‘Good Morning America’ greets Michigan community with eighteen hundred-year-old residents

JENISON, MI – Lots of candles were needed for a very special birthday party held this week.

Over 1,800 of them to be exact.

The party, held at Sunset Retirement Communities and Services in Jenison, honored 18 of the facility’s residents, all of whom are 100 years of age or older this calendar year.

This isn’t the first time Sunset has had an unusually high number of centenarians, as 12 reached the mark in 2017 and 14 did so last year, but it’s the highest number yet. This year’s celebration caught the attention of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which greeted the community Thursday morning.

“We are delighted that more and more of our residents are living longer with more fulfilling lives,” said Steve Zuiderveen, President and CEO of Sunset Retirement Communities and Services.

“Our mission is to provide quality service to the elderly in a spirit of Christian love, and offering birthday greetings to 18 men and women who turn 100 or older this year is just icing on the cake. – pun intended. “

The men and women celebrated at sunset include those whose history dates back to when horses and buggy were common, modern plumbing was scarce, electricity was emerging, and World War I was cool in the cold. spirit.

Jake DeWent, 102, made 75 cents a day working on farms in western Michigan. Lois Oom, also 102, spent her youth riding, roller skating and frolic in Lake Michigan and James Pierce, who turns 101 in September, relied on an outbuilding where in winter “this seat was very cold”.

He noted how different life is in 2019.

“Today you go to the mall and see all these kids paying a lot of money for ripped jeans,” Pierce said. “Everyone has money, but I guess they want to look poor.”

Hazel Coy, who turns 100 in December, is a longtime Detroit Tigers fan who has won four World Series titles. Robert Lutz, 101, built sandy tracks for his toy trucks in developing New York City neighborhoods. And Ruth Curtis, 101, was from a family that had the first indoor bathroom in Hesperia.

Robert Keegstra, 100, drove a first Ford on Division Avenue at the age of 14. And Grace Meyer, 101, was elated when she won a “big check” as a telephone operator. It was $ 14.

Memories and years, wisdom and experiences. All 18 with their own path, but each with their own contributions and lessons along the way.

Happy birthday!

  • Grace Meyer -101
  • Bernice Zwart – 102
  • Medell Wheat – 100
  • Lois Oom – 100
  • Jeanette Veltman – 101
  • James pierce – 101
  • Beatrice Gryzen – 100
  • Lillian DeBoer – 101
  • Jean Homan – 101
  • Wilma Lampen – 100
  • Ruth Curtis – 101
  • Robert Keegstra – 100
  • Bernadine Skripka – 100
  • Robert Lutz -101
  • Hazel Cie – 100
  • Ann VandenBosch – 101
  • Jake DeWent -102
  • Lois Whittemore – 101