Woman shares memories, advice for living such a long life
Published 10:27 am Tuesday, June 23, 2015
A lot of change can happen over 100 years, and few people are around to see it.
Margaret McColley, of Alden, is one of those few.
McColley will be 101 in October. She lives in Albert Lea at Thorne Crest Retirement Community now, but before that she lived on her own in Alden.
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McColley was born in 1914 south of Albert Lea. For most of her life she stayed in the area and moved to the Alden area when she married her husband, Lorin McColley, on March 10, 1939.
In 1963, McColley and her family — which includes her husband and sons Lowell and Lorin Jr. — moved into the town of Alden. The family moved because the farm they worked on was sold and Lorin Sr. started working in Albert Lea.
Margaret McColley said when she was younger, she had to go outside to go to the bathroom and to get water for a bath.
“It’s just amazing in that 100 years how much changed,” Lowell McColley said.
Through her life, Margaret McColley has done a number of jobs, including being a housewife, babysitting and cleaning houses. She even drove a tractor on the farm a few times.
Throughout her 100 years, McColley has seen a lot of technology change. One of the most interesting changes for her was radio.
“I could never figure it out,” she said. “That was flabbergasting.”
She also said seeing the landing on the moon was interesting to watch.
“How can a guy be up there walking on the moon?” she said.
As for the McColley family’s longevity, Margaret McColley said she’s the oldest in her family that she knows of.
Lowell McColley said his mother was always putting her family before herself.
“She has been a good mother,” he said.
As well as being devoted to her family, Margaret McColley was active in church. McColley and her husband became members of United Methodist Church in Alden in 1945.
McColley moved to Thorne Crest Retirement Community shortly after Memorial Day. A little before Memorial Day, she fell and broke her ribs. Before that, she was living on her own, and Lowell McColley said she still baked seven types of cookies and two types of candies for Christmas last year.
Margaret McColley is now getting used to life at Thorne Crest.
“Everybody’s good to me here,” she said.
And her secret to her long life?
“Faith and hard work,” she said.
Lowell McColley also said she’s never drank alcohol or used tobacco. He said she is a very faithful, strong believer.
“I’ve had a good life,” Margaret McColley said. “A very good life.”
Address: Thorne Crest Retirement Center
Family: Late husband, Lorin McColley, and sons Lowell, 67, and Lorin, 71
Interesting fact: She taught Sunday school at United Methodist Church in Alden for 25 years.