Catholic Courier

Posted: July 10, 2014

Last Updated: July 21, 2014

100 years of wisdom

Courier photos by Mike Crupi

Marie Keefer smiles as she talks about 100 years of memories.

By Mike Crupi/Photo Editor

Marie Keefer of Penn Yan, Yates County, will turn 100 years old on Aug. 10. But she doesn't want a party.

When she was interviewed recently by the Catholic Courier, Keefer explained that she had a party when she turned 90 and that was enough. This should tell you all you need to know about the humble life of Marie Keefer.

Like everyone I've ever met from her generation (which Tom Brokaw dubbed our "Greatest Generation"), Keefer recalls her long life in a very reserved way. She is careful not to sound like she deserves more or less credit than anyone else when she describes passing up college so that she could help her family survive the Great Depression. She is matter-of-fact when discussing rationing and food shortages during World War II. She is sad when she speaks about losing her husband in 1969, but smiles when she describes the people and pursuits that have helped her live on her own for the past 45 years.  

When asked if she has any advice for young people, her first thought is that they be kind and polite to one another. It's an outlook that has served Marie Keefer well for nearly a century.

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