Family takes cruise for the century

Elizabeth Price is a Wilmington native, a Concord Township
resident and the oldest member of Brandywine Baptist Church in Chadds Ford,
“But,” she said, “I’m the oldest of everything.”

Price turned 100 on Dec. 1. Twenty-two members of her family
took her on a cruise to celebrate her reaching the century mark.

Price’s daughter, Pat Crozier, calls her mother an eternal
optimist and Price’s philosophy reflects that optimism.  Having lived for 100 years, she has
seen many changes and she’s optimistic regarding them all. “I don’t think any have
not been for the general good,” she said but added that she thinks computers
have been the greatest change. She spent her working years as a secretary and
is still amazed at the change from old manual typewriters to computer word

“And you can ask a computer anything and it’ll give you the
right answer, right away. I don’t know how, but they do it,” Price said.

One of her earliest recollections goes back to when she was
3 or 4 years old, she said, when her mother took her to see her grandmother who
was soon to die. “I felt there was something important there in taking me out
to see her. She was in bed. And she didn’t look like anybody else. This little
lady was small so, to me, she was very unusual, right off because I compared
her to my mother and she didn’t look like she belonged to her at all.”

Her most poignant memory, however, is of a second cousin who
was born with a birth defect that prevented proper development of her feet. She
said her cousin’s feet were more like flippers.

“She was a very good Christian woman and she taught Sunday
School. The children loved her. She had a way about her and the children just
took to her. In her church she was very well known and very well liked,” Price
said of her cousin.

According to Crozier, it’s possible Cousin Marguerite may
also have lived to 100.

Price has survived three husbands but still misses the first
one, Lawrence Kirby, the father of her children. Meeting him, she said, is her
fondest memory.

“He was married before, and his wife had died. We were a
small enough church so that when a new member came in you got to know them
right away,” she said.

They met in 1933 and married in 1934. Price raised his two
daughters from his first marriage before having her own four children with him.
Those four were each five years apart.

“Isn’t it interesting they were all five years apart? I
didn’t do it deliberately,” Price said with a chuckle.

Her saddest memories concern her husbands.

“I didn’t expect any of them to die, and then to have then
all die, to me is unfortunate. I loved them all. I could have lived the rest of
my life with any of them,” she said.

Yet, Price has no regrets.

“I’ve had a wonderful life outside
of losing all three husbands. I couldn’t help it,” Price said.

And she does have some advice, to
trust your instincts and hope you’re right.

“You have to take everybody at
face value. Sometimes you learn you were wrong, but that’s what I’ve learned.
Some people you can trust, some people you can’t,” she said.

She also advises to “Sleep on it.
That means you think about your decisions well and hard. And get good advice.”

Her birthday cruise was far from
her biggest trip. She’s travelled around the world twice and would only do one
thing differently, given the chance.

Price said she would love to have
rented a house in England and stayed there for at least one month.

“I loved England. I felt very much at home.”

She would also like to have studied a foreign language.

Price is a member of the Red Hat Society, an international
social group for women over the age of 50. She still attends the luncheons
every other month.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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