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A Century in the Making

Two wonderful Galloway Ridge at Fearrington residents, Helen Herrick and Florence Ziegler, turned 100 years old in January. These ladies shared their story of their life over the past century.

Helen Herrick:

“I liked being the oldest, I was the boss, I still am to tell you the truth, I’m trying to not be,” Herrick said.

Oldest of five children, Helen Herrick grew up in Massachusetts during the depression era. Herrick loved to cook and started making meals for her family at twelve years old. Her first job, one of her proudest moments, was when she became a dietician at a veteran’s home in Connecticut. Later, she worked at a local restaurant where she met her husband George and had two daughters.

“I wanted to cook, I wanted to make different things, work up the recipes,” Herrick said. “As my kids would say: ‘Ma, can’t you ever make anything just plain?!’”

After retirement, Herrick and her husband travelled around Europe, the two visited Sweden in search of Herrick’s grandmother.  They fortunately met her second cousin and two years later her youngest daughter Florrie Stoffel returned to Sweden to meet the rest of the family.

A lifetime of memories evolved over the years.  Helen moved to Galloway Ridge in 2008 at 93 years young, she decided to move down south to be closer to her friend who lived near Galloway Ridge and also to be in positioned demographically halfway between her daughters.

“My mom moved to Galloway Ridge to be halfway between my sister and me.  I live in New Jersey and my sister lives in northern Florida, so Pittsboro is pretty much exactly halfway between us,” Stoffel said.

On January 17th, Herrick celebrated her 100 year birthday becoming a centurion at Galloway Ridge. Her family flew in from all over the country including some family from Sweden.

“We had an open party for all of the residents of Galloway Ridge to attend, and we had a small swing band, which my mother was able to come and do at least one dance,” Stoffel said.

Florence Ziegler:

“I lived most of my life in Dallas, Texas but I was born in Brooklyn, New York,” Florence Ziegler said. “I came to North Carolina after my daughter moved.  I thought it would be good to be near the family and I was one of the first residents to move in here at Galloway Ridge.”

Before moving to Galloway Ridge, Ziegler was a volunteer at the League of Women Voters in Dallas, Texas.

“I was a volunteer for the League of Women Voters, the local level and the state level,” Ziegler said.  They finally put me in the group of family mediators that required anyone who got a divorce had to go through mediation, which was the kind that I got awards for.”

After she stopped volunteering, Ziegler became interested in pottery and other forms of art including photography. “After my husband died I started doing pottery in Dallas.  I love pottery but it got physically too hard to make,” Ziegler said. “So I had to venture into something different and that’s when I discovered jewelry making and then later photography and also painting.” Traveling became an interest of Ziegler and she travelled to Antarctica and South Africa twice; Antarctica was her favorite place.

Ziegler lives in Independent Living in one of the villas at Galloway Ridge.   “The one reason I am able to live here on my own is because of the aids, they’re wonderful,” Ziegler said. “Kay and her group are great, I get physical therapy twice a week and the other days I do exercise on my own.”

Exercise is the key to living a long life according to Ziegler; she also enjoys eating healthy organic foods and does not take any medication. With 100 birthdays behind her, Ziegler also shared her favorite birthday present she received.

“Two of the residents here at Galloway gave me a star from the galaxy for a birthday present,” Ziegler said. “They gave me a certificate that says there is a Florence star, I thought that was interesting.”

Galloway Ridge is a nonprofit continuing care retirement community (CCRC) located just eight miles south of Chapel Hill in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Galloway Ridge is a remarkable choice for inspiring, satisfying senior living. Located in Fearrington Village, Galloway Ridge has all the features, amenities and security one could want. Visit Galloway Ridge online at www.GallowayRidge.com.

By: Taylor Maloch
Freshman at Wake Tech Majoring in Journalism
Intern at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington