Family, friends, residents, and staff gathered at the Country Manor Nursing Home in Whitefield on Monday, March 27 to celebrate Lillie Weissenberger’s 100th birthday. “It has been quite a bash,” Weissenberger said. “I really am too old for these things.”
Weissenberger is now the nursing home’s only centenarian, said Activities Director Tammy Brann. “She’s our spitfire,” Brann said. “She has a personality that people flock to.”
Weissenberger is originally from Waterville. Her parents moved the family to Massachusetts so they could find work during the Great Depression, Weissenberger said. Throughout her life, she has traveled extensively and lived in California, Florida, and New Jersey.
“She was always around the country,” said her sister, Beverly Travers. Weissenberger landed in California at the end of a cross-country drive.
One of Weissenberger’s favorite memories is of driving around in her ’66 Mustang, she said.
“That was a beautiful car,” Weissenberger said. The oldest of three sisters, Weissenberger helped her younger sister, not Travers, learn how to drive after her sister’s divorce. Her sister got her driver’s license when she was 60, Weissenberger said.
She is now 97, Travers said, the youngest in the family.
Weissenberger made her way back to Maine after her husband passed away. First, she lived with Travers, and then with her son in Washington, who passed away a few years ago.
Weissenberger and her son ran an antique store in Washington where they also sold a variety of handmade products. She used to make her own clothes and quilted and painted.
A painting Weissenberger is particularly proud of hangs in her room at Country Manor, Director of Social Services Laurie Cromwell said. The 1962 painting is an exact replica of the cover of a telephone book Weissenberger had in Florida.
A quilt Weissenberger made out of old clothing labels is going to be donated to Colby College, Cromwell said.
“She’s such a delight,” Cromwell said. “We’re still learning” from our residents, she said. “They teach us so much.”
Weissenberger was given the Boston Post Cane for being Washington’s oldest resident; however, she is not the oldest resident in Whitefield.
“There is no secret to it,” Weissenberger said of her longevity.
Throughout the course of her life, not all times were good, she said. However, surrounded by friends and family, Weissenberger said her birthday was a very happy day. “Thank you, thank all of you,” she said. “This has been a really happy birthday.”