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Senior Lifestyles

Fairlawn centenarian doesn’t act her age

2/7/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Evelyn Rowland is shown as she blows out the candles on a cake on her 100th birthday Jan. 7.
Photo courtesy of Judy Rowland
FAIRLAWN — Evelyn Rowland is getting ready to learn how to use Skype.

Once she learns that, she can add that to the list of her other technological endeavors, such as surfing the Internet and using email.

The resident of Independent Living at the Village at St. Edward celebrated her 100th birthday Jan. 7, but family members said she doesn’t always act her age.

“You will not believe she’s 100 years old,” said Judy Rowland, who is married to Bob Rowland, Evelyn’s stepson, of Cuyahoga Falls. “She is sharp.”

Evelyn said she’s not a pro when it comes to using her computer, but she does enjoy it, along with her big-screen TV.

“They are installing Skype for me now,” she said. “I don’t know anything about it.”

Judy Rowland said Evelyn has a Yahoo account and is on Facebook, too.

Her big birthday was marked with a surprise celebration at the Village at St. Edward. Evelyn’s family members attended, as well as several residents, many of whom gave her hugs and kisses before enjoying cake and punch.

The day before, Jan. 6, Evelyn celebrated with about 30 family members at a dinner party at Bravo at Summit Mall.

The centenarian said she never expected to make it to triple digits.

“When my older sister was 85, I thought she was over the hill,” she joked.

Evelyn was the middle child of nine, she said, and was born in Niagara Falls, N.Y. She’s lived in many states, such as California, Nevada and Florida.

One of her childhood memories is of her father bringing home the family’s first car — a Ford — when she was about 6.

She attended school through 11th grade.

“I loved school, but it was during the Depression and Dad was not in good health, so I had to help Mother out,” she said.

She and her first husband were married for 25 years and had a daughter, who now lives in Arkansas. A few years after he died, she married her second husband, Wayne Rowland, who was from Ohio. They eventually moved back to his home state and Evelyn worked for a time as a manager for Lawson’s Milk Co.

The two of them moved to the Village at St. Edward 11 years ago because Wayne’s sister lived there. Wayne died two years ago at the age of 95.

Evelyn said being active has helped her reach the century mark.

“Just keeping busy,” she said, noting that in years past she bowled, danced and enjoyed fishing with her husband. “I feel good.”

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