100-year-old has unique claim to fame

Virginia Ransbottom

Adelaide Weeks joined the century old club surrounded by family on April 28 during a birthday party at Life Care Center in Plainwell.
To show she still had her memory intact, Weeks rattled off not only all 50 states, but in the order each entered the union. Without hesitation or pause, she recited the alphabet backwards as a grand finale.
But then all the excitement was too much for her and she went back to her room for a nap.
Adelaide told Life Care activity director Jami Dykstra she really likes to sleep.
“You know the older I get, the more I sleep,” Adelaide said. “I think if you’re gonna live a 100 years you have to be ready to sleep a lot.”
Other advice she gave for longevity was to stay strong and eat healthy, and to eat lots of vanilla ice cream.
To put into perspective how old Weeks is, she was born in 1917, the peak of World War I when Herbert Hoover was president. It was the same year the Chicago White Sox won the World series and Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin and Dizzie Gillespie were born.
Weeks herself went to a one-room schoolhouse in Maple Rapids where she learned by memorization, especially words for “granny’s little handbook of sayings,” her family said. Weeks drove a Model T the 15 miles to Rodney B. Wilson High School in St. Johns.
After marrying Randall Weeks, she worked in the office in Saint Louis, Mich. where he was a State Farm agent for 55 years.
“In her spare time she liked Shirley Temple movies, and dancing to the big bands like Guy Lombardo,” said her daughter Pat Salisbury of Otsego. “She’s also always told riddles, jokes and stories,”
Her granddaughter Debbie Root of Kalamazoo.said her granny also knitted and crocheted afghans and baby blankets and made Easter dresses and bedspreads.
Root said her granny has been a lot of people’s granny through the years, including a few foster children along the way.
Along with two children, Weeks has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, many of whom celebrated her birthday in Plainwell. She moved to the area 20 years ago to be closer to family. Her husband died in 1992, and Weeks has been at the Life Care Center for the past 12 years.
“I asked her what are some of the things she’s proud of and she laughed and said, ‘Well, I have all my own teeth!” Dykstra said.
Keeping the conversation in perspective, Dykstra said is Adelaide’s love.
“She is always smiling and laughing and cracking jokes,” Dykstra said.
Weeks is also proud of having visited all 50 states … well, almost.
“The 50th state was Alaska and she started up in July, got two-thirds of the way across Canada and a snowstorm turned her around,” said her daughter.
When asked what event in history impacted her life the most, she said “There’s just too much stuff to remember.”
To see Week’s backwards alphabet sampler, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xjbFt2XLX0
Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at vransbottom@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.


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