Munroe Falls -- A local Munroe Falls woman celebrated one of many milestones Jan. 25.
Born in 1910, Margaret Sechrist, a resident of Mulberry Gardens Assisted Living in Munroe Falls, celebrated her 103rd birthday Jan. 25 with an extravaganza the entire retirement home took part in.
Originally from Chautauqua, N.Y., Mrs. Sechrist moved to Akron with family at 12 years old where she would go on to have a career as a secretary with Roadway Express Inc. -- a freight-shipping company founded in Akron in 1930. She retired in 1975.
Mrs. Sechrist celebrated her birthday with almost all of Mulberry Gardens' nearly 100 residents, friends, family and pianist Duane Carlson who serenaded those in attendance for about an hour.
Mrs. Sechrist, a former piano player herself, notes that classical is one of her favorite genres of music.
She does tend to be spontaneous at times. Mrs. Sechrist had requested her favorite dinner of chicken and mashed potatoes for the night's menu, but ended up choosing a fish dish instead much to the surprise of her daughter Janet Granieri.
Ever humble and still very sharp, Mrs. Sechrist chuckles softly when asked about her secret to a long and healthy life.
"Everybody wants to know," she said, "but I can't tell them. It's just the way it happened to be."
Mrs. Sechrist stayed active throughout her late 90s, but likes to spend her time nowadays playing bingo and enjoying the company of friends -- like fellow Mulberry resident Russel Kleckner -- and family. Mrs. Sechrist has one son, one daughter and three granddaughters.
While she hasn't decided on the meaning of life, Mrs. Sechrist said the most important in anyone's life should be clear: family.
"My daughter would just do anything to make things happier and easier for me, and her husband is the same way," she said. "I do have a wonderful family, and that means a lot."
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