Welcome Bloggers to Live to 100 and Beyond

We invite you to celebrate your favorite centenarian by submitting photos and short stories or bios. Please email to adler@ncap100s.org.

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"People have been fascinated by longevity ever since learning of Ponce de Leon’s search in Florida, five centuries ago, for the fountain of youth. In the twentieth century, the search for longevity, and the good health that makes it possible, had been enhanced by discoveries such as antibiotics and other lifesaving drugs, heroic medical interven­tions, which included organ transplants, heart pacemakers and other life-prolonging devices, the emergence of preventive medicine, and a new focus on wellness. On an individual level, people were realizing that, to an ever-increasing extent, they were able to influence life-style factors that could lead to a healthier and longer life—perhaps even a life of 100 years or more." (Opening paragraph from "Centenarians, The Bonus Years," by Lynn Peters Adler, Health Press, Santa Fe, NM, 1995)

Longevity itself is one of the greatest advances of the 20th century, adding approximately 30 years to the average life span. Now, in the 21st century, with the advent of even greater medical advances and the promise shown by stem cell and genetic breakthroughs, the chances for an even greater increase in longevity seems possible.

Active centenarians are our role models. They are helping to redefine aging in new and inspirational ways.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Eleanor Harris Celebrates 100th Birthday

Note: Eleanor's official 100th birthday is April 4th. Her family has gathered to celebrate an early 100th birthday on February 19th, so all may attend.

Eleanor Harris - 100 Years of Living Well
by Jay Harris (grandson)

Eleanor Louise Suess was born April 4, 1912, in McCook, Nebraska, to Louis and Ethel Suess. She grew up in McCook, where DeGroff’s “department store” was managed by her father. Eleanor graduated from McCook High School, then was among McCook Junior College’s third graduating class. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, majoring in music education and minoring in history. After graduating, she was hired as school music supervisor in Bayard, Nebraska, where she taught for two years. She then ventured east to attend The Julliard School (of Music) and Columbia University in New York City, where she received a Master’s degree in music education.

In 1935, Eleanor met John T. Harris (from Opelika, Alabama) in New York City. They were married in Auburn, Alabama, on April 9, 1936. Despite challenging economic times, they kept the Harris family farm in Opelika, Alabama, going with a combination of hard work and ingenuity. In 1945, they moved to McCook, where John T. became manager of DeGroff’s and the family cattle ranch and feedlot.

While raising six sons, Eleanor still had energy to contribute on behalf of her home town. She co-founded the McCook Community College Foundation and developed McCook’s first history museum (leading to the creation of the High Plains Historical Society). She helped spark a community orchestra and chorus, and the implementation of an orchestra in the McCook School system. The community enjoyed her skilled playing of the violin and piano for many decades. Eleanor also contributed years of service to the Nebraska Arts Council (including a role as vice-chairwoman) and the Mid-America Arts Alliance, a six state organization.

During retirement years spent in Nebraska and at the family farm in Alabama, Eleanor and John T. traveled the U.S. and the world. During that time, they initiated and helped develop the Museum of East Alabama in Opelika. The girl from the Great Plains now lives on the “Plains of Auburn,” enjoying numerous activities and frequent visits from loving sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Eleanor will be 100 years old on April 4th, 2012, a life exemplifying her own creed, “Day by day, in every way, better and better.”

Click to read more about Eleanor and view photos of her life.

To post a comment, click on the "Comments" link below or send an email to adler@ncap100s.org.

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ABC Barbara Walters Special - Aging & Longevity

The ABC Barbara Walters Special on longevity aired in April of 2008. I was asked two years ago to participate in this project and it was a wonderful, exhilarating experience. It was both an honor and a privilege to work with Ms. Walters and the talented and caring team of professionals on her staff. I invite you to read the "Behind the Scene" story on our website. Here's the link: http://www.adlercentenarians.org/ABCWalters_special.htm
Posts & comments about the special and the participating centenarians follow. Please scroll down.