Photo by Mark Gibson
EDNA ELLSWORTH, left, receives a happy birthday from Gigi Agobe at a lunch celebration at Flagstone Senior Living in The Dalles, where Ellsworth celebrated her 102nd birthday Saturday, Oct. 11.
As of Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Edna Ellsworth celebrated her 102nd birthday at Flagstone Senior Living Saturday, Oct. 11, and when asked about her early memories gets right to the point. “I was a crabby, angry child,” she says, then adds, with a big smile, “Now I’m a crabby old woman.”
Born in 1912, Ellsworth spent her earliest childhood in Grizzly, Ore. The town is 18 miles from Prineville and 18 miles from Madras, way up in the forest, she explained. Her dad was a logger. “They were tough, hard people back then,” she says of her family. It was a tough time, but so was Ellsworth; she ran away from home at the age of 12.
“I ended up getting to Bend, and went to school,” she remembers. Eventually, she tired of school and got a job in Portland, where she met her husband, married, and eventually raised two children, a boy and a girl.
Yet she maintained her ties in the east side of the mountains. “We had a little piece of land near Maryhill, we farmed that,” she said.
The property became a place of retreat for her family.
“My husband worked in transportation in Milwaukie, and when he got fed up with all the people and complaints and hassle, we would go to the farm and get away from it all,” she said. “It was a place to retreat, to get out of the city.”
When she found herself in need of assisted living, she moved to the area for good, and now resides at Flagstone Senior Living in The Dalles. Here, she is close to her daughter, who lives in Dufur, and is able to maintain contact with her family. Crabby old woman or not, Ellsworth was given plenty of “happy birthday” wishes, flowers and gifts by fellow residents on her big day.