TRENTON — Good, clean living may be the secret to a long life, says Charlotte Parker.
The Trenton resident turned 100 on Feb. 10. On Saturday, family and friends gathered at the Trenton town office for a surprise party to mark the occasion. To ease the shock, Parker was let in on the surprise just before going in.
Asked what the trick was to reaching the century mark, Parker replied, “I lived a good clean life, I guess.”
Longevity runs in the family. Among the party guests were Parker’s sisters, Hazel Fox, 92; Alice Greenlaw, 94, and Gladys Norwood, 97.
Parker’s roots run deep in Trenton. Her home is on the same Oak Point Road property where she grew up with her seven siblings.
Friend Betsy Meister has known Parker for nearly 15 years. She described Parker as humble, unselfish and caring.
“Charlotte can always find the good in people,” Meister said.
While she still lives on her own, Parker is no longer as independent as she’d like to be. She stopped driving about a year and a half ago, Meister said. A copy of Parker’s original driver’s license (issued in 1944) was on display at the party.
Also displayed was a legislative sentiment and a birthday greeting from Governor Janet Mills. A letter from former President Bill Clinton noted that “During the past century, you have had the opportunity to be a part of one of the most fascinating times the world has ever known.”
Parker worked a number of different jobs in her life, including cooking and cleaning. She was twice married — and widowed. Although she never had children of her own, she raised two nephews, Clyde Norwood Jr. and Charles Scott.
She enjoys writing poetry, nature, full moons and Blueberry Hill ice cream.
Perhaps most of all, “She loves to see people and have company,” Meister said.