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Belmond centenarians

From left: Elsie Reese, 103; Hartley Friesleben, 101; Carl Kuhlers, 101 and Lorraine Hertema, 100. 

BELMOND | A local care center is celebrating its four centenarians.

The centenarians, people who live to be or beyond the age of 100, live at the Rehabilitation Center of Belmond.

They are Elsie Reese, 103; Hartley Friesleben, 101; Carl Kuhlers, 101 and Lorraine Hertema, 100. 

The four recently shared information about their lives. 

What memories or events changed your life?

Reese: "My father passed away when I was 8-years-old. My siblings and I worked hard along with Mother, as she did not remarry." Reese, who married in 1937, taught school for four years and had two children, a boy and a girl. 

Friesleben: "I was always a farmer. When I was young, I milked cows by hand, planted and picked corn by hand. We had horses to plow." Friesleben, who married and had a family, said his first car was a Model T. 

Kuhlers: "Seventy-two years of a marriage and the death of my wife. My three kids — one daughter and two sons."

Hertema: "Teaching school was one of my pleasures, (as was) working with children."

What inventions or historical events have you witnessed?

Reese: Telephone, electricity, wringer washing machine to an automatic washer and the automobile. 

Friesleben: "I've seen it all, many new inventions to make farm life easier — electricity, better farm equipment, better cars and trucks to drive."

Kuhlers: "When I was a kid, a covered wagon with grocery items would travel through the country, stopping at farms. If you didn't have money to pay you could trade with chickens or eggs. Now we have big grocery stores and transportation to travel to them." He also noted he started farming with a team of horses before buying a tractor and other equipment. 

Hertema: "When I was a young teacher, a rode a bicycle or walked. When I married, we had a car. My husband and I traveled by airplane to Norway and Sweden."

What do you believe to be the key to living as long as you have?

Reese: "I know this nursing home has helped me a lot."

Friesleben: "Hard work, staying strong physically."

Kuhlers: "I don't know. I often wonder, through I never smoked or drank."

Hertema: "I have no idea. I just lived my life; never had problems with my health."

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