Making the century mark!
On the first day of March, Maxine Reisbig was all smiles at midday as she maneuvered her walker to the Heartwood Place dining area in Woodburn.
Three of her nieces were on hand: Flo Anderson of Woodburn; Karen Flint of Stayton and Nina Schiermeister of Vancouver, Wash. There was cake, balloons, punch and singing as Maxine celebrated her 100th birthday.
March 2 is her actual birthday, but at 100, nobody was going to fret with her on which day she could celebrate.
"I'm not 100, but I'm working on getting there," one of her Heartwood neighbors said while stopping by the table for a greeting.
While nobody in the facility had a brighter smile than Maxine that day, her nieces were all visibly delighted.
"We feel very, very lucky that we have a member of our mother's family still alive," Flo said. "We are kind of overwhelming her today."
Karen added: "But she is having a good time, as well."
Maxine was born into a Midwestern family, originally from Iowa. One of 12 children (two died in infancy), the extended families eventually gravitated west, spending some time in Nebraska before settling in the Pacific states. Longevity is part of their legacy.
Nina's mother, Maxine's sister, lived to be 96. Another aunt made it to within weeks of her 100th birthday. Karen's mom died at 88, but she had a good, fun life, her daughter noted.
"She's still pretty sharp most of the time," Flo said, and it was evident that day.
Maxine married her childhood sweetheart, Gilbert or "Uncle Gib" as the nieces recall him. They had three children, two of whom are deceased. Her descendants include seven grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren.
Maxine's surviving son, Richard Reisbig, lives in Germany. He shared some notes from across the pond about his mom.
Born in the Midwest, Maxine moved to southern California in the late 1940s. She was a housewife and mother to two sons and one daughter. She moved to northern California when she was in her 60s.
Maxine enjoyed water skiing and boating on the ocean.
"Besides being a great homemaker and enjoying the outdoors, boating and skiing, she started painting and did real estate," Richard noted. "She also helped my father purchase and fix up old houses."
Her practices were moderate: seldom smoking and drinking only once in a while. She was invariably attuned to taking care of things at home.
Richard said his mom always like to make things homey for people, and love to play bridge with friends.
And in the homey setting of Heartwood Place, she enjoyed company while celebrating a milestone status Friday — that of a centenarian.