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Friday, 29 April 2016 10:15

100-year-olds treasure the past, enjoy today

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Louise Weber, left, and Francis Drews enjoy a conversation at Arbor Village in Lake Geneva. The Arbor Village residents recently turned 100 years old. They were born only two days apart in 1916. Louise Weber, left, and Francis Drews enjoy a conversation at Arbor Village in Lake Geneva. The Arbor Village residents recently turned 100 years old. They were born only two days apart in 1916. Dennis Hines/staff

LAKE GENEVA -- Two residents at Arbor Village in Lake Geneva recently reached the century mark.

Louise Weber turned 100 on Jan. 6, and Francis Drews turned 100 on Jan. 8, 2016.

They share their birth years with Kirk Douglas, who turns 100 on Dec. 9, 2016. Gregory Peck, Olivia de Havilland, Dinah Shore and Walter Cronkite also were born that year.

Drews said she is pleased to have lived a long life and is looking forward to the future while remembering her past.

"When you’re 100 years old, it really doesn’t matter because what you have ahead of you is great and what you had behind you is even more, so it’s as simple as that," Drews said.

Weber said turning 100 is really no different than any other birthday.

(More: At 108, Hazel Schuth may be Walworth County's oldest resident)

"I’m not really elated to be 100," Weber said. "Why should you make an issue about somebody who got to be that age? Well, that’s just me."

Arbor Village hosted a party to honor both birthdays.

Drews’ family also held a birthday party for her at Grand Geneva Resort.

"My children decided that 100 years was pretty good, so they had an immense party with little children, old people, middle-aged people," Drews said. "They were all here."

"She had people coming from all over," Barb Kahl, Drews’ daughter, added. "One of the waitresses at Grand Geneva was about in tears.

‘She said, ‘I never had the opportunity to serve someone who was 100 years old before.’ She was really overwhelmed about it.’"

Drews has lived at Arbor Village for less than a year. She said she enjoys playing cards and spending time with other residents.

"I just love being with the people," Drews said. "(W)e chat about different things in our lives, which are interesting and kind of varied."

Weber has lived at Arbor Village for about four years. She said she enjoys walking around the apartments and often receives visits from her two sons, Bruce and Brent.

"I feel very well assured here. I have two sons who would do anything for their mother," Weber said. "I speak to (Bruce) nearly every night on the phone or he comes down to visit, and Brent comes down almost every Saturday to see his mother."

Weber was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Her father worked for a railroad company and was asked to transfer to the Chicago area.

Weber attended Northwestern University and a business college in Evanston, Illinois, and then worked at a language school in Chicago.

Weber’s husband, Bud, was then transferred to Columbus, Ohio, for his job, where they lived for several years before returning to the Chicago area.

"When he retired, he bought a hardware store in Huntley, Illinois," Weber said. "We worked that for several years then moved to Oregon, Wisconsin."

Weber said one of her favorite memories is working out at the YMCA with her husband.

"We were great lovers of the YMCA, and they sent us to the Senior Olympics, and we had a good time," Weber said. "My husband was athletic, and we belonged to the adult class at the YMCA. That’s where we met many friends."

Drews worked as a teacher in Milwaukee and still tries to remain active.

"For what she attributes her age to and what she thinks is important is being loved by those you love," Kahl said.

Drews said she and Weber have lived long, good lives.

"It’s been a wonderful life for both of us," Drews said.

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