When Delora Ehlinger turned 100 in 2005, her younger sister, Sarah Johnson, said, “Who knows? She might last another 20.”
That would be quite an achievement, but Delora is still headed in that direction. On Sept. 20 she’ll turn 104.
She takes top billing, but don’t forget her siblings. Sarah turned 96 years old Sept. 9 and two brothers are also in their 90s. Elwood is now 93 and Rex is 90.
Those are the four remaining members of what their nieces and nephews used to call “The Magnificient Seven.”
George died several years ago, Russel, at age 98, died in 2006, and the youngster, Iola Jean, was only 79 when she died in 2007.
“The rest of us are doing pretty good,” Sarah said.
Sarah worked for the Morenci Home Telephone company for 20 years, including about 10 years after the switch to the direct dial telephone system was made.
Sarah is looking forward to a special birthday present this weekend when her son, Alan, takes her for a ride on the three-wheel motorcycle he built. There’s no sidecar, she said.
“I’ll be sitting right behind him,” Sarah explained.
She’s using a walker now to help her get around, but she says she’s in good shape and still enjoys traveling with friends to Archbold for card games.
She takes large-print books to Delora, who enjoys reading every afternoon. Delora was employed by the city for many years as treasurer and she remains Morenci High School’s oldest living graduate.
Elwood lives at the Lenawee Medical Care Facility and is now confined to a wheelchair, Sarah said, but he remains chipper. He worked in a variety of jobs over his lifetime, ranging from agriculture to bus driver.
Rex, a Florida resident, was engaged in carpentry and construction work for many years and he was part of the crew that built Morenci’s high school. He retired long ago, but he really hasn’t stopped making things, Sarah said.
“He thinks up plans and then goes out every day and makes something,” she said.
It’s a remarkable set of siblings and the way it’s going, Delora might not be the only one to reach the century mark.
The Fletcher family met at Wakefield Park Aug. 8 for the 60th annual reunion. The event is scheduled in Morenci every year.
Seventy-nine people attended, coming from Morenci, Adrian, Clinton, Muskegon and Harrison, Mich., and Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Illinois.