Centenarians Contest

AALC’s Supportive Living (SL) communities have many amazing residents who are living well past 100 years of age.  Congratulations to our 2020 winner and honorable mentions below!


Juanita Briggs, 104 years young

Grand Prairie of Macomb

Juanita was born March 4th, 1916 in Colchester Illinois. She is Grand Prairie’s oldest resident at 104. She is the biggest St. Louis Cardinals fan in the world. When she was 11 her family moved to Tennessee Illinois, where she went to grade school, then to Colchester High School. She graduated in 1933 and is the only surviving member of her graduating class. In 1938, she married Cecil Daugherty. He passed away of cancer at 64. They had a daughter, Donna. In 1979 she married Cleo Briggs. He passed away 12 years later in a car accident. Juanita stayed in her home until she was 88 then moved to Lafayette Square, a retirement home in Macomb Illinois. She stayed there for 10 happy years until she decided she needed just a little more help and assistance. In 2013 she moved to Grand Prairie and can take care of herself but likes that staff is available if she needs it. Juanita is very full of energy, always on the go and even leads Fun Time Trivia with Juanita. When Juanita turned 100, she was invited to throw the first pitch at the Cardinals game. She is also active in the spelling bee, bingo, brain teasers, crafts and exercise, just to name a few. She even has the occasional joke to tell (most of them appropriate). Juanita uses a cane mostly to get around, sometimes a walker when she needs it. She says she has no intentions of slowing down. She enjoys people, making new friends and loves calling Grand Prairie her home.



Laura Haake, 104 years young

Heritage Woods of Centralia

Laura Kasten Haake was born in 1916 into a farming family. She had six brothers and one sister. Their family farm was outside Hoyleton, Illinois. Besides working on the family farm, she helped neighbors and their families when she was a young girl. Laura and her future husband ran away to get married in St. Louis and he lived long enough for them to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. They both worked very hard all their lives. Laura delivered her five babies at home and they grew up to give her 12 wonderful grandchildren. Most of the children’s clothing was all handmade and most of their food was homegrown and preserved. Besides making their home she worked jobs, cooked at a school, worked in a factory, sales lady in a furniture store, a custodian at the grade school in Hoyleton and was active in her Lutheran Church. She was the also the best cook that any of her children ever knew, quilted the most perfect hand quilted quilts, and winning awards at local fairs. Everyone that knew Laura looked forward to her homemade bread and coffee cakes. Laura was always healthy, has never been in the hospital, does not take prescription medications, drove her car until she was nearly 100 and lived in her home until she was 101. When people ask her what she attributes her long life to, she says “hard work.”

Felecia Lembas, 101 years young

St. Anthony of Lansing

Felica Lembas is lovable person, she loves to get her hair and nails done. She participated in Bingo which is her favorite activity to do. At the age of 101 Felicia stills try to do some walking, and she still gets around. She has been here since St. Anthony of Lansing has opened.

Betty Love, 101 years young

Heritage Woods of Plainfield

Betty Love was born in Cato Arkansas. One of nine children she grew up on her family's farm. As a child Betty helped on the farm with duties such as chopping and picking cotton. Betty left home for high school where she then had to work for her room and board. Betty was already an accomplished sewer graduating 2nd in her sewing class so she went to work helping a seamstress. Betty held many jobs during her life including a nanny for 5 children, working in an ammunitions plant during WWII and working for Douglas Air Craft. Betty has always been one to help out others. She was an avid volunteer at the senior center. Betty's favorite verse is I love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind and my neighbor as myself.

Mary Rust, 101 years young

Heritage Woods of Belvidere

Mary has raised a family and is very proud of her family. Mary once worked for Kohler and was the first woman draftsmen for them. She and her husband also owned a motel for about eight years, Mary did not really like that. Mary has been a resident with us January of 2016. Mary Enjoys social time with other residents and Bingo.

Elenora Dinges, 100 years young

Heritage Woods of Yorkville

Eleanora Dinges is the oldest resident here at Heritage Woods of Yorkville, she will be turning 101 in December of this year. We have had the great pleasure to have her as one of our residents over the past 2 years.

Eleanora is a widow now but spent 54 magical years with her husband. Together they raised a beautiful boy Russell, he died at 76 with cancer, but his love is still given through Eleanora’s 5 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-children.

When speaking about her past time Eleanora will tell you about her love of working on the farm with her family in West Brooklyn, IL. She oversaw the Corn and Soybeans, while her husband tended to the animals. They had your standard farm animals, Pigs, Chickens, Horses, and Cattle. Her favorite animal they owned though was a giraffe! She will tell you that they didn’t go “out” a lot, because they were always busy on the farm, but she wouldn’t change that. Instead they would enjoy playing cards and games at home with their dearest friends.

Eleanora was a homemaker that loves to cook and bake. She stated she never had to worry about food because of the amount the farm would produce. What she is most proud to talk about with you besides raising her son, is that she could drive a big tractor on the farm. She stated the whole community would tell you how hard she worked, they would say” you name, she did it”.

She has many memories over the last 100 years, and we are lucky to catch a small glimpse in her beautiful life.

2020 Premier Members

Affordable Assisted Living Coalition
601 W. Monroe St.
Springfield, IL  62704

Phone:  217-525-0700, ext. 124

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