BATAVIA – The Holmstad resident Gladys Northrup smiled broadly Thursday as she blew out the candle on the cake celebrating her 100th birthday.
“We’ve been having a ball,” Northrup said. “The best thing is having my family here.”
Northrup was born Aug. 7, 1914, and moved to The Holmstad when she was 87. She previously lived in Chillicothe in central Illinois.
Staff and fellow residents sang several songs in honor of Northrup’s birthday, including “In The Good Old Summertime,” “Keep on the Sunny Side” and fittingly, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
“She is a lifetime fan of the Cubs and her sister, Grace, was an equally strong fan of the Cardinals,” said her daughter, Karen Fehringer.
Northrup’s sister had lived in the Peoria area, which led to mixed loyalties, Fehringer said.
“If a game was on when we visited her sister, the Cardinals would be playing on the TV, and the Cubs would be on the radio,” Fehringer said.
Music also has been a big part of Northrup’s life. Fehringer said Northrup was honored at her church for her more than 50 years in the choir.
Fehringer said she was happy to be celebrating her mother’s birthday.
“It’s quite an accomplishment to get to 100,” she said. “She’s doing pretty well at this point.”
Northrup’s grandson, Rick Fulk of Elburn, was among other family members at the party.
“We’ve kind of grown up together,” Fulk said. “We used to watch Cubs games together. She was always there for me.”
He said Northrup has tried to steer clear of any bad habits in her lifetime, which might have attributed to her long life. He said she never drank or smoked.
Northrup continues to play cards and remain active, The Holmstad employee Kelly Dalbis noted.
“She has a very fun sense of humor,” she said. “She’s so loving and appreciative of any help and any care she gets.”