What does a person do on their 101-year-old birthday? On July 20, Veronica O’Connor, of Stoutsville, celebrated turning 101 years young by making homemade light rolls and entertaining company. O’Connor stated, “I sure can’t do some of the things I’d like to. Like pulling weeds out of my flower garden,” as she laughed, adding, “I expect I have pulled enough weeds in my time.”
At 101, O’Connor continues to live at home on her farm. “Being unhappy makes you sick. I enjoy every day I live. I have never been able to stay mad at anyone. There is no use in having hard feelings,” expressed Ms. Veronica O’Connor, as she shared her life here in the Monroe City area, over the past 100 years.
Born in the year 1919, Veronica has lived through five wars and the depression. She shared, “I have had my joys, happiness and sorrows too.”
Born and raised on what is now known as the Kuhlman farm, to Theodore “Tate” and Ida Sullivan Arnoldly, with her sister Dorothy and brother Theodore Frances, Veronica grew up a farm girl on 223 acres. Veronica shared her work experience as a young girl stating, “I went to work at the Henderson Poultry House at the age of 16. I worked at 12 cents an hour to help my father save our farm during the depression.
At the age of 19, Veronica attended a dance in Stoutsville and met the love of her life, Fred O’Connor. They married on December 2, 1939 and settled in Perry on a farm.
Veronica and her husband raised two sons, Freddy Jo and Teddy, along with eleven grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
After her brother passed away, Veronica and her husband moved to rural Monroe City, purchasing her parents farm. While living on the farm, Veronica raised 400-500 chickens at one time, dressing them and selling them to local restaurants.
Veronica and her husband, later sold her parents farm, and bought a farm where she currently lives, stating, “This has been a great farm, the other farm had rolling hills and this one is flat and been wonderful for farming.” Together, the O’Connor’s shared 43 years of marriage, before Fred lost his battle to brain cancer.
Today, Teddy continues to farm the land he grew up on raising cattle and bailing hay. Veronica explained, “I have always been able to make a living throughout my life. I cash rent the farmland out now and that gives me a decent income.” Veronica grows spices in her back yard and sells them to local neighbors.
People may wonder, what does a typical day look like for someone who is a 101 years old? For Veronica, she states, “I decide every evening what I am going to do the next day.” She gets up every morning and eats breakfast. Next, she says her morning prayers for about an hour or so, rests and drinks her coffee. Every day she fixes dinner for her son Teddy, while he works on the farm and enjoys eating together. She shared, “It’s important to enjoy life, never stay mad at anyone, it may hurt but life is too short.”