess was a grade school teacher, and then worked for years at Spring Hill Nurseries in Tipp City. Faith has always played an integral part in Bess’s life, and she was always very active in her church—volunteering at bible school and singing in the choir. As a way of putting her faith into action, Bess and a friend spent countless hours visiting nursing home residents over the years. During those visits, they provided pleasant conversation and companionship that helped brighten the days of seniors and their families throughout the area.

Bess has lived at the Widows Home for a year now, but she also stayed with us briefly in 2008 for rehab. Before moving into our community on a permanent basis, Bess lived at home for 15 years with her daughter, Barbara. Bess is happy at the Widows Home, and gets regular visits from her daughter and her grandson (USAF, retired), as well as her great- and great-great grandchildren. To celebrate the momentous occasion of her 100th birthday, her family and the Widows Home staff are planning a special party in our own Shaw Pavilion. With her trademark positive outlook, Bess is sure to be the life of the party!

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