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Published: Tuesday, 5/21/2013

Wood County celebrates longevity

More than 60 honored at 90 Plus party

BY KELLY McLENDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Bowling Green Manor resident Fern Sipe, 101, shares a laugh with Jackie Metz, volunteer coordinator for the Wood County Committee on Aging, at the 90 Plus Spectacular in Bowling Green. Bowling Green Manor resident Fern Sipe, 101, shares a laugh with Jackie Metz, volunteer coordinator for the Wood County Committee on Aging, at the 90 Plus Spectacular in Bowling Green.
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BOWLING GREEN — For Margaret Davis, 94, and Fern Sipe, 101, longevity seems to run in the family.

The Bowling Green sisters attended the 90 Plus Spectacular hosted by the Wood County Committee on Aging on Monday.

The celebration, which honored more than 60 area residents who are more than 90 years of age, brought about 100 people to the event at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bowling Green.

Ms. Sipe, who was the oldest person at the event, said she and her sister were known for being magicians and performing for children at birthdays and other events.

She said the help of her younger sister was instrumental in pulling off performances.

“I couldn’t do it all,” she said.

Danielle Brogley, director of programs for the Wood County Committee on Aging, said this is the third year for the event.

“We do it in honor of Older Americans Month. We do it as a tribute to their lives,” she said.

Ms. Brogley said many people in the community are living longer.

“I think there’s better medical attention,” she said.

The event featured a slide show, which highlighted key details of the lives of all of the honored attendees, like 91-year-old Elmer Girten of Bowling Green.

Mr. Girten, who attended the ceremony with his wife, graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1948. He said President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed his diploma when he graduated. Mr. Eisenhower was president at the university from 1948 to 1953. Mr. Girten also served in World War II and worked as a band director in Swanton.

Mr. Girten also found time to teach calligraphy classes on the side, and he still plays the saxophone in a community band, which is something he continues to be especially proud of.

“I’m the oldest one in the band. I was the first one to join seven years ago,” he said. He stays active, also working at a golf course in the area every Saturday morning. He will turn 92 years old in six weeks.

The secret to living into his 90s has to do with a daily routine, he said.

“Clean living and a good wife,” Mr. Girten said, laughing as he gave his answer. Besides that, he said he has another secret for being able to maintain his mobility.

“I exercise every morning,” he said, adding that he has been doing so for the past 40 years.

Contact Kelly McLendon at: kmclendon@theblade.com or 419-724-6522 or on Twitter @KMcBlade.



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