Citizen Spotlight: Alice Stowe Turns 102!

Alice Stowe is still sharp as a tack at the ripe age of 102! (photo Courtney Cole).

Alice Stowe sat comfortably at the dining room table at the Aspire Senior Living Facility, patiently waiting for her lunch, surrounded by well-wishes and love, as helium balloons floated gently above her chair. On Saturday (May 27) Alice celebrated turning 102 years old, and her family and friends had recently gathered to celebrate this remarkable milestone. We had a chance to sit down with Alice as she reflected on her long and eventful life, exuding a sense of gratitude and wisdom.

Born and raised in Harlan, Iowa, a small town located in the southwest part of the state, Alice said she never strayed too far. When asked about her childhood, she fondly remembered the simple joys of growing up on a farm. Life was different back then, she said. There was no modern technology, no smartphones or social media. Instead, Alice and her family relied on hard work, perseverance, and a strong sense of community.

Her days were filled with helping out on the farm, tending to animals, and working alongside her parents. Alice said she had never known a life without manual labor. But she didn’t complain. It was a way of life, and it kept her active and engaged. She laughed as she recalled the old days when refrigeration was a luxury. They had a simple icebox, and a kind ice delivery man would make regular stops to replenish their supply. It was a time when people appreciated the small conveniences in life.

Alice’s reminiscences traveled through time, pausing at significant historical events. She vividly remembered the end of World War II, a time of mixed emotions. Her brother, whom she feared lost in the war, miraculously returned home safely to a port in New York City. The news had brought immeasurable relief and joy to her family. 

Alice was a good sport and let us interview her while she waited for her lunch! (photo Courtney Cole).

When asked how she liked to spend her time, Alice admitted that she had never been one for hobbies. Her days were filled with work, leaving little time for leisure. She took pride in her dedication to her family and the farm. It was her way of life, her purpose. Hard work, she believes, is what keeps one young at heart!

Alice marveled at the progress made over the span of her lifetime. From the early days of rickety automobiles to the modern marvels we see today, Alice has witnessed a transformation like no other. She shook her head as she spoke of how quickly things had changed. When she was young, airplanes were still a new form of transportation, and now there’s talk of sending people to Mars.

When asked if she had any advice for younger generations, with a twinkle in her eye, she replied, “Don’t smoke and don’t drink!” A simple yet profound statement, reflecting the wisdom of someone who has lived through times of immense change and had seen the consequences of certain choices. Alice’s advice carried weight, a reminder to prioritize health and make mindful decisions.

Alice said she felt blessed to have lived such a long and fulfilling life, surrounded by people who care for her. Her story serves as a powerful reminder of how quickly time passes and the transformative nature of our world. Her experiences, offer a window into a bygone era and the remarkable changes she witnessed. Alice’s spunk and vitality, along with her wit and wisdom continue to inspire those around her each day.

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