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June 17, 2013

Port Henry woman turns 100

TICONDEROGA — Hazel Straight says she never expected to live to be 100 years old — and never wanted to.

But her family just threw a party marking her 100th birthday at Heritage Commons nursing home.

“We celebrated around the table — my daughter, Nancy, and my friends. The party was nice.”

HISTORIC TIMES

Hazel, who was born June 11, 1913, can remember the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam.

“I lived many, many years in Port Henry, most of my life,” she said during an interview at the nursing home in Ticonderoga.

“I went to school in Richford, Vt., then I moved to New York and got married.”

Looking back over the years, one of the things she remembers disliking is that she needed to clip a rationing coupon to buy meat during World War II.

If you didn’t have the coupon when you went to the store, you didn’t get the meat, she said.

RECUPERATING

Hazel said she’s only at Heritage Commons for a little while, recovering from pneumonia, then will be returning to her apartment at Lord Howe Estates, an assisted-living complex nearby, where she has lived for 18 years.

“I was in the hospital first. I like it here, but I want to go home, back to my apartment,” she said. “I can’t wait to get back.”

Her daughter, Nancy Sheldon, lives in Port Henry and visits her several times a week.

“We’ll have a bigger party when she gets back in her apartment,” Nancy said. “All her daughters will be there.”

Hazel has three daughters still living: Nancy, Cheryl and Beverly. Cheryl lives in Oswego, and Beverly in Millerton.

One daughter, Jean, died in an automobile accident in 1985.

Nancy said she and her mother often go out for lunch.

“She tells people how old she is, and they can’t believe it. She drove until she was 93. She’s kind of amazing.”

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