At 100 Years Old, Bessie Rinehart is Still Young at Heart

On August 15, Bessie Rinehart will celebrate her 100th birthday! It’s a milestone she fully embraces even though she says that she doesn’t feel her age. Bessie says that around the Widows Home, she’s known as the “fun girl.” It’s easy to see why. With a pink Betty Boop license plate on the back of her wheelchair that reads PRTY GRL, Bessie has a spark that lights up a room and makes people smile. A member of our community for three years, Bessie is a fixture in our activity room and keeps a busy schedule; she wouldn’t have it any other way. She plays BINGO on Mondays, has her hair done on Tuesdays and gets some bowling in on Wednesdays (she used to bowl in tournaments all over North America). She keeps her Thursdays and weekends open as “wild cards,” and never misses the chance to get together and sing church songs with fellow residents on Sundays. Don’t bother with the hymnal though, she remembers all the songs!

Bessie loves music of all kinds; can’t get enough of it. She dances her heart out—in her wheelchair—when she hears it, and is very popular with the music acts that regularly visit us. Bessie’s love affair with music started when she was just three years old, when she would walk to the courthouse square in her hometown of Kenton, Ohio, to hear the bands that played there. As she grew older, she always played the angel in the local Christmas play.

Bessie is looking forward to celebrating her centennial birthday with her family and friends. She plans to wear a red suit because red is her favorite color. In fact, she is glad that times have changed to the point that a respectable lady can wear red in public. “I made all my own dresses up until I was 94 years old, but I had to make them blue because I couldn’t wear red. Now, I wear all the red I want!” Bessie feels very fortunate to have enjoyed such a long and full life, and is proud to have taken care of her mother for 17 years until she passed away at age 95. She credits her longevity to good genes, clean living, and her daily breakfast of bacon and eggs. (She loves to dunk her toast in the yolk.) Her perpetual positive outlook and contagious lust for life are inspirations to us all.


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