Ponoka resident celebrates 100th birthday

Ponoka’s Sunrise Village celebrated a resident’s centennial with cake and a giant card.

Fran How (left) and Lynnette Gray celebrate Fran’s centennial birthday at Sunrise Village

Fran How (left) and Lynnette Gray celebrate Fran’s centennial birthday at Sunrise Village

Ponoka’s Sunrise Village celebrated a resident’s centennial with cake and a giant card.

Fran How celebrated her birthday with her son, daughter-in-law and other family members, who’d come from Canberra, Australia. Also in attendance was Ponoka Mayor Larry Henkelman, and other residents of Sunrise Village, where How has lived since the end of January, 2011.

How, the youngest of four children, was born in Kipp, Alberta, just north of Lethbridge.

“It’s a billboard on the side of the highway,” How said.

However, she wasn’t stationary long. Soon after, How and her family relocated to Edmonton. How has moved more than 40 times throughout the course of her life, and doesn’t recommend the lifestyle.

One of the places she lived was Egypt. After How retired from secretarial work for Imperial Lumber and the Seventh Day Adventist Church, she and her husband moved to Egypt around 1985 for four years.

How has also lived in B.C., Ontario and Newfoundland. She moved to Lacombe in 1992.

It was 1936 when How met her husband. They were together 74 years after meeting for the first time at an interchurch play in Edmonton.

“I was selling candy there for the YWCA and he bought some,” How said. Six months later they were married. “It must have been the right thing to do.”

David How, her son, had three words to describe his mother, “interested in people”.

“She’s also very funny,” Vivienne How, How’s daughter-in-law, said.

According to How’s family she’s quick with her wit and full of quips.

And what is How’s secret to living such a long life?

“Just keep breathing.”

By Amelia Naismith