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Cape Coral resident celebrates century mark

March 18, 2016
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

It took a few minutes for Betty Waters to come for her interview on her 100th birthday celebration Wednesday.

She was too busy dancing during karaoke.

It has certainly been a long, event-filled trip for Waters, from growing up on a farm to her party with family and friends at Choices in Living Adult Daycare in Cape Coral.

Article Photos

Betty Waters blows out the candles of her birthday cake with help from Debbie Beavers at Betty’s 100th birthday party Wednesday at Choices in Living Adult Daycare in Cape Coral.

Ruth Mosteller, Betty's daughter, said she is surprised her mother hit the 100 mark, but also not surprised.

"She has always been in good health and takes an interest in things. I'm glad she made it," Mosteller said. "She has good genes (Betty's father and two brothers lived into their 90s), always took care of herself and was the original granola lover."

Waters had her share of hardships early on. She was born to a Quaker family in south New Jersey and worked much of her young life on a farm. She attended Quaker schools in Philadelphia, but had no interest in returning to the farm after graduating from boarding school in 1934.

"She's the original overcomer and survivor. She's had a lot of hardship, but she always rose to the occasion and did what had to be done," Betty's son, Dick Fisher said. "Mom's a tough lady. She raised us as children and worked on the farm as girl like a man would, riding tractors."

"It's amazing how the world has changed in 100 years. She was born during World War I, had to live through the Depression on a farm and was an adult in World War II. You cut your teeth in those periods and develop a lot of stamina," said Richard Fisher, Betty's grandson."

"I never liked the farm. I wanted freedom and excitement that wasn't on the farm," said Waters, who eschewed the Quaker life and moved to Harrisburg to learn to become a hairdresser.

That's what she did for the next 35 years. In the meantime, she married and had three children, which she raised during the war while pursuing her career.

When she retired in 1969, she moved to Coral Court in Fort Myers, with her children following close behind. Ruth came in 1971.

"I always felt I had to be near my mother. She taught me a lot and we get along well. We have the same interests. We like the beach and the warm weather," Ruth said. "I also worked for her when she had her beauty salon."

In retirement, Waters did a lot of traveling, both in the states and abroad, making several trips in the summer from Florida to Alaska and going to places like Israel and Germany.

"I loved to travel. We had a camper and my family liked it. It's not that I like it cold, we would go up in the summer and go home," Waters said, adding she would usually stop in Arizona to see her grandkids.

Beside her three children, Betty has eight grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

Waters remains very active. She lives with her daughter, Ruth, and still goes out on Sunday for breakfast with her family and games afterward such as Triominoes and Scrabble to keep her mind sharp.

Dancing aside, Waters gets around mostly in a wheelchair and her short-term memory isn't always the best, but she has an excellent memory regarding her roots and her feelings about reaching the momentous milestone.

"I'm just lucky, I guess. I do take care of myself. I love dancing. I always have," Waters said. "Never give up, just push. If getting to 100 is what you want, you have to work for it. Keep active."

 
 
 

 

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