Tracey Mendrek, Executive Vice President
The year 1912 marked several firsts; the Girl Scouts of America was founded, the Titanic set sail on its maiden voyage and Fenway Park opened. Those born in 1912 came before World War I, the Great Depression and a woman’s right to vote. Eleanor Jean Phelps was born that year, along with some very famous people: Julia Child, Gene Kelly and Lady Bird Johnson, but there are no historical references to her on the Internet.
Eleanor Jean, or Jeanie, as we have always known her, is my grandma and today, July 15, she turns 101 years old. Until very recently she lived in the house next door, just like she did all the days of my life. She now lives quite safely and happily in an assisted living community where she helps the “younger” residents find their rooms or remember a name.
Last year for her 100th we took her to Applebee’s for an early dinner and everyone sang as her cake was brought out. No one believed her when she said her age and as you can see, no one would guess she was 101 today. Yesterday, we gathered at home for dinner to mark this momentous occasion. And as is often the case, we watched a golf tournament, the playoff of the John Deere Classic, where Jeanie reminded us that the winner had in fact won the U.S. Amateur before.
She has been blessed with good health and we’ve been blessed with her presence in our lives. She has three great-grandchildren who are adults now and will also have life long memories of Grandma Jeanie. Her history is too personal to be found on the Internet, but it can be found in our hearts and minds as we reflect on our lives with her. Happy birthday, Jeanie.