Willow Grove resident still going strong at 104
email@example.com In 104 years Reba Ficthorn has seen a lot of change. She was almost 4 when the Titanic sunk. She was a teenager during the Great Depression. As a young woman she dealt with the start of World War II. Many things have changed in 104 years and Ficthorn has been around for all of them. For a woman who has seen more than a century, the residents of Willow Lake Retirement Community celebrated her life Sept. 18.
Born in 1908, Ficthorn grew up on a self-sustaining farm in Elverson, Pa., with 11 brothers and sisters. Later she married Willard Ficthorn and lived in Jenkintown for more than 40 years. They had one daughter, Judie Stebner, and have four grandchildren. After the death of her husband Ficthorn moved to Langhorne to live with her daughter and then four years ago moved to Willow Lake.
“She’s so loved,” resident program director Jamie Barron said. “She’s very spry for 104.”
To celebrate Ficthorn’s birthday, which was Sept. 14, her friends and family gathered to sing happy birthday and eat cake. Willow Lake staff hired a performer to sing music and lead residents in dances.
“I’m living a good life and enjoying it,” Ficthorn said. “I think i t ’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”
Ficthorn said she enjoys living at Willow Lake and tries to participate in many activities that are offered to residents. According to Barron, she participates in the senior games every July and in the morning exercise classes. But Ficthorn has always been ac- tive. Throughout her life, she was president of the Federation of Women’s Clubs, worked as a secretary at Wright, Tyndale and Van Roden mercantile company and traveled Pennsylvania with her husband to sing at local churches.
“I think it’s marvelous they put this all together. It’s a great place for her to be,” Stebner said. “A lot of nice people were there to honor [her].”
Activities Director Jaime Barron presents 104-year-old Reba Fichthorn with a cake for her birthday at Willow Lake Retirement Residence, Willow Grove.