Long-Life Advice From 7 Centenarians
Born July 1912
Married four times; two children, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren.
How I made it to 100: I left school when I was 12, but I traveled the world, and that was my real education. People interested me then and still do. That’s why I go out every day and mingle: I go shopping and take exercise classes. Plus, I see members of my family almost every single day. I remain very curious about life, and if something new happens, I want to be involved in it. I want to live another 50 years—after all, there are still so many countries I need to see.
Lili’s best live-long advice: Do something interesting every day; otherwise you disintegrate.
Watch Lili's video.
Born November 1911
Married once; two children, one grandchild.
How I made it to 100: When I was 8, my father died, and I had to help my mother care for my two younger brothers. I was forced to become more mature. But I attribute my long life to having all that responsibility early on, because I learned the importance of having a purpose. Later I taught elementary and Hebrew school and read the newspaper to neighbors who couldn’t read it themselves. I still try to keep busy. Once a week, a friend picks me up and we go to our evening Bible group.
Frieda’s best live-long advice: Learning new things makes you happy and keeps your mind active.
Born April 1912
Married once; one child.
How I made it to 100: I was born on the day the Titanic sank. I never expected to live past 100. But I’ve had a good life, with family, friends, and work. I used to own a restaurant and worked 14 hours a day, six days a week. I learned how to overcome obstacles that were placed along my path. These days I just try to stay independent. Although I live with my daughter, I go to the senior center every day for lunch.
Haruo’s best live-long advice: Sleep well, try not to worry, and enjoy good dreams.
Born November 1912
Married once; three children, six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren.
How I made it to 100: I participate in lots of activities. I play Bingo, do meditation and crafts, and attend fitness classes, like Zumba Gold for seniors, chair yoga, and sittercise. I also like to go to the senior community’s weekly dance party, where we do fun dances, like the Macarena. I don’t miss happy hour, either! I drop in three times a week.
Mae’s best live-long advice: I honestly don’t know what’s kept me going so long. Maybe good genes, but probably just good luck.
Born May 1913
Married once; five children, 16 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, 28 great-great-grandchildren.
How I made it to 100: I might have shrunk five inches, but I still feel like the same on the inside as I did 40 or 50 years ago. Raising my kids helped me live this long. My family has always given me meaning. They are the most important part of my life, and I give them love and affection. Having friends helps, too. We go out to lunch and to parties together.
Justina’s best live-long advice: Be lovable. I’ve lived a long life because there are so many people who love me.
Born June 1912
Married once; two children, five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren.
How I made it to 100: I grew up in Germany, and my family was very poor. So at 16 I started working in a department store selling ladies’ clothes and accessories. I did very well, because I am outgoing and friendly. I loved it, but we had to flee the country because we were Jewish. I’ve always been very religious, and I believe that God has helped me live a wonderful life. My role is to do tzedakah. That’s Hebrew for “charity.” I raise money for the poor, for the sick, and for Hatzolah, the Jewish rescue services. I do a lot of good deeds, so maybe that’s helped.
Rose’s best live-long advice: Keep kosher.