Lincoln County senior turns 102

On Jan. 1, Pearlie Crane turns 102 years young. She was born in 1913 just before the start of the Great War. Since 1985, she has been living alone in the residence her husband laid the foundations for in 1945. Her daughters, Ivy and Evelyn, and her son, Oscar Leroy, care for her at home now.

Crane

Crane

“She’s got lots of company,” assured Ivy, her eldest daughter. “She’s got lots of nieces and nephews, and since she’s the only one living, they all look to her like a grandmother.”

Reminiscent on old times and brimming with persistent wisdom, Crane recounted how life had changed over the course of a century.

“I was from a family of 14; six older and seven younger – and I’m the only one left,” Crane recalled with a chuckle. “It used to be everybody farmed out in the country.”

Education has taken a big leap since she was a student.

“When I lived close by [the school], we walked. A little later on we would take a wagon, a covered wagon, with two horses a-pullin’. It was cold, but we’d make it.”

As to her favorite memories in the household, “Oh… I don’t know.”

“Yes you do,” her daughter corrected, “it would be Christmas when we’d all come up and sleep on the floor.”

Crane’s face brightened at this, and she pointed to the area next to the antique and unused fireplace. “This floor used to be covered in sleeping bags [at Christmas]. That was the only way we could sleep ’em all.”

“I drove my car until 2 years ago, I think.” While age may have hindered her hearing a little, it certainly hasn’t stopped her from functioning. “Yeah, I was still driving.”

“See I remember Reagan and Carter and Nixon. I can still see [Nixon] waving at me, getting onto the plane, waving at people because he couldn’t be there any longer.”

Crane has been alive for 18 different United States president, and she is not without her favorites.

“I believe my favorite was Reagan. I liked Carter too, but there was something about Reagan,” she said.

As a testament to her devotion to the church, she was always in close contact with her church authorities. “Our pastor and his family, they were my good friends.”

After celebrating over a 100 birthdays, Crane’s reflections on life have taught her what to truly value.

“Going to church. I’m skipping a little now since the weather’s been bad and when you get as old as I am you don’t really like getting up and getting dressed that early in the morning.”

As is the norm when someone reaches the three-digit mark in years, there’s always the question about a secret to good health.

“I don’t know if I got one,” she said. “I think it’s because I always tried to help other people.”

If you were to ask what her daughters had observed, “Eat good and drink a lot of coffee.”