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Published: Thursday, 7/4/2002

Detroit Tigers, memories carry area centenarian

BY MARIA SPROW
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Margaret O'Hearn turned 100 years old on July 3. Julie Dangelo gives her a little help with her cake. Margaret O'Hearn turned 100 years old on July 3. Julie Dangelo gives her a little help with her cake.
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As lifelong Toledo resident Margaret O'Hearn took a bite of her birthday cake, she had a century's worth of memories to reflect upon.

“I feel fine, wonderful really, for my age,” said Mrs. O'Hearn, who celebrated her 100th birthday on July 3.

As she contemplated her life, she settled on one thing that she wished she hadn't done:

“I gave up driving when I was 80,” she said. “I should have waited until I turned 85. I was perfectly capable, but I sold my car.”

Mrs. O'Hearn may have been born before the town she lived in became the town it is today - Oregon - but for a woman who has spent her entire life on-the-go, the rest and relaxation that comes with turning the big 1-0-0 is a good thing, she said.

After all, it means more time for the one thing she likes more than anything else: watching Detroit Tigers games on television.

“I always watch the Tigers, whether they are at the bottom or the top,” she said. “If there is [any] game on, I watch it, all but hockey. I don't understand it.”

In her younger days, one of her favorite things to do when she wasn't working was take trips. She and her husband, Donald, went to Chicago, Baltimore, and anywhere else the Tigers may have been playing.

In 1923, she graduated from St. Vincent nursing school in Toledo (now called the St. Vincent Medical Center School of Nursing). But she also married Donald O'Hearn, who was a firefighter. She started her family (three daughters) and took care of infants that were given up for adoption until they were old enough to be adopted. She never worked as a nurse.

She did like to be busy, so she began volunteering her time. She dished out meals to senior citizens and started a quilting group at Senior Centers, Inc., on Jefferson Street.

“The senior center opened in 1974, and she was here on opening day,” said Julie Dangelo, the executive director at the center.

Mrs. O'Hearn said she visited the senior center regularly until she moved into her daughter Carole Erhsam's home in Oregon.

Mrs. O'Hearn said it's the memories of little things in her childhood that make her smile now, like taking trips with her friends, and coming home after shortened days at school.

“In school, my grades were high enough that my teacher let me stay home in the morning,” she said. “That's a simple thing to remember, but it's what I remember.”



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