Published Date Written by Adam DrapchoMEREDITH — Having celebrated her 101st birthday last month, E. Louise Estes was celebrated yesterday as Meredith's eldest resident. What's her secret to such longevity? Doesn't she wish she could say.
"I don't know. If I knew, I could have made a fortune," she said.
Estes has lived for three years at Golden View Health Care Center. In recognition of her status, George Jewell, president of the Meredith Historical Society, presented Estes with the town's Boston Post Cane.
During the ceremony, Estes showed that her years had dulled neither her wit nor her memory.
"I'm very honored to get this cane," she said. After Jewell told her that, after the ceremony, the cane would return to the Historical Society for safe keeping, she turned to the crowd and feigned indignation. "They give it to me and then they take it back?!"
Estes was born in Boston, Mass. on January 16, 1912 to parents Mary and Albert Otto. She married when she was 19. "I eloped to New Hampshire," and married a machinist named Horace. "Although I never called him that because I hated it." Instead, she referred to her betrothed as "Slim" or "Pop."
Although she didn't care for her husband's given name, Estes and "Slim" were a good match, remaining married for more than 70 years until his death a few years ago. Though she can't explain her exceptionally long life, she has an idea as to how her marriage survived for so long.
"I was good natured," she said.
Their marriage produced a son, Donald, who lives in Bristol. Estes also has three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
In her professional life, Estes worked first as a secretary in a real estate office and later managed a restaurant. When she and "Slim" were ready to enjoy their golden years, they returned to the state where they were married. "I love New Hampshire, that's why we retired up here." The couple first moved to Raymond, then lived in Plymouth for about 15 years before transitioning to Golden View.
Given a chance to reflect on her circumstances, Estes suspects her continued longevity has something to do with the people around her and who care for her in the Golden View facility. "All the people here, they're wonderful. They make you feel loved," she said.
CAPTION for LOUISE ESTES in AA:
Louise Estes reacted with feigned protest when Meredith Historical Society president George Jewell told her that she wouldn't be able to keep the town's Boston Post Cane, ceremonially presented to the town's eldest resident. Estes was born 101 years ago in Boston and has lived in the Golden View Health Care Center for three years. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)