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Centenarians celebrate clean living

Despite it happening more and more, it is still rare for people to reach 100. To mark three 100-year birthdays at once is the cause for a celebration of living at Providence's ElderPlace Glendoveer location


A birthday party for three 100-year old residents of Providence ElderPlace was held last month at the Glendoveer facility in Mid-county. Martha Scheideman, right, Ethelwyn “Teddy” Schwartz, above left, and Ethel McCroskey celebrated their birthdays with friends, family, Glendoveer residents and well-wishers.
A centennial birthday is a momentous event. Last month, three 100-year birthdays were celebrated together at the Providence ElderCare Glendoveer facility in east Portland. As a precaution, a fire extinguisher was on hand if the bushel of birthday candles began a bigger fire.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, while nearly 13 percent of the U.S. population is over 65, less than 1.5 percent reaches the age of 85 or older, and, due to its rarity, the number of people reaching the age of 100 is not counted by the census. Estimated at over 70,000, the United States currently has the greatest number of centenarians in the world.

Noted extroverts, studies say that centenarians survive longer because they live in a caring community, where older adults are better cared for and not isolated.

Martha Scheideman celebrated her 100th birthday on May 24. She was born in Portland, Ore. In 1911 and was married for more than fifty years to Phillip Gordon. Martha, who attended Jefferson High School, worked for decades for the Multnomah County Library system where mostly she mended books, part of her job was also to erase hand written words in books - mostly obscene. She had three children (one survives) and three grandchildren. She is sharp, witty and cares for herself with little help. She attributes her longevity to healthy eating, keeping active, a sunny disposition, clean living and always keeping a clean house.

Martha resides at the Providence ElderPlace Gresham location.

Ethelwyn “Teddy” Schwartz celebrated her 100th birthday on June 20. She was born in Mansfield, Wash. in 1911 and was married to Ronald Schwartz for 44 years. Teddy, who lived most of her life in Central Washington, has two children, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She worked several retail jobs during her life and provided childcare services and, for many years, managed a hotel.

Teddy says eating smart and taking vitamins every day, especially large doses of Vitamin C, keep her healthy. She never smoked, and only occasionally partook of adult beverages over the course of her long life.

Teddy resides at the Providence ElderPlace Glendoveer facility in east Portland.

Ethel McCroskey celebrates her 103rd birthday Sept 24. She was born Ethel Smith in Grimley, Calif. in 1908 and was married to Dee McCroskey for 65 years until his passing in 1991. They moved to Portland in the 1930s and founded Interstate Bible Chapel; still spreading the Word today. She was a proofreader for the family run print shop Gospel Tract Distributors.

She has five children, 15 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. McCroskey was a minister's wife most of her life, entertaining, socializing, supporting and praying for others.

She said the secret to a long life is caring for others and to take life as it comes: one day at a time.

Ethel resides at the Providence ElderPlace at the Marie Smith Health & Center in North Portland.
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