Two 99ers en­joy Tal­bot life

Sunday Star - - CROSSWORD -

EAS­TON — When you meet Ellen Wal­bridge and He­len Crow, res­i­dents of Dixon House in Eas­ton, you won’t sus­pect they are both 99 years old. Both women are vi­brant and en­joy re­call­ing their full and rich lives. This is the case for sev­eral res­i­dents at The Dixon House in Eas­ton.

Linda El­ben, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said, “We are see­ing more and more res­i­dents com­ing to us later in their lives, in their 90s, still very ac­tive and liv­ing qual­ity lives. Most just need to sim­plify their liv­ing and have less re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.”

“Th­ese two women are re­mark­able,” El­ben said. “They join a num­ber of our res­i­dents who are cen­te­nar­i­ans or who ap­proach­ing 100 years of age. It is a tes­ta­ment to them liv­ing ac­tive lives sur­rounded by fam­ily and friends.”

Born in West Vir­ginia, Wal­bridge had ties to the East­ern Shore. At 15, she fol­lowed her brother, who worked at Fike Or­chard in Skip­ton. While liv­ing here, she met Alvin Wal­bridge at a church so­cial, and the rest is his­tory.

Over the years, Ellen Wal­bridge sup­ported her hus­band, who started Wal­bridge Builders. Fam­ily is very im­por­tant to her. She and Alvin had five chil­dren, one boy and four girls. She now has 10 grand­chil­dren and nine great-grand­chil­dren.

Wal­bridge moved to The Dixon House in 2017 af­ter liv­ing in­de­pen­dently. She was ac­tive in 4-H, loved to gar­den (she tends the flow­ers at The Dixon House), and en­joyed knit­ting, cro­chet­ing and sewing. She also loves to bake, help­ing with the bak­ing ac­tiv­i­ties at The Dixon House, and lemon meringue pie is her spe­cialty.

She said she never drank or smoked, and her brother lived un­til age 96. “I don’t feel real young, but I don’t feel 99,” she said. She will turn 100 in Fe­bru­ary 2019.

Born in ru­ral Ohio, He­len Crow was al­ways phys­i­cally ac­tive, as was her fa­ther, a builder. Crow re­calls do­ing hand­stands and head­stands when she was young. To­day, she doesn’t miss an ex­er­cise class at The Dixon House.

She and her hus­band, Elmer, nick­named “Amo,” mar­ried af­ter he served in the Army’s 17th Air­borne Di­vi­sion as a para­trooper dur­ing World War II. The two had three chil­dren, and to­day she has three grand­chil­dren and nine great-grand­chil­dren. Amo was a mas­ter crafts­man, train­ing many young men who en­tered the floor­ing trade, while He­len did of­fice work for a law firm, then a re­fin­ery.

Both He­len and Amo par­tic­i­pated in an art ac­tiv­i­ties group in Cincin­nati, where He­len en­joyed oils and wa­ter­col­ors and Amo en­joyed stained glass, can­ing, and pot­tery. The two also en­joyed mu­sic, at­tend­ing Cincin­nati Sym­phony con­certs for 40 years.

The cou­ple re­tired to Florida and then to Eas­ton, where their son Roger and daugh­ter-in-law Heather live. The two then came to live at The Dixon House in 2014. Amo passed away in 2015.

“Eas­ton is a nice town,” He­len said. “We were amazed at the qual­ity of friends we have made at Dixon House. I have had a good life.”

Ellen Wal­bridge, a res­i­dent of Dixon House, will turn 100 in Fe­bru­ary 2019.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

Dixon House res­i­dent He­len Crow will turn 100 in April 2019.

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