I thank God every day for Willow Terrace. When you pass your 100th birthday you have earned the right to say whatever you want. Her response when asked “How do you like living here?” is the headline.
Irene Schucker recently celebrated one hundred years of life. Her fellow residents in the 100-apartment Willow Terrace senior living building in Lebanon treated Irene to multiple $100 gift cards from a local supermarket. The celebration was properly social distanced but heartfelt. The residents revere Irene, a bright and lovely lady who easily belies her age. When asked if she did anything special on her 100th birthday, she said, with a smile “I had a whisky sour. It had lots of fruit in it.”
Irene still lives independently in her own apartment, where she has spent the last thirty years. She gets around in her walker and moves it in a sprightly manner. In her long life she has experienced a depression, WWII, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, multiple economic upturns and downturns, plus Covid-19. She still lives life with a smile and a positive attitude. Irene has three living sons, Melvin, 75, Charles, 74, and Jeffery, 65 – two bankers and an electrical engineer.
There also three granddaughters, and one great-granddaughter in the family. Irene’s early life was challenging. She is the child of parents that immigrated from Scotland. Her mother died when Irene was two years old. She was raised by her grandparents. She had an education that did not go beyond 8th grade, Among her jobs – cleaning houses at age 12 for ten cents an hour. She worked in a local plastics factory and a cafeteria for many years before finally retiring in 1966.
Her typical week these days includes keeping her apartment clean and playing Bingo with friends. Bingo cards are a penny each to get in the game. She enjoys being taken to a local restaurant for breakfast from time to time by her son and his wife.
She loves socializing with her fellow residents in the building Community Room, which, to the delight of all, is now open with proper social distancing guidelines. She gets help with her checkbook from the Willow Terrace Resident Services professional Melissa Texter. “Melissa is a wonderful person, and such a big help to me,” says Irene, “I feel truly blessed to have the life I have here.”
It is mutual. The people that know her feel blessed to have Irene Schucker in their lives.