Do the Math on This Obit: 80? 90? ?? Might Need a Coin Flip

If you read Saturday’s obituary page, you may have seen the notice that Laurine Strachan died Sept. 22 at Harrison Medical Center. If you looked at Laurine’s photo, you might think she was in her eighties or even late 70s. Unless you did the math, you may not have realized she was 102 when she died.

Laurine Strachan
Laurine Strachan

Laurine, born April 20, 1907, was one of the centenarians I interviewed for a story people who pass the century mark. She had been healthy and remarkable active for her age up until about two months ago, according to her daughter Margaret Dues. She had developed a digestive system disorder, and he legs were failing.

She had moved to an assisted living center, at her own request. “You know her. You couldn’t tell my mother anything,” said Dues. But she had been ready to move back to her independent living apartment at Canturbury Manor, when she took a turn for the worse.

“I think she sort of gave up at that point she really had a sharp mind all the way,” said Dues.

As I was interviewing Laurine, and the others in the article I felt I was getting a glimpse into a stage of life most of us won’t get to see. Beyond old, the really elderly share many traits in common, including a Zen-like acceptance of life … and death. It was a privilege to meet them, and I know Laurine will be missed.

At Laurine’s request there will be no services. As her daughter said, she had plenty of birthday parties to make up for it.

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