Hazel Crest woman celebrates 110th birthday
By Susan DeMar Lafferty email@example.com January 13, 2014 5:56PM
Edna Lawler turned 110 on Jan. 13 and celebrated her birthday with family at the Waterford Estates Retirement Community in Hazel Crest. Susan DeMar Lafferty|Sun Times Media
Updated: February 15, 2014 6:25AM
In 1904, Cary Grant, Dr. Seuss and Edna Lawler were born.
Edna may not be as famous as the others. But her claim to fame may be that she outlived those more famous names.
As her daughter Irma Pestlin said, “She just did her job every day raising four daughters.”
Edna, humbly, turned 110 on Monday.
“It’s nothing special — just a year older,” Edna said quietly.
Born the oldest of six in Goodland, Ind., on Jan. 13, Edna grew up on a farm in Beaverville, Ill., and recalled doing “a lot of chores on the farm.”
It was there in St. Mary’s Church where she married her husband John in 1934, moved to Harvey and became active in Ascension Church.
At 110, her hearing and eyesight are failing. She tires easily, but is otherwise in “excellent shape,” Pestlin said.
“She still likes to walk and play Bingo.”
Edna celebrated with her family Sunday at Waterford Estates Retirement Community in Hazel Crest.
“It was nice to see everyone,” she said.
On Monday, fellow residents stopped by to offer their congratulations.
“You look so good. You don’t look a day over 90,” one man teased her.
“She’s going to make it 200,” another said.
For Edna, the secret to her longevity is “in God’s hands.” That healthy genetic structure may be passed on to her four daughters, 13 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.
“It’s frustrating for her that she can’t do the things she used to do, but she is blessed to be in excellent shape,” said Pestlin, of Tinley Park.
But she has lived through 19 U.S. presidents, two World Wars, the Great Depression and two Cubs World Series victories. She rode in a horse and buggy and later saw a man land on the moon. Recently, she has visited with her sister in Arizona via Skype on a computer, “and it didn’t seem to baffle her,” Pestlin said. “It’s amazing.”
“I just took things as they came,” Edna said.